How do you rate the Macro Brews?!

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Beer-Zombie, Jun 22, 2014.

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  1. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Poo-Bah (3,049) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I rate two ways - on BA I try to rate to style while in my database I rate by taste (Sucks, Meh, Ok, Good, Excellent) without paying any attention to style. Since I don't like AALs in general, they pretty much are "Sucks" in my database. Since I don't like them, chances are I'm not going to buy them to rate in BA just to tick.
  2. yankeej13

    yankeej13 Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2010 Florida

    I make it real simple I don't drink anything that is a "Macro" beer and i do not have to worry about giving it a good or bad rating. A snob yes but I really do not see the need to drink those kind of beers. If I am going to drink one beer why make it a crappy one why not sip on something good.
  3. Tweekers237

    Tweekers237 Initiate (164) Apr 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Down here in the land of Yuengling or more affectionately refered to as "Lager" I've been seeing Nargansett more often. Since I'm not a fan of "Lager" this is a nice alternative if I just want something basic but also different.

    Also their Bock is the tits.
    Dools9 likes this.
  4. Tweekers237

    Tweekers237 Initiate (164) Apr 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    as for rating. . I base most ratings off my favorite beer in whatever particular style.
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,519) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I bought a 12 pk of Genny Light, well just because. IMO most BMC all fall together it takes something special to fall out of the group in some way or form. Well Genny Light falls out of the group, a weird metallic taste, just plain awful. Most malt liquors fall out too, Steel Reserve is really foul, impossible to drink one and I only tried once, should be illegal. But the bigger BMC players Bud/Miller/Coors etc and about all one of the same, ok for what it is, not offensive in any way, mostly malt for flavor, if they use hops one couldn't tell.
  6. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2006 Alabama

    I have thought for a while (like a lot of folks) that BA needed an explicit "enjoyment" rating. Let us rate the technical side fairly, then rate it as "wouldn't even use it to clean the drains". That way you could rate Bud Light "perfectly done for the style, but I would only use it to put out a fire" :wink:
  7. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Crusader (700) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    I can't help but make some comparison to competitive diving, where a degree of difficulty is involved. For example, the flavor range on an AAL is pretty narrow. Likewise, there isn't a whole lot of room to move around within the style on the other characteristics either, or at least brewers don't seem to have taken it upon themselves to differentiate significantly within the style. I think the ratings reflect this implied "degree of difficulty" (for lack of a better term), as Double IPAs, Imperial Stouts, and Sours are generally rewarded with higher marks because the price for failure is higher. There is more room to screw up these styles because reviewers focus on their components so carefully. Such a system that rewards various styles with a multiplier would be impossible to implement, because the site would be attempting to layer a subjective rating system on top of another subjective rating system. It's part of how I rationalize my reviews though. Something like giving an A for effort.
    cjgiant likes this.
  8. dbauer78

    dbauer78 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2012 Pennsylvania

    If you had a pale ale that was 10% and 100 IBU, and you loved the flavor would you feel that it should get a high rating?
    I think that people need to do there best to look at style and not just there personal taste when reviewing a beer.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,446) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    I would argue that successfully brewing an AAL beer is more difficult than the other beer styles you mention. Since an AAL beer is such a light tasting beer it is critical to have attention to the brewing process since any little miscue will be evident in the resulting beer.

    Mitch Steele, the head brewer of Stone Brewing, used to brew for Anheuser-Busch. Below is an extract from an interview with Mitch Steele:

    “You know, I still have a lot of respect for Budweiser. The quality focus that went into brewing that beer was enormous, and it’s really underrated as a quality brewed beer. I understand that craft beer drinkers don’t care for the beer itself. I always understood that and it’s fine, but to say it’s not brewed with quality to me is a big mistake.”

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  10. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Crusader (700) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    Oh I agree, and that's why I said "for a lack of better term" in my post. I typically find myself on the AAL-defender side of the fence and don't try to take anything away from the big brewers. I'm just saying that from the drinker's perspective the experience is not as rich as say, a fresh DIPA. It's far from a perfect metaphor that I've constructed, it's just more or less how I think about things while I'm rating beers.
  11. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

  12. TheBrewo

    TheBrewo Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2010 New York

  13. JayORear

    JayORear Savant (930) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    And from Shaun Hill (posted on BA before):

    "I actually find myself drinking Miller High Life or Budweiser because those beers are perfectly crafted. They’re soft and there are off flavors, but they’re intentional. There are flaws that they intentionally put in the beer in order to continue the flavor profile, but those beers are really easy to drink. Not all beers are easy to drink."
  14. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (384) Mar 19, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't rate them. If they're the only thing around I still ain't going to bother rating them.
  15. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,592) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Hit the nail on the head. A 2.75 isn't bad by any means - it's one notch below "Okay" (i.e. 3.0).

