Site Future of "Bros say" standalone ratings

Discussion in 'Support & Suggestions' started by TheMonkfish, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad

    Hi - I don't want this to be taken the wrong way (or as a personal affront,) but in the site redesign could the "Bros say" ratings be done away with or made optional?

    I understand that this is something that goes a long way back and that there may be some nostalgic value to some folks for this, but as a regular BA user the specific beer page could make better use of the space. I'd love to see the site founders' (mmmm Founders) ratings included alongside the rest of the rank and file alongside the rest of the BA community and have an impact on the overall rating, but I don't necessarily see the continued value of displaying a consensus of two right next to the general BA rating that matters to most of us.

    I think the site founders' opinions on specific beers matter, just as much as that of either a Master BJCP or a newcomer to craft beer, but I don't see the separated "Bros say" number as having nearly as much value as the overall "street consensus" for a beer. If the BA organization was like Consumer Reports where there was no advertisement in play then I'd potentially see more value in a "we say" rating, but since you are potentially trying to sell ad space to the same breweries you are rating then there's a potential for grading on a curve in hopes of getting a quarter page ad out of them. I'm not saying this is the case, but since the CR model isn't in play here, that's something that may well be in the minds of fellow site users as they read reviews of the site/magazine owners.

    Thanks for the site and the suggestions forum - looking forward to the next incarnation of BA in 2013.
    beerloserLI likes this.
  2. allboutbierge

    allboutbierge Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2002 Austria

    I don't think I agree. All too often, the consensus rating on BA has numerous contributions of people who admit that they don't like the style and rate it according to their taste and unfairly give that beer a lower score than it deserves. They may include a waiver or justification in the written portion of their review, but the numerical statistic remains unfairly low. Likewise, you have reviewers that seem to give a beer an extremely high rating, despite a less than favorable write up. Why this phenomenon occurs is unimportant, but it certainly happens and having a consistent methodical write up of a beer to me is something that is worth reading and something I access before looking over general reviews. And I as a consumer just don't receive a more clear cut less hype fuel judgement of a beer, but brewers themselves, or so I can imagine, receive constructive feedback beyond "needs to be hoppier" or "Pliny/Heady/Etc is better".
    breugal likes this.
  3. foles

    foles Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2007 Australia

    Actually I value the "Bros say" more than the general consensus. They tend to appreciate all styles while most on here seem to rate a beer (especially german beers) against an IPA. I.e. they cannot taste the beer unless it has a truckload of hops in it.
  4. jk3

    jk3 Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2011 New York

    Its the Bros' site, of course their opinion matters. Don't care for it? Start your own. Consensus matters? Go to

    Good job, Bros.
    jrnyc and creepinjeeper like this.
  5. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Defender (666) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Someone send them a good, fresh batch of Two Hearted Ale
    Jason, tony32408, Envelopes and 15 others like this.
  6. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (324) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    on the rare occasions i bother to read a review i appreciate the ability to check out the brothers opinion. its standard format is familiar. i don't always agree, but that isn't the point.

    a number grade is all but useless for many of us. i see no reason to mess with the current format.
    creepinjeeper and Cerebus like this.
  7. runner72

    runner72 Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2009 Massachusetts

    I agree that I like to see the bros rating. Most people are biased towards certain styles like IPAs and some other heavier ABV styles (RIS, Quads, etc). The Bros generally give good feedback on most styles. However, I would say that I do look at the date of their ratings. They can be a little outdated. An IPA from 10 years ago doesn't rate the same as one now!
    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  8. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,455) Aug 23, 1996 California

    Thanks for the feedback, which I don't take the wrong way, but our score isn't going anywhere. Think of it as a tech review (like on CNET) where they offer an editor rating and user rating.

    We'd love to re-review that one, but we only review beers sent directly from the brewers or beers obtained directly by us; for quality reasons. Perhaps another trip to Michigan is in order ...

    Agreed, but it would be tough to go back and re-review every beer we've ever had. Overall BA Scores can also be dated. We're looking at options.
  9. BS-

    BS- Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2012 Singapore

    I agree that throughout my stay here, I've noticed some rather painful bias, especially towards very good japanese beers that deserved better ratings / reviews (at least in my opinion). However, for all the things that BA users are not, there is a big group who genuinely wants to document their beer experience as honestly as possible, even if it's not entirely a beer / style they enjoy, and I respect and can relate to that.

