Hype is not a flavor...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mambossa, Apr 7, 2016.

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  1. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,801) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I can accept that, Jack, but it isn't always possible to eliminate expectations. I do try to minimize them myself, though, as per my post above; and having a beer a few times really is the best remedy if you can do it.
    cavedave likes this.
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Oh I can't claim to be unbiased. I've held some strongly felt opinions (ex-wife would say wrong headed) for, oh, some time now. Don't bother with hype anymore, when you start outliving your classmates things that really matter come more sharply into focus.

    When it comes to hype though Beer Geeks can't touch the garment hems of bamboo fly rod enthusiasts . . . those guys can get into fistfights.
    threephase, TonyLema1 and mambossa like this.
  3. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (243) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This diagram doesn't show where the taste buds fire rarity are.
  4. tripledbrew

    tripledbrew Disciple (345) Dec 2, 2011 Kentucky

    Hype, I've never tasted it. What does it taste like?
    NYR-Zuuuuc and StoutElk_92 like this.
  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Woo-Hoo! We agree on something.

    Today is a good day.

    TongoRad likes this.
  6. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Can't say for certain but I believe it smells like money.
    FBarber likes this.
  7. tripledbrew

    tripledbrew Disciple (345) Dec 2, 2011 Kentucky

    Thats a fact jack!
  8. riverlen

    riverlen Aspirant (213) Sep 16, 2009 Illinois

    I have found that hype generally has a very nice hoppy taste. Although at times it can also have a deep dark roasted malty taste as well. Hype is one of those things I can't get enough of.
    Cthulhusquid and Squire like this.
  9. hophugger

    hophugger Poo-Bah (2,316) Mar 5, 2014 Virginia

    I personally think hype makes a lot of people think it tastes better. I have had KBS, Pliny, BOMB!, etc. and yes they are good, but there are also beers out there that compare to them, IMO..........
  10. shuggy

    shuggy Initiate (148) Dec 22, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Everyone knows hype is not a flavor. It's an ingredient used only in stouts from Iowa and hoppy beers from the northeast.
    Brolo75 likes this.
  11. LaneMeyer

    LaneMeyer Initiate (0) Mar 20, 2011 California

    KBS is good. I've only ever had it twice. 2012 and 2016 version. Both were pretty comparable, I'd say this year's was more bitter and had more pronounced coffee flavors. I would buy it again. But I wouldn't go chasing trucks around for it. Parabola on the other hand...
    But I try to stay away from hype. Let the fools stand in line for hours. I'll drink something local and under the radar any day.
  12. turbotype

    turbotype Disciple (300) Nov 5, 2013 California

    Hype adds to my desire to seek a beer out, but mostly certainly does not have an effect on what I think of the beer. It's either good, average or not good for my personal palette. I will call a turd a turd, even if its from one of my favorite breweries. I have the feeling that is not the case with alot of BAs.

    The coffee flavor indeed falls off, no argument here. But as coffee fades, chocolate type flavors become more pronounced, at least in my opinion. I tend to prefer aged KBS for that very reason. Everyone is different. :slight_smile:
    FBarber, nc41 and David_Deas like this.
  13. westcoastbeergeek

    westcoastbeergeek Aspirant (204) Sep 16, 2015 Canada

    I find hype is more about the brewery than the beer, quite often breweries with hyped, limited beers will have high ratings on everything. Sometimes it's because everything they make is pretty great (eg Hill Farmstead) and other times not so much (eg Mikkeller).
  14. David_Deas

    David_Deas Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2016 North Carolina

    I think this pretty much sums it up for everyone.

    The influence of this so called "hype" on ratings seems to be largely a myth, aside from increasing the total number of ratings because of piqued curiosity. You may have a situation where the more mainstream attention impacts the ratio of experienced to inexperienced drinkers reviewing a beer, but there is no proof that the reviewers themselves were not being honest with their ratings and opinions.

