Site Changes: Beer Hads, Full Reviews & Ratings

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jan 8, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,553) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Subscriber

    The Internet, and how people use it, has obviously changed a lot since we started in 1996 and continues to evolve. To address some of these changes, the site (we) need to change. Simply put: We've been stagnant for too many years. That's one of the reasons why we hired a full-time developer this past summer and have begun work on a complete site redesign and mobile apps. It's going to take some time to get to where we want to be, but we're making a lot progress and over the upcoming months we'll be applying updates to the site to prepare for change.

    Speaking of change ... here's a round of them. Some have been requested by BAs, while others are required for future updates.

    Hads Count
    Literally. We've generated over 1.7 million full reviews since we started in the late 90s. Since it's launch in Nov 2011, we've generated nearly 1 million Hads. It's clear that users value the ability to do a quick rating, so we've opted to value their input. They're now being applied to the beer's review average (rAvg) and overal BA Score.

    Counting and displaying Hads will also:
    • Gets us ready for mobile app functionality.
    • Give brewers/beers more exposure.
    • Encourages more users to contribute.
    Main Beer & Beer Rating Pages
    They've been given a slight facelift to accomodate Hads, which now appear in-line.

    Viewing Reviews & Hads Together
    Another request was viewing your Reviews and Hads together from your beer page. Done.

    We'll be looking at ways to highlight if you gave a beer a full review or just Had it too. Same goes for the edit icon that appears next to beers in certain listings; Top Lists, Styles, etc.

    To delete a Had you'll need to go to the beer's page.

    All beer ratings/stats have been updated as a result of changes to Hads. You'll notice some big changes given the fact that nearly 1 million more ratings have been applied to them.

    Reviews Attribute Scale
    .25 increments have been applied for all attributes (Places too). This has been requested several times in the past. Syncs with the Hads quick rating scale now too. User rating prior to this were not altered.

    Minimum Characters
    For those doing full reviews, we've reduced this to 100 characters (Places too). We were getting complaints with the previous mins. Hopefully this will address concerns and encourage some words.


    Frequently Asked Questions.
    In anticipation of your questions, here's some answers.

    Q: Can I Had and do a full review of a beer?
    You can only do one or the other.

    Q: Can I Had a beer more than once?
    Not yet, but it's something we'll be rolling out this year.

    Q: If I Had a beer can I go back and give it a full review?
    Yes. Simply go to your review of the beer or go to the beer's page and review it. Note: This will overwrite your quick Had rating and apply your new one.

    Q: Will users who provide a complete beer review get more credit than those who just Had it?
    Eventually, yes. We value your contributions and will address this with in the upcoming site relaunch.

    Q: Can we sort/filter by Full Reviews or Hads?
    Not yet, but we plan on adding it.

    Q: How will this impact Top Beer lists?
    It's going to make it much more active. We'll be addressing this shortly and making adjustments if needed.

    Q: Can you apply something like this to Places?
    Hmm ... We'll keep you posted on that.

    We realize this is a major change. Some of you will love it, some of you will hate it, but we're open to any constructive feedback that you might have either way.

    As always, thanks for your continued support and patience. 2013 is going to be a big year for ... and we're glad you're all here to be a part of it.

    mcaulifww, jbertsch, JimKal and 7 others like this.
  2. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Not stoked about this.

    If you have "had" the beer, write a review. The number rating that you provide means nothing without context or explanation. The change in minimum character requirement is also a bummer... if you can't come up with a decent description of the beer that you're grading, you shouldn't be reviewing it in the first place.

    Smells like RateBeer. I sincerely hope that the BA community proves me wrong, but I'm skeptical.
    BudWizeMan, chronie, iadler and 44 others like this.
  3. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Not sure how I feel about the hads being added to the overall score. I use the "had" almost exclusively for my own records to keep track of beers and give it a simple rating to remind me whether or not to seek it out again.

