Bias in Hype

Discussion in 'Canada' started by andrenaline, May 17, 2017.

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  1. andrenaline

    andrenaline Poo-Bah (2,367) Nov 14, 2009 Canada (ON)

    I'll be the first to admit that I've suffered from bias from hype, but that being said I do try to remain as objective as possible. My own ratings on BA suggest I'm either overly generous or not critical enough, as they tend to almost always have positive deviations on my ratings.

    I enjoyed this blog (link recently included in the RateBeer Weekly newsletter) where a brewery kegged Westy 12 at a beer festival with few patrons giving it the rave reviews it enjoys on most ratings sites.

    I think we can all agree that taste is subjective and can be influenced by a wide range of factors, but I think it's important to try to remain as objective as possible when trying out new beers.

    What do you guys do to try to temper your desire to fall for the hype? I personally try to focus on rating to the style, and will try to come up with a rating in my mind before logging in to post a review (to avoid subconscious influences on the rating).
  2. hoptemologist

    hoptemologist Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2014 Canada (AB)

    while i dont really review beers in depth, i just try and focus on whether i like it or not, theres been a good deal of world class beers that i just cant get down with.
    Ma9573 and andrenaline like this.
  3. Jerk_Store

    Jerk_Store Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2015 Canada (QC)

    Hype often equals rarity, I'll want it more if you tell me I can't have it type of thing. Because of that, I've found that ruins a lot of beers for me as I go in expecting way more than what I get, just cause some people got excited about having something that's a little bit more trouble to acquire.

    Personally, I'm more impressed with something that can be pumped on the regular by a brewery and that meets demand (in Canada, I can't think of a better example than Péché, but there are many others).

    For me, if I come across a whale, or am in a position to trade for one, or buy two whales and share with someone else, cool. If not, I don't lose sleep over it. Do I drive out to releases or travel for beer? Well, sure, but it's equal part for the fun I have doing it (and whom I do it with) than it is for the beer in question.

    I've done trades where people apologized for what they were giving (and to be fair, there have been trades I've made, especially early on where looking back, ishhh...) and it's like, hey, it's all good, if I haven't had it, wether it's something that people rave about or something I've never heard of but the person thought I might dig it, it's all the same to me. Only different is, there's no anticipation with the beer I've never heard about.

    Long story short, the potential "wow" factor is higher with an unknown beer than some crazy hyped one off. That being said, if the hyped beers weren't so hyped, perhaps their impact would be bigger. For me at least.
  4. boney77

    boney77 Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2008 Canada (ON)

    I used to get sucked into hype, but I think it probably affects me less now than it used to. I've found that the longer I've been drinking craft beer, the narrower the range between my highest and lowest rated beers are. The exceptions are off flavours, of course. I still love beer just as much, but nothing either changes my beer-y outlook like it used to and I've learned to appreciate small things in average beers and styles I'm not overly in to. Plus, with so many good to excellent breweries in operation now, the FOMO I had 5 or 7 years ago just isn't there anymore because I know a local brewery is probably doing something less hyped but just as good. Now, even if I don't like an overly hyped beer, it's not as disappointing.

    In addition to just a different outlook, there are a few things I try to do to manage hype and how it affects my rating, expectations and overall enjoyment. I recognize that special events with super rare beers or one offs will change my perception dramatically....either up or down, so sometimes I just don't even rate those beers. Instead, I just try to enjoy the event. When I get a super hyped bottle for home consumption, I usually get my wife to pour it blind for me with a few others of the same style, of varying levels of beer geeky appreciation. Very rarely do I rank the whale the highest, but I've had a fun experiment and I've learned about a usually much cheaper, easier to acquire beer that I know I can go back to again.
    dabeerbuddha and Jerk_Store like this.
  5. andrenaline

    andrenaline Poo-Bah (2,367) Nov 14, 2009 Canada (ON)

    I love the blind pour concept... When possible, I'm totally gonna do that when sharing bottles going forward! Great idea!
  6. EspressoGuy

    EspressoGuy Initiate (0) Apr 24, 2011 Canada (BC)

    I agree that hype is often associated with rarity but I also feel that hype often follows beers that have a a big bold explosive taste and higher alcohol ... and my taste has moved in the opposite direction: subtle complexity, balance and moderate alcohol. I've lost my FOMO and instead search for those beers that fit my preference. Luckily, there are many.
  7. yasky

    yasky Disciple (386) Dec 21, 2008 Canada (ON)

    I figure my life will go on whether or not I've tried every BCBS or Cake variant or what not. I don't think there's anything out there I NEED (see - want) enough to spend the better part of my day in a lineup for and I have no desire to spend a car payment on the secondary market for something.

    If I'm lucky enough to get in on one of those beers I'm still going to rate objectively - I recently attended a tasting of higher-regarded beers where only 2 of the 9 were something I would seek out again.
  8. BeboThoughts

    BeboThoughts Initiate (112) Mar 24, 2012 Canada (ON)

    I like what they're going for but with the O2 pickup and the different carbonation, I'm sure it was a much different beer than Westy fresh from the bottle.
    TheSevenDuffs likes this.
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