I'm Todd Alström, Founder of BeerAdvocate, Ask Me Anything.

Discussion in 'Ask Me Anything' started by Todd, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,404) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Thank you for allowing us to confound the lousy Troll Toll.

    We don't want to get in that boy's soul, and we don't want to pay the Troll Toll to get in (to the forums).

    Other interweb forums:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Like beer, I don't have any real favorites. I try to keep an open mind and enjoy everything for what it is. When I lived in England as a civilian in the early 90s, I worked as a record buyer for Our Price/Virgin Records and was in charge of forecasting consumer demand based on the UK's music chart industry. Most of what hit the charts back then wasn't music that I'd ever listen to, but I had to put that aside and the experience reinforced my relationship with music. It no doubt impacted my relationship with other things, too.

    That said, at the end of the day I find myself listening to the same music that I did in the 80s. Alternative, punk, ska, and their subgenres. Lately, I've been exploring protopunk.
     
  3. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    That's true, but you know what I mean. :wink:
     
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  4. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    You lost me with this and the failed to embed image.
     
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  5. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,404) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society Trader

    A reference to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, an attempted humorous take on us not having to contend with trolls on the board. It's a good community because for the most part discussions are held within proper standards. Hope this explains the post.
     
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  6. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I've never watched the show, but I'll binge it one day. And agreed.
     
  7. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,404) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Start with season one. Danny DeVito doesn't join until the following season, and while he is a good addition, the writing and absurdity is season one is incredible. Charlie Has Cancer, Charlie Wants an Abortion, Underage Drinking: It's a National Concern, Charlie Got Molested. It's the sitcom to end all sitcoms.
     
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  8. cryptichead

    cryptichead Poo-Bah (1,561) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Did we lose Beer Karma points for the pics again? I was 19 away from Poobah :grin:
     
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  9. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,418) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    You moved as far west as you can at that latitude! And congratulations on the move and thanks for the site!
     
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  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Nope, but your Society membership expired yesterday.
     
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  11. cryptichead

    cryptichead Poo-Bah (1,561) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Oh! No alert? I'll renew and be back on the Poobah path
     
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  12. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    You should get an email if you accept emails from us. Check your spam folder, too.
     
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  13. traction

    traction Zealot (561) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Hey Todd, hope you are doing well.

    I was just curious if you could explain how the trending beers feature on the front page are calculated. Is it by recent review count or what? I often see beers on there I have never even heard of so I was just curious where the data is pulled from
     
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  14. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    It's simply a list of beers ranked by recent number ratings.
     
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  15. freewill35

    freewill35 Zealot (562) Oct 27, 2007 Indiana

    What’s the easiest way to post a picture?
     
  16. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

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  17. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,124) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Have you thought about hosting a festival for minority breweries? I don't recall anyone doing this, since Ba has been hosting many events don't you agree its time to stop being a part of the problem and more a part of the solution? Seems like the culture at Ba has been a club vibe its time to allow minorites to join the club No. ACAB brother
    Prost!
     
  18. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Zealot (508) Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Feel free to ignore if this question if overly personal:

    You've obviously prioritized your health more in the past few years. Was there a set moment where you realize the "BA lifestyle" was getting problematic? Do you still drink beer daily and just outwork it, or do you drink markedly less than you did say 10 years ago?

    I ask as someone who is forever trying to balance a love of stouts with a responsible weight.

    Thanks for all you and @Jason have done and continue to do. The education you've provided has been priceless.
     
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  19. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    First, I hate using the word "minority" when talking about people. It's degrading.

    Second, Fresh Fest and Coldchela are two awesome events that are run by, and focus on breweries owned by, people of color. We need more of them. Personally, I'm not looking to replicate cultural events like these, and honestly can't as a white guy, but I've supported these events and others, have learned from them, and will continue to support and learn.

    Third, we've always taken a hard stance against racism, bigotry, and the like on the site and recently our stance was reinforced. We've hosted over 70 events and our doors have always been open to all. Sure, it's no secret or surprise that hosting most of fests in Boston/New England has resulted in a mostly white crowd, but people of color were the vast majority at Extreme Beer Fest: Los Angeles back in 2017 and we welcomed a very diverse crowd at IPA Fest: Brooklyn last year.

    Finally, we can always do more. Last year we discussed inviting more non-straight-white-male-owned breweries to our fests so long as they met our core invite criteria, as well as introducing other inclusionary ideas. We also plan on hosting most of our events going forward beyond Boston. Unfortunately COVID-19 has put a pause on hosting fests, but I look forward to applying these changes once we're allowed to hosts fests again.
     
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  20. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Yeah. I partied hard in Boston. I drank and ate whatever and whenever I wanted. I started to slow things down when my wife and I moved to Denver in 2013, but it wasn't until two years later when we had a kid that my priorities shifted and my alcohol consumption dropped to probably a tenth of what it was. Soon after I started making small, incremental adjustments to my overall consumption and activity. By the end of January 2019, I had lost 75lbs. Now I'm maintaining my military weight circa 1989.
    Ten years ago I'd meetup with other BAs on a Saturday afternoon and easily drink a dozen higher ABV beers before last call like it was nothing. I'd go out multiple times a week on top of this for beers, food, and cocktails. Fun times, but not sustainable.