    Do not like the minimum word count decrease at all. This will encourage more ticking and less reviewing. Oh well, I know enough by now that I take it all with a grain of salt anyway.

    THANAT0PSIS Defender (682) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    As someone who exclusively does full reviews (that are admittedly too long) and has never done a "had", I don't know how I feel about this. I definitely expect it to falsely inflate or deflate rAvgs. As others have said, this also encourages ticking, which, to me, is a practice that is opposed to craft beer culture in that it is not really about enjoying beer anymore. Also, 100 characters is far too low. Seriously, 100 characters is nothing. It is less than a Tweet, and we all know how useless most of those are...

    The only welcome change is the addition of .25 increments for ratings, but even that probably won't be something I'll use. How can one discern between a 3.25 and a 3.5 mouthfeel? What about a 2.5 and 2.75 aroma?

    Rabble, rabble, rabble, we don't like change.
  5. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    I can't wait for the app
    Kyrojack, averagjoe3, Todd and 2 others like this.
  6. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,743) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    I liked having the differentiation between hads and reviews. I basically used my had list for beers I had drank but couldn't remember enough to do a full review, so basically they weren't very reliable ratings.

    It basically feels a bit like you're trying to make BA look like ratebeer too.

    Also the bit at the bottom of the Top Beers lists is broken I think. It tells me I've had 0 of them when I have had quite a few.
    dianimal likes this.
  7. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,292) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Don't care for these changes, but with staff and growth comes the need for more consideration to allowing breweries greater exposure, albeit dumbed down exposure aimed at a dumber audience, I guess.

    Also, tickers seem to be a strange group to court. True, they buy beers from every brewery, there's that. But most of them buy that one beer and it's on to look for the next one to notch on gun. I view their input, and "had"'s in general, as the tiniest bit more than valueless. But then, that is true of how I view much of "improvement" the modern world offers
    nlmartin, John, chinabeergeek and 7 others like this.
  8. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,560) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    I guess I'm not crazy about this, but hey, whatever. I just think it sucks that when I go to read reviews, I have to sift through a bunch of numbers with no text, which ultimately means nothing to me and doesn't help me get an understanding for what the beer is about. And there are more BAs who click "had" than actually review and give their thoughts, so within time we'll probably be going through 8-10 pages just to find a text written review.
  9. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    While I value write ups on beers, how many times can the same thing be written over and over?
    Its the same as beertubers. Its golden, smells of pine, good lacing, yada yada yada. 4.0/5.0

    Thats nice and all, but if the site has the ability to harness the opinions of many others (who may not have the time or grammar to write a unique review) why not add to the feedback of the beers? The data is there, and whether some longwinded reviewers like it or not, its ALL subjective.
  10. spicelab

    spicelab Defender (672) Nov 6, 2009 Australia
    Beer Trader

    I'm also firmly of the view that lumping hads and reviews together will significantly compromise the reliabilty and objectivity of a beer's rating/score.

    The need to do a full review to contribute to the score, combined with the prevailing attitude here against half-arsedness (as opposed to Ratebeer reviews) is why I generally place a good degree of trust in ratings on this site.

    Adding hads into the mix - without at least assigning them a massively lower weighting - will remove the most significant restraint that currently restricts brewers friends/acquaintances, shameless hype-train folks and other rent-a-crowd types from hijacking the system.
    chinchill, impending, rand and 7 others like this.
  11. shuajw

    shuajw Aspirant (287) Aug 12, 2007 Georgia

    This is my biggest issue, especially on my phone
    aasher likes this.
  12. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,572) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    My honest opinion is that this hurts the overall appeal of BA and makes it too similar to untappd and Ratebeer.

    I don't like that all my reviews and Hads are lumped together. Hads mean nothing to me. Reviews are there so I can use my tasting notes.