    There are no beers in the top 100 that don't deserve to be there. I'm willing to admit that even when I don't necessarily like the beer. Thats the big key difference that I think is really behind most of this trashy speculation about the impact of "hype" on ratings.
    StoutElk_92 likes this.
  15. devilmakesthree

    devilmakesthree Disciple (301) Nov 27, 2013 Oregon

    Hype has lead me to seek a beer out, but these days it rarely affects my opinion of the beer itself. I've had fantastic beers from a little brewery in a small coastal town in Oregon that most people here probably don't know exists, I've had some very hyped-up beer that I just couldn't get into, and I've had plenty in between. I hope to have many more. Hyped or un-hyped, beer is good!
  16. BenwayPHD

    BenwayPHD Aspirant (289) Sep 4, 2014 California

    I think it is impossible to not be effected by hype. When you drink a beer that has been hyped up, you go in with preconceived notions. These do not act the same on everyone, nor do they act the same with every beer; however, they are always there.

    If this beer tastes good to you, you may find that you slightly over rate it, because you expected to enjoy the experience, you did enjoy the experience, and therefore, the beer lived up to the hype. However, If did not enjoy the experience (and here I do not mean you hate the beer, just that you found it sup par, or even just like a similar beer better) you may react by being you harsh and rating the beer lower than you would having entered blind.

    None of this is to say that I think hype is a bad thing. I love hype. I love trying to find the best of the best. The hunt may be my favorite part of beer drinking. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I don't. But I always wonder what I would think if I went in fresh, with no preconceived notions.
  17. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (146) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    Well said. Some on here seem to take this basic, common fact (that human beings are influenced by things like hype) as an attack on their character. Acknowledging this obvious human condition is not an attack on anyone's character. I do, however, find that those who deny that they are influenced by hype to be the most susceptible to it.

    If you are on this site seeing ratings, reading reviews, reading threads, then your whole beer experience is influenced by hype. From the beers bought, to the tasting, to the reviews. Denying that people are influenced by hype only exacerbates the problem. But acknowledging that it exists and understanding your behavior relative to hype will help further your beer tasting experience.
    Fargrow and JackHorzempa like this.
  18. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee Poo-Bah (1,791) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia

    I can't imagine how anyone could be unaffected by hype. If everyone is telling you how great a beer is, would you choose not to try it because it wasn't otherwise on your radar? That would be self-defeating behavior in my opinion. I can't even think of all the great beers I've tried because I heard they were really good.
    On the other hand, I'm not sure where taste and hype intersect. If anything, hype increases my expectations, and I think I'd be more likely to be disappointed. Sorta like Avengers 2.
    cavedave likes this.
  19. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,972) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I have always searched for the local small batches that are considered good by locals, and I honestly enjoy these the best. I recently got a box that was half stuffed with grey whales, but it is the one beer from a brewery I never heard of that has zero reviews that I am most excited to try.

    And hype sometimes is a groundswell of folks raving about how superior something tastes, so hype can be justified. It is hard to tell for sure, kind of a catch 22 that you won't find out if it is exceptional quality, rarity, or homerism that is behind the hype until you try it.
    LambicPentameter, drtth and JoeBloe like this.
  20. Crackerbarrel

    Crackerbarrel Initiate (93) Feb 10, 2014 New York

    As with things like music, etc, I think 'hype' (broadly defined) can shape your perception without you even being aware of it.

    Of course there's a certain threshold, past which you can objectively judge something regardless of what other people have said about it...

    ...but I think in many cases below this threshold, you're primed to perceive something as 'good' and thus regard it as such.

    Time and time again, I'll hear a song I really dig and cant help but wonder "if I was in a bar and saw a band playing this, would I think much of it?" I cant confidently answer yes, and I think the same can apply to beer.
  21. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    If you really believe what you wrote here I suggest you consider doing two things in your future posts.

    1. Avoid the use of words such as "disingenuous" which for many people is associated with certain pejorative synonyms such as: insincere, dishonest, untruthful, false, deceitful, duplicitous, lying, hypocritical.