    Are the reviews on here slightly biased towards certain styles / skewed by external factors not related to the beer itself? Yes. Of course it is to some extent. All reviews are, and all reviews are subjective. Even culturally we all have different preferences. I like bitterness in my beers and I have an insanely high threshold for bitterness. What I deem as a pleasant bitterness could be gallbladder and bile to the next guy.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I never really approached BA as a scientific and controlled study of beer, but a community of largely like-minded people sharing their experiences. I think we shouldn't be too caught up with the empirical and appreciate the beer and opinions for what they are. Especially the opinions of men and women who have tasted hundreds upon hundreds of beers. So there is value in what the bros say just because they have tasted such a huuge variety of beers and have so many years of experience.
  10. MVotter

    MVotter Disciple (333) Sep 9, 2007 New York

    I actually am disappointed if I'm looking up a brew and Jason and Todd HAVEN'T rated it.

    I consider them true connoisseurs of beer. They're experts. It's also true that, to some degree, their reviews are subject to their own prejudices and preferences, just like the rest of us. But, I doubt that most of us have the depth and breadth of beer tasting experience and exposure that they do; which qualifies them, at least, to recognize, beer to beer, what's decent...and what's not.

    If anything resembling an "objective" opinion about beer quality really exists; it's with The Bros.

  11. RichD

    RichD Champion (818) Mar 18, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    There's a reason why it's their site. If they didn't know what they were talking about then there wouldn't be thousands of people that frequent this website. I value the general consensus of my fellow BA's while also respecting and considering the opinions of the bros. Nonetheless, you'll never know how good a beer is unless you try it.
    jrnyc and PsilohsaiBiN like this.
  12. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Uh, I only really trust reviews from them, until I have something. They've had more beer diversity than 99.99999% of the beer drinkers in the world, so why wouldn't you value their opinion? I trust them wayyy more than some shmuck who says "LOL I JUS DONT LIKE SOURS, WONT BAI AGAIN, 1.56!!!"
    Blueribbon666, PsilohsaiBiN and BS- like this.
  13. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I agree with the bro's on Two Hearted! I'm guessing they tried it after some west coast IPAs. Muahahahah
  14. BS-

    BS- Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2012 Singapore

    Argh! Time limit on post edit didn't allow me to add that while opinions should be respected, there is also another group of users who review everything like an IPA or compare everything to some other beer they like and end up giving useless scores that end up warping the average ratings. That is why the Bros'rating and reviews hold so much value.
  15. Ispeakforthetrees

    Ispeakforthetrees Aspirant (232) Apr 2, 2012 Colorado

    I think a simple date beneath the Bro's score is enough to suffice.
    I have read reviews 8+years old.
    Obiously problems and recipes get tweaked in between. It's hard to judge based off a potential weak offering.
  16. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I think they only problem with "Bros say" is there isn't enough of their reviews on most beers!!! I often search beers and see NO "bros say" !!! So I not only reject this thread, but would like a entire about face!!! More "Bro's say" I assume there is whole hours a day they aren't drunk or even buzzed because they are reviewing beers on the site...for shame...
    cavedave likes this.
  17. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (853) Jul 15, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    So you mean the little thing where it suggests that we send you beer is just there so you can hopefully get more free beer, and not so you will actually review it?
    YogiBeer likes this.
  18. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,455) Aug 23, 1996 California

    Nope. That callout is really meant for the industry; we should probably make that clear. We never accept beer shipments from the public.
  19. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Yeah, Todd... my friend and I were just planning to send you a case of Zombie Dust, so it can have a dual 100... but you won't review it if we send it to you, even if it's fresh as shit, straight from the brewery?
  20. rolandboy

    rolandboy Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2012 Michigan

    someone's been spending too much time in the california sun. :wink:
    szmnnl99 likes this.
  21. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,017) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    I like the Bros opinions, especially when Jason and Todd have different opinions on the same beer and also am disappointed when there is a beer I am interested in that they haven't reviewed.

    reviews are the best part of BA and 99% of the time the Bros and Buckeye Nation give me enough info to let me know if it's worth trying.

    for me Buckeye Nation is excellent at giving a precise description of a beer, appearance, aroma, mouthfeel and his reviews are priceless but the Bros give opinions on beers, placed in context with some history that really is invaluable too.
    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  22. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,761) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I like reading the Bros' reviews along with the rest of us rabble. It makes for a consistent point of comparison, whether I agree or disagree. I have a sense of their tastes from reading their reviews already, something that I can not say for the majority of the other reviews.