    Looks like the demand for Heady Topper is going to explode....
  13. Biffster

    Biffster Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    To be honest, I never used Hads, and have always been thinking it'd be nice to have a way to keep a tally of what I've had. I've always envied people who have an encyclopedic memory for commercial beers they've tried. I think I'll try it. Combined with a coming mobile app, and I could really like that.

    100 word minimum, though? No offense, but I honestly don't feel very good about that. It's like the site has simultaneously made the Hads more central and lowered the bar for reviews. I work on every one of my reviews for every bit of 20-30 minutes - I write every one like it is going to be a hang tag at a bottle store or read by the brewer, and it burns me to see five sentence fragments count as a review, or to see yahoos say they completed 1000 reviews in less than three years. The low quality of some of the dashed off reviews has always been one of my biggest and longest running complaints here.

    Leave the Hads for the tickers. Leave the reviews for those of us who are serious about actually reviewing a beer.

    Please take this in the spirit intended. You guys do a great job.
    leinie13, atone315, pixieskid and 6 others like this.
  14. LarryAppleton

    LarryAppleton Aspirant (270) Dec 1, 2012 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Agree with spicelab. Hads should have a different value, say .25 of full reviews, or just post 2 seperate scores. I only do Hads because I don't yet know how to review, so it's just a guide to tell me what I liked. I hate to think that counts as much as an experienced reviewer.
  15. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Any way to have those blue pens come back? Looking at the Top 100 Canada, nearly had a heart attack when it *seemed* that i had reviewed zero of them :grimacing:

    Was at 95 and close to finishing the Top 100. Obviously, this changes things. Oh well, the chase is on :grinning:

    FYI, the Bros. always do this with changes and then there are tweaks. Remember the Top 100 overhaul on the old site?
  16. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,375) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Like others before, I liked having the "Hads" and full reviews separate when I went to a beer's page so I could easily read some people's reviews - if this was sortable (or a toggle to hide "Hads"), I think this would solve the issue.

    Additionally, now when I go to the page for a brewery it shows that I have not reviewed any of the beers (when in fact I have) so it looks like this change broke the red and purple pin icon displaying.

    Also, displaying of the same icons on the top beer lists also appears to have been broken.
  17. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    Kind of torn on this. In one way, it will bring more light to some deserving beers that may not have been getting a lot of attention. More beer gets bought up, and (hopefully) the brewery will make more of it. On the other hand, anyone can effortlessly go to a beer, give it a 1 or a 5 without any real solid reasoning behind it (hell, maybe they haven't even actually tried the beer!) and it will be factored into the scores. Having review-only scores weeded this out pretty well, but now... who knows. I don't really like the 100 word min... If you can't come up with that many words, why are you writing a review?

    Also - does anybody know why when you look at the Top Beers list, Heady Topper has a 4.7, but if you go to the "Beers of Fame" list, it only has a 4.47 ? Still some kinks getting worked out, I assume? Or do these lists get calculated differently?
    cavedave and BeerKangaroo like this.
  18. nesarebad

    nesarebad Devotee (474) Feb 4, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Well, I am taking a look at the top 100 popular beers and are hard pressed to find an imposter there. I am sure this was not a change that wasn't fully thought out, so I am not so quick to jump on this being a bad thing. I would probably be more inclined to review given the lower character limit as well(says the guy who has only reviewed PTY).
    Todd likes this.
  19. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2012 Minnesota

    I am the minority here but I only use the 'hads' function. If I wanted creative writing I would enroll at a community college. I appreciate the time reviewers take to opine and the fruity/soapy/spicy/piney notes of an IPA, but I could care less. I use this function to track my 'hads' and further my tick.