    2. Avoid extreme generalities in which you lump all other people on this site into the same category, e.g., "everyone" "all" etc. There is not a single univariate answer or computer program that describes adequately the diversity of this audience.

    You are dealing with an unusual audience here that includes at least some people who have studied, worked with, or researched the type of things that fall under the heading of "hype" as the term tends to be used around here. From some of the posts I've seen (and other discoverable factors) there are some folks on this site who understand beer, tasting biases, have considerable tasting experiences (including training in recognizing and identifying tastes and biases), statistics, behavioral science research, engineering, physical science research, etc., etc. and who often make it a practice to put procedures in place to help compensate for what you loosely call hype.
    #61 drtth, Apr 7, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  22. 1ale_man

    1ale_man Initiate (183) Apr 25, 2015 Texas

    I use hype to seek a beer that I haven't had. If all of you on BA say that a beer is great, then of course I want to try it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've had great, good and bad beers from following hype, but my palate has been expanded. Thanks to all for the hype and cheers!!
    StoutElk_92 likes this.
  23. UrbanCaveman

    UrbanCaveman Zealot (570) Sep 30, 2014 Illinois

    Hype tends to affect me negatively. If a beer has high barriers to entry, my expectation is that it must be proportionally better to my palate than every other beer I can easily pick up off a shelf. This seldom proves to be the case.

    Using stouts as an example, if I were so inclined, I could visit a single bottle shop near me today and pick up a three batch vertical of Big Bad Baptist, cases of Plead the 5th and BA Siberian Night, and bottles of BA Total Eclipse, Dark Apparition, Oil of Aphrodite, the entire BORIS/DORIS line, etc. If I go to another bottle shop or two, I can add in Odin's Tipple, Dark Force, plenty of Evil Twin variant stouts, and so forth. As far as my palate is concerned, I can believe there are stouts out there that are better than those beers. I can't believe that any of them are an order of magnitude above and beyond all of those shelf beers, to the point that I would consider the extra effort to acquire and try them to be worth it. That's with having had KBS, BCBS, Abraxas, and Abyss, among others. If I run across a hyped beer in the normal course of my beer-related activities, I'll happily pick it up and enjoy it, but that's as far as it goes.

    Of course, I may just be curmudgeonly beyond my nigh-forty years. :grinning:
    Squire likes this.
  24. Hwk-I-St8

    Hwk-I-St8 Initiate (89) Jan 22, 2016 Iowa

    But you're REALLY cool when you can inform us that it's just not as good as it used to be. Then you're simultaneously trashing it in a subtle way while informing us that you've been drinking that hyped beer for quite some time, possibly even since before it was hyped!!!!!
  25. Hwk-I-St8

    Hwk-I-St8 Initiate (89) Jan 22, 2016 Iowa

    Interesting you should mention that. I've been thinking about starting up a hype farm. That stuff is a bitch to grow, but it's like liquid gold on the open market. It seems it grows best in small population states, so I think I've got a shot to make it work.
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  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    You'll want to keep your crop relatively small so that "scarcity marketing" can take hold, but also scatter a few bits of the product here and there, to this one and to that one, more or less at random, so the mystique and desirability of your crop grows as fast as your crop.
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  27. Hwk-I-St8

    Hwk-I-St8 Initiate (89) Jan 22, 2016 Iowa

    In all seriousness...we all know that hype affects your thoughts on a beer. It may make you appreciate it more, it may raise your expectations so high that no beer can live up to them, leading to certain disappointment (I think this happened with Heady for me).

    I would love to do some blind taste tests where I don't even know what beers I'm drinking. Let someone pick out 4 IPA's or 4 stouts and I try them with absolutely no clue whether I'm drinking whales or turds. That way I can taste them with zero expectations or assumptions.

    We did a side by side with Heady, King Sue and XHops Gold back in December. I wish it had been a blind test in retrospect. Interestingly, all three who participated liked the XHops the best, which, as a new release, was the least acclaimed of the three.