    In fact, if anything I'd push for a long-term project of adding more "expert" reviewers, a la Whisky Advocate. From what I understand initially all the reviews were based on one reviewer's opinion but over the past couple of years there is now a team of reviewers around the world, each with their own regional or stylistic expertise. As BA continues to expand I imagine there's going to be a need eventually to grow the crew, and that's a very encouraging development indeed. Just my two cents!
  23. BrewsoBrewco

    BrewsoBrewco Initiate (172) Feb 15, 2011 Oregon

    I feel generally the same way. When I am checking out a brewery that i don't know about, or haven't tried a lot of beer from and see a Bro rating, I check it out. It may not even be the beer I am looking up, or have even heard of. I just want to see what the Bro's have to say. And there are beers that I have had and the scores have been complete opposites then the bros, but that's a personal pallet. I still like to see what they have to say.

    To that...
    Prost Jason and Todd!
  24. gtermi

    gtermi Meyvn (1,214) Apr 21, 2010 Texas

    For real! I recieved a fresh 6 and that beer was beyond amazing.
  25. ggwheeler

    ggwheeler Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 California

    Can we just keep the Bros' ratings and get rid of the consensus ratings?
    OneBeertoRTA likes this.
  26. kbrinson

    kbrinson Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2010 Indiana

    They founded the site, there's plenty of cool shit in it, is it that big a deal? I'm sure they have access to more good beer than the majority of us, and their ratings fall relatively in line with ours.

    Jason and Todd- keep drinking and keep posting, the site's great
    Yogi Bear- send me the case of Zombie Dust if you want to get rid of it.
    jrnyc likes this.
  27. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (596) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    I like both ratings no matter what and I'm aware of the pitfalls of the consensus reviews. In the end, as with anything my opinion is what matters most to me. I usually try before I buy, either a single or a draft before buying 4, 6, 12 whatever. I'm also giving most things a 2nd tasting or follow up because I have changed my opinion on beers after a 2nd tasting. Honestly, I need to spend less time in the forums & more time inputting the reviews I have piled up, the quick review has really slowed down my postings but it's great when I'm on the go @ a place having a enjoying a new brew.
    JimKal and LeRose like this.
  28. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I too am still surprised by how many highly regarded brews the Bros have not posted a review about, especially considering the number of years many of these brews have been in production. To a point, I can understand their concern that it come directly from the brewery.

    Fyi, I'm all too happy to accept beer from the public.
  29. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Devotee (468) Sep 1, 2012 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    This is a great site full of information you simply can not find anywhere in one place , and the cost to us users? Not a dime. Keep on keeping on is what I say
  30. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    When I look at a beer with decent distribution without a Bro's rating I get disappointed. One of my top 5 beers of 2012 was palate wrecker and the reviews are all over the place from 1-5, with reviews several months after the last bottling. I think too many inexperienced users rate based on mood that day (geographical bias) or comparison to other beers not necessarily execution. Sure there are plenty of fantastic unbiased reviewers but the bro's score is far more reliable then the blended scores of today.
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,356) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Leave the Bros. reviews alone is my take. I love the reviews, they are truly expert, and actually I find their palates helpful, as their enjoyments often are for beers I also find I enjoy in the same ways.

    Now if they would just explain what "bitty" means.
  32. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Devotee (468) Sep 1, 2012 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    They could always create a 10 to 20 person group for each style of beer, the most knowledgeable and experienced unbiased folks and refer to them as the Pros and have 3 ratings , the Bros , The Pros and the normal rating for the normal guys
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