    I'm also quite reticent to giving a 1 to a beer. High Life don't even come close. Nor does Miller Lite in my book.
    Dan_McNeely likes this.
  16. the_trystero

    the_trystero Disciple (384) Mar 19, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't care how well they're crafted any more, when I drink Miller/Bud or Tecate/Estrella/Coors/Stella/PBR or any other macro I get nauseated and start looking for the cheapest pale ale or ipa around. Call me a snob or whatever, but they truly gross me out these days.
    Masters likes this.
  17. JayORear

    JayORear Savant (930) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Me too, my friend. Just an unexpected perspective from Mr. Hill.
    the_trystero likes this.
  18. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (3,861) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I totally agree with this. If I'm trying to determine to buy a beer in a style I already know I like, I will use descriptions of the beer to help with my decision, regardless of the number associated with it. If someone says the Sorachi Ace hops are overwhelming and kill the beer, the 2 rating is explained and I can make an "educated" decision based on my like or dislike of Sorachi Ace hops.

    At the very least I would hope people consider giving low straight ratings to beers they don't expect to like (regardless of style, but that also applies) that don't have many ratings (especially under 20). I would ask that you please consider giving a constructive, if brief, review to help others decide.
  19. Beer-Zombie

    Beer-Zombie Initiate (0) Oct 16, 2007 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Lots of good thoughts here. So from what I've read on this forum alone, I believe this is how the AAL's should be laid out. Perhaps even all of the beer styles on this site. First and foremost, "Are you a fan of this beer style?" (Yes or no or even kinda). Then if it is a 'yes', you rate according to style. If it is a 'no', you rate on how much of this beer you can actually stomach. If it falls into the 'kinda' category, you will be required to give details about this particular beer. 'Kinda' defeats the whole 'Quick Rating' process but I feel that's where this conundrum has left us.
  20. B967ierhunter177

    B967ierhunter177 Zealot (577) May 22, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Here's my better ones on a 5-point scale:

    Narragansett Lager - 2.5/5
    Molson Golden - 2.0/5
    Rolling Rock Extra Pale Lager - 2.0/5
    Straub - 2.0/5

    All the others I've had are 1.5/5 or lower.
  21. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (506) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    This. There are several AALs that use quality ingredients and are brewed well, like Budweiser and Coors Banquet, but I don't rate beers that are brewed to a style I don't like because I would find it hard to be objective.
    Redneckwine likes this.
  22. WTKeene

    WTKeene Defender (667) Jul 13, 2013 New Mexico
    Beer Trader

    Schlitz Gusto is the best one I've had, although if Yuengling counts I do think it edges Schlitz out.

    I purposefully haven't drank too many AAL beers, but when I do rate them I try to be fair. I consider 4.0 "average" for all craft beers, but AALs I consider 3.5 to be more of an average. So Schlitz and Yuengling are much better than most at 4.0. Miller High Life was drinkable at 3.38 but it isn't something I'd return to often by any means. Lonestar was also very drinkable and I would probably drink it again. Old Milwaukee was my lowest rated beer at 2.75 but I'd frankly still consider drinking it again if I was in the mood for it. Haven't had 'Gansett yet but it seems to be good. My biggest problem with these beers is that the carbonation is so high it's damn near undrinkable. Too harsh, I'd prefer if they were smoother. To me, the closer an AAL is to Weihenstephaner Original Premium, the better it is. I judge all AALs by substitutability with that perfect Germain lager.
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  23. Masters

    Masters Defender (601) Mar 7, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I enjoy drinking beers. The buzz is like a plus. That being said, if there's only some shitty macro beer selection I'd just rather not drink. Not just gunna drink to get drunk
    Heretic42 likes this.
  24. Rohkey

    Rohkey Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013 Michigan

    I admit I'm likely biased, but even before I knew what craft beer was (aka in high school) I hated AALs. I was that guy who drank Mike's Hard at parties (if I wasn't drinking vodka) because I couldn't stand the taste of beer. I tried, I really tried, to like beer...I thought something was wrong with me. Then I discovered craft beer...
    Roguer likes this.
  25. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (3,003) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Oh man, I had the Mike's Hard phase in college, although I was much more inclined to just drink vodka. After I enlisted, I went through a relatively long Smirnoff Ice phase; it probably lasted a good 3 years or so.