    Given this conversation, I think I'm going to set up some blind shares where people bring 3-4 bottles but keep them hidden. The others wear blindfolds and try the beers with zero knowledge of what they are (other than style I think). Has anyone ever done something like this?
    cavedave likes this.
  28. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (146) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    Of course. It works best if one person takes one for the team and does all the buying/co-ordinating/pouring. If everyone brings 3-4 bottles, then at the very least, you know what your bottles are before pouring. Also, it's pretty obvious when pouring your can of Heady Topper vs a bomber of King Sue.
  29. glass_house

    glass_house Zealot (587) Jan 10, 2014 Ohio

    Based on the OP's account, my first thought is that hype/expectations may not be the root of the issue. Tastes and preferences shift and change. Not only in the long term, but also from day to day. There have been plenty of times I've opened a beer I know I love, and been less than satisfied; only to revisit it some time later and fall in love all over again. I'm reluctant to blame it on false hype, a change in recipe, Obama, etc. Sometimes it's as simple as not being in the "mood" for a particular beer or style on a given day. A bourbon coffee stout is not what you would call and every-day-drinker. Think about it--are you always in the mood for steak? Or chicken, spaghetti, sushi, or pizza? Ok, maybe pizza, but you get the idea.
    #69 glass_house, Apr 7, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
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  30. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,430) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Yes, big believer in blind tasting. We do it completely blind with a neutral third party (usually a wife but they don't work for free) pouring in the kitchen and the tasters not being shown or told anything, not even what style is presented.
  31. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    At a personal level you might also want to try out this taste test procedure (it's easiest if you can get someone to help by doing the pouring to ensure you are "blind" to what you are sampling):


    Which is one often used by the sensory test pros in their work:

    http://www.sensorysociety.org/knowledge/sspwiki/Pages/Triangle Test.aspx
    cavedave likes this.
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    From post number 11:

    "If this is something you desire to do then you need to make the effort to drink beer totally blind (i.e., not knowing what the beer is). You need to get help from a partner to pour the beer for you so that you have no idea what you are drinking. This is truly the only method to assess a beer "unbiased and open-minded"."

  33. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (238) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina

    Not going to lie. I am heavily influenced by hype. Everyone gets excited about something, and I want in on it too! That being said I have been burned a few times. Grapefruit Sculpin comes to mind.

    But I am especially excited to try KBS since FBS is a top five stout for me.
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  35. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (374) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Other people.

    And typically, the reaction against hype doesn't result in an indifference to it, but in anti-hype, by which one takes pride in not drinking beers reputed to be super fantastic.

    We're all some weak critters.
    GreesyFizeek likes this.
  36. shuggy

    shuggy Initiate (148) Dec 22, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Just did a blind hops tasting last weekend for some friends. Julius, PseudoSue, and Xhops Gold were three of the lowest ranked beers by everybody.
    drtth likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I am counting 13 beers here. Did you folks sample taste all 13 beers? That sounds like quite the undertaking!! I have never done anything like this but I wonder how 'resilient' my palate would be after the fifth or sixth beer. Did you use palate cleansers between beers?

    dcotom likes this.
  38. NickyDee21

    NickyDee21 Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I used to love KBS. It's still a really great beer, but I have found myself going through less to get some. If I walk into a store and its just sitting there, I grab it. If not, oh well. I liked Sunday Morning Stout better and that is much easier to obtain.
  39. lambpasty

    lambpasty Devotee (426) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    Yeah I can see that point of view too. I just tend to feel like if you've had, say, the 19 top rated IPAs but you haven't had heady (for the sake of argument let's say it's #1 on the list), you may tend to build that up higher in your mind since "it's #1! It must blow all of these away!" Then when you have it, you may think it's only marginally better than your previous favorite or maybe even not as good, so you wind up disappointed. It depends on how much you let yourself hype it up I suppose.
  40. shuggy

    shuggy Initiate (148) Dec 22, 2006 Pennsylvania

    In hindsight there were too many beers but cleansers were used and we did it in two stages with a food break in the middle.
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