    I don't just throw up a number and call it good, I do take time and consideration to create my had. The new way vs. the old way, I don't really care. I am sure the BA founders/facilitators know what they are doing, and IMO they've been doing it well (Brown Nosing Implied). Cheers!
  20. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,375) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    As someone who completed 1000 reviews in less than 3 years, I take a little bit of offense - I feel like I put in just as much time & effort as yourself to my reviews. Referring to people that approached things a little differently as yahoos, well it makes you seem like kind of a yahoo.
  21. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,341) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    I reviewed 100 of the Beers of Fame and it now shows none and I lost +30 of my reviews. :slight_frown:
  22. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    So in summary, if you have a life your opinion doesn't matter. :stuck_out_tongue:
  23. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,387) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    This might work if everyone reviewed like you do, but that's not the practice. Most of the reviews you see for an IPA fall along these lines:

    A: good straw/orange/copper color with a good head. Nice lacing.

    S: nice citrus and tropical hops with some pine.

    T: The hops really shine. Great orange and citrus. Tropical hops too.

    M: Light body with good bitterness.

    O: Very nice IPA with great drinkability. I'd have this again.

    Exactly how many of these reviews are really necessary? Does it really make someone's opinion more valid because they took 30 seconds to do that?

    I can see where having the text of the review matters if someone is way above or below the average, but even then, nothing requires a person to write why he or she really did or didn't like the beer.

    Overall, I'm very much in favor of the changes. It gives people plenty of options to participate. As much as I would have said reviews are better in the past, in reality reviews are only going to be quality if people actually want to write them, not just rack them up.

    With the new system, people can get their minimal thoughts in if they want, and then if someone wants to read a very thorough description of a beer, they can seek that out by browsing through for longer reviews, or seek out the reviews of those they trust. I see it as a win-win.
    joeseppy, Luk13, TomD and 7 others like this.
  24. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,341) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    No more dates for your reviews? I don't like the "one year ago".
  25. tectactoe

    tectactoe Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2012 Michigan

    I am, however, pretty happy to see the new .25 increments for reviews. I know many people say "well how accurate can you really be?" but it's something I've always wanted. Sometimes a quality beer is slightly better than other beers which I've given a 4.5 to, but not quite deserving of a 5, etc.

    I'll have to go back through my reviews and adjust some of the ratings now, at least for the beers I've had recently. This'll give me something to do in my spare time now :wink: Besides drink, of course.
    chinchill and TheSixthRing like this.
  26. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (479) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    I like the rating system that was around before the present one we have now. This new one sucks, no offense.
    imbrue001 likes this.
  27. Thehuntmaster

    Thehuntmaster Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2009 South Africa

    I don't like the idea of hads contributing to the overall score.
    In order to write a review you need to spend at least a little bit of time thinking about the beer and judging its characteristics and I think this leads to more accurate scoring. In particular if a review is nonsense and was written a drunk it can be reported and the score deleted.
    Hads on the other hand have no quality control. I could be paralytically drunk and have a swig of a beer and tick had. Hads also do not yield any sort of useful information - if I tick a beer and give it a 1, is it because it was bad, not to my tastes, off or because I am a troll who has it in for a particular brewery.

    Oh, but thanks to the bros for binging in the 0.25 increments :grinning:
    chinchill, Pelican5, cavedave and 2 others like this.
  28. rlee1390

    rlee1390 Poo-Bah (2,165) Mar 6, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Are you planning on doing anything to the Beers of Fame list? Adding the hads turned these into very similar lists.
    dbrauneis likes this.
  29. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    So basically unless you put in the time on a lengthy review your opinion shouldn't matter?
    PopnLoads, Photekut, fredmugs and 8 others like this.
  30. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Q: Can we sort/filter by Full Reviews or Hads?
    Not yet, but we plan on adding it.

    for this - will we be able to filter our own reviews and hads? i really don't like having all this mashed together on my profile, since now i have no idea how many actual reviews i've done. i go back and review some of my hads (usually after trying a beer more than once or twice), but i can't really keep track of this if they're all in one giant list.
  31. drabmuh

    drabmuh Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2004 Maryland

    What happened to the blue vs red pens next to the beers? Are these coming back?
  32. zstef99

    zstef99 Initiate (41) Dec 25, 2008 New York

    I just spot checked a couple of beers that I happened to remember the previous scores on, and in both cases the rating increased by two points once the hads were factored in. I'm wondering if this will be a trend, as people who take the time to review a beer are more likely to be critical than those who are simply marking it as had.