    I discovered good German beer around 17, and that was always on my radar, but good American beer just didn't make sense to me at the time. I didn't really get into craft beer until about 2 years ago. AALs were just never my thing.
  26. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (701) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    American adjunct lagers are a perfect example of why there should be two ratings. One for style, and one for overall rating.

    Because if you rate to style, I see no reason why a beer such as Budweiser or Miller High Life wouldn't be close to a 5.

    And then for your overall impression you can go ahead and score them as a 2 because you don't think they taste good.
  27. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Somewhere in between. I try not to rate hefe's lower than IPAs just because I like them less (and I think I succeed in doing so) but I also don't think the best AAL in the world deserves a 5.
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  28. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Disciple (343) Aug 21, 2005 Minnesota

    Mostly non-offensive, but rather dull. That's pretty much the extent of my rating of AALs.
  29. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,792) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't but I can see the argument about rating to style. But who wants to spend that much time, energy and money finding the nuances in AALs?
  30. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,474) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    people who like AALs. i don't know. i think there's an objective sense whereby they just are bad (why not water? if you're an alcoholic, why not hard liquor, or craft?). but maybe not, i don't know.

    edit: i mean, fuck, i think all soda (*all* soda / pop / whatever, coke pepsi dr pepper cherry coke mountain dew sprite local shit like "hosmer mountain soda shack" in CT and even root beer and shit) tastes like disgusting sugar water. rating that shit is absurd. but obviously i am not "right"; other people like it. why would their experience be invalid?
  31. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    Have you ever been so hungry that you ran through a drive thru? Was it because you thought McDonald's makes the best cheeseburgers?

    If you are mowing the lawn or sitting at a ballgame or at a party then AALs do fine, just like drive thru food.

    I don't rate AALs very high and I don't confuse them with good beer but sometimes I drink them anyway.

    If I met someone who said they'd rather not drink beer at all than drink a Bud or Miller or Coors then I would make a mental note to never invite them to my house.
  32. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, this one time a guy came to my party and was eating broccoli. I offered him some cauliflower, but he said "no thanks, I don't really like cauliflower," so I kicked him out.
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  33. slipperysoup

    slipperysoup Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    The food example is perfect for rating beers you don't enjoy, but I still want to rate every beer I drink. I feel like I can enjoy a beer for what it is and rate it accordingly. Also if I was checking someones beer ratings out I think I could point out a trend if they disliked something more than the other.

    What I'm trying to say is I think you should rate every beer you shove down your throat.
  34. BILF

    BILF Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2010 Israel

    With a grain of salt, a pinch of corn, a measure of piss and a miserly helping of hop extract. And if I'm lucky a shit load of skunk to offset the offore said. Sometimes Raul likes it. Enough said my bretheren.
  35. leantom

    leantom Champion (823) Nov 20, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    In order from best to worst (only North American macrobrews):

    1. Yuengling (actually quite good, IMO)
    2. Dos Equis (the amber lager, not the gold one) (OK)
    3. PBR (OK)
    4. Bud (Bad)
    5. Miller (Terrible)
    6. Coors (Piss-water)
  36. Thebrewman

    Thebrewman Aspirant (215) Aug 21, 2013 Arkansas

    I think many of us still have the ocassional macro(admit it or not). As for me, I'm particular to Michelob. Always have been. Bud, Miller, and Coors just don't quite match up. I know its an AB product but it taste separate to me. However, Yuenling is pretty dam good too.
  37. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,004) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I rate macro breweries just like I rate all other breweries--fairly.
  38. Foyle

    Foyle Crusader (731) Sep 29, 2007 North Carolina

    I try my best to rate all beers according to the style in which they fall. I'm sure that, as a human, my personal biases slip in. I generally am ok with adjunct lagers. I accept them for what they are, instead of hating on them for everything they are not. Like every beer style, I believe adjuncts have their place. I respect people who choose not to drink them at all. I don't, on the other hand, understand people who don't drink adjuncts, yet seemed to be obsessed with railing against them.
    utopiajane likes this.
  39. edwado

    edwado Initiate (0) Jul 9, 2013 New Jersey

    I would say Yuengling is far and away the best of the macro lagers as well as the cheapest .It is a fine beer not offensive and very drinkable. If there was a PBR maybe and maybe not I would drink it.That is it for BMC beers for me.If all they have is Yuengling I will drink it.Other than that; no, I will drink water.
  40. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (825) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    I don't like the whole rating to style thing because:

    1) It assumes that the best example from every category should get a five rating. I think a five rating should be reserved for the ultimate beer experience, not the best of a bad bunch.

    2) Style criterion is massively arbitrary.
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