    Todd, did you research this effect prior to implementing the change? If so, did you find that there was, on average, an increase in scores once hads were added?
    TomD likes this.
  33. doppelmeup

    doppelmeup Devotee (479) Dec 20, 2005 North Carolina

    I like the idea of the "Had" option to be shown on my personal page, however I find it useless when displayed on the actual beer review page. For me, the benefit of BA reviews is that I can find the beer and read about how other people describe the brews. The text ratings are much more valuable then simply seeing a number. I agree that we should be able to filter out the "Hads" from the "Reviews". Moving forward, I think you will be getting less and less reviews and many more "Hads", which will ultimately make the site pointless as a reference site. IMO.
  34. Treebs

    Treebs Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2011 Illinois

    Definitely not a fan of including "hads". All the beer pages seem much more cluttered now and the overall design seems to have taken a step back. Including them with the beer reviews doesn't add any positive value. Plus it allows for trolls as well. You can get a group of people to torpedo a beers score very easily now, or you can have a group greatly increase the overall score to hype their own beer for trading purposes.

    And as mentioned before it is not showing a beer as reviewed anymore.
    buffs9, yemenmocha, cavedave and 4 others like this.
  35. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    this as well. makes it pretty difficult to scroll through a list and remember what you have or havent reviewed.
  36. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429 Poo-Bah (5,387) Aug 18, 2008 Illinois
    Industry Beer Trader

    Given the dramatic rise in number of reviews for a lot of beers, is this also a time to consider changing the minimum number for the Top 100 lists from 10 up to 50 or 100, or will the increases in number of reviews across all beers make it even more unlikely that a beer with 10 reviews/hads will be on the Top 100 list, best American Wild list, etc?
    yemenmocha and duceswild like this.
  37. Onenote81

    Onenote81 Poo-Bah (1,879) May 27, 2008 North Carolina

    Agreed. No sense in even having the "pens" when they don't change color when you've reviewed it [ie. Place reviews - they haven't shown blue in the 4+ years I've been on this site].

    Also, noticed that many reviews have been purged - so no more repeat reviews of beers (on-tap, bottle, cask, etc.) Too bad.
  38. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    Perhaps instead of perpetually whining about change, maybe someone could additionally suggest a better idea or a way of tweaking this one.
    My recommendation: separate review ratings.
    There is the BA Score and The Bros score. Why not call out 2 values in the BA score? One for full reviews, the other for "ticked" reviews. Then maybe a discussion about an overall weighted score may be considerable (per an earlier suggestion).
  39. abraxel

    abraxel Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Michigan

    I'm okay with including Hads in the final score, but I don't like the 100-character minimum. That's really short. There's (ironically) much to be said for brevity, but I don't think you can write a good, 100-character review (unless you're quite a skilled writer, which I'm not, and few people are).

    I chose a review of mine in which I didn't have much to say (thinking it would be easier to condense) and tried to edit it down to the best 100-character review I could:
    Though it has the basic description of the beer, that seems like a pretty worthless review to me, besides almost sounding like a haiku. If you don't want to put much thought into it, that's what Hads are for!

    Edit: Also, does anyone else see a "Delete Your Review" link on every single review? On my own reviews I see both "Delete Your Review" and "Edit Your Review", but the delete link is on everyone else's too. I haven't tried clicking it yet...
    thehyperduck, Auror and ehammond1 like this.
  40. Sludgeman

    Sludgeman Meyvn (1,483) Aug 17, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Sounds as if the Bros provide separate scores for Reviews and Hads and then maybe a combined score that it might satisfy many concerns.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.