    Today, I'll typically have a couple of beers a day. Mostly lagers. And if I go out, I'm always mindful about my consumption, because no matter what I'm waking up early to hangout with my daughter or extra earlier to get some work done before she wakes up.
     
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  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,556) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    Lagers for life.

    I have mostly 5% ABV or less lagers in my fridge right now, and the only one’s that are higher are a few Maibocks.

    Getting old sucks, drinking lager doesn’t.
     
  22. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    #lagerislife
    I don't mind getting old as long as there are plenty of lagers.
     
  23. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (2,794) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Society

    Are there any beer styles that you don't enjoy much? and, Any particular standout favorite styles?
     
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  24. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I try to be as objective as possible, enjoy styles for what they are, and keep the brewers' intent in mind. And I don't have any real favorites, but my love for lagers is no secret.
     
  25. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (2,331) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    Hi Todd:

    From my experience, the ratio of “good” lagers to available lagers has been lower than “good” ales to available. Given you seem to sample and have access to far more beer than I; do you think this observation is valid or more likely do to a personal lack of fairness to the style?

    Ok this may have too much subjectivity, but hopefully you understand the point of the question.
     
  26. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    The vast majority of brewers focus on ales, so this is definitely a fair observation. On top of this, by the time many craft lagers reach consumers they've been mishandled or are past their prime.
     
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  27. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,556) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    Ah yes, THAT’S the term.

    I knew what I said didn’t sound right.
     
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  28. ndroege

    ndroege Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2018

    Hello Todd-
    Thanks for All your Devoted work at BA.
    Here’s my question: Is there any way to get the rich flavor and hoppiness of a double IPA with a slightly lower ABV? Would just like not to get so hammered while enjoying a double.
    Thanks! Nick
     
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  29. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Your first post in nearly two years. Glad I could drag it out of you and thanks for sticking around.
    Yes. It's called an American IPA. :wink:
     
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  30. NCSapiens

    NCSapiens Disciple (349) Jul 19, 2018 Indiana

    Todd,

    Thanks for the site, it has really improved my ability to find great beer anywhere. So I’m a guy who is wary of lagers but aging myself and open to changing my ways. Can you give us the name of a Lager that has special significance to you for some reason, and one that will make me a convert? Thanks again!
     
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  31. cryptichead

    cryptichead Poo-Bah (1,561) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    How did you ever come with the ranking system for Beer Karma?

    Was there a lot of heated debate and meetings as to whether a Champion should beat out a Crusader, etc? What is a Poo-Bah anyways?

    In light of the merger, any changes on the horizon or switches to a badge gamification system?

    Personally, I really miss the Advocate ranking.

    0 = Initiate
    200 = Aspirant
    300 = Disciple
    400 = Devotee
    500 = Zealot
    600 = Defender
    700 = Crusader
    800 = Champion
    900 = Savant
    1000 = Meyvn
    1500 = Poo-Bah
     
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  32. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    First, why are you wary of lagers? And what are some of your favorite styles/brands of ale? The world of lagers is more diverse than most people think, so knowing this will help me point you in the right direction vs. blindly recommending you something.
     
  33. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    We opened reviewing beers to users in 2000. Soon after we created a simple way to represent contributions made my members, and Beer Karma was born; a mystical measurement of what a user puts into the site.
    While there's been some discussion throughout the years, back in the day it was strictly forbidden to discuss the ways of Beer Karma.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Poobah
    I'd love to overhaul the entire Beer Karma system, but I have no desire to copy Untappd's badge system. I love what they're doing, and I'm sure there's some learning there, but it's important that we keep the two platforms as unique as possible.
    Fun fact: It wasn't part of the original "12 Levels of Beerdom," which were:
    • Acolyte
    • Initiate
    • Disciple
    • Zealot of Beer
    • Aficionado
    • Connoisseur
    • Beer Savant
    • Champion of Beer
    • Pooh-Bah
    • Grand Pooh-Bah
    • Grand High Pooh-Bah
    • Order of the Eternal Beer
    I'm not sure when it was added or removed, but my thinking was that everyone who joins the site is essentially an "advocate" for beer...so I removed it during one of the tweaks to the system.
     
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  34. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (3,862) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society

    With 20/20 hindsight -- what's the biggest thing in BA's history (technical, business, or otherwise) you would do differently?
     
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  35. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Great question!

    [​IMG]

    If I could turn back time, here are two things that I'd do differently:
    1. When we were mapping out the print magazine in 2006, I would've used our site as the main publishing medium, grow our readership/membership online, and complement it with print. This would've created a flexible business model and stronger revenue stream, allowing us to survive the decline of print publishing/advertising that's occurred in recent years. Instead, we launched the magazine in Dec 2006 and didn't archive a single article until 2014.
    2. We launched an app in 2014 and disabled in 2016. It wasn't perfect, but it worked, introduced BA to well-over 300,000 new users while it was active, and our user activity during this period was staggering; as in well-over 300% of what it is today. Instead of disabling it, I would've invested resources to improve it and create a new revenue stream.
    Both are projects that I plan on revisiting as we begin to map out the future.
     
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  36. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,666) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    These are fantastic :joy:
     
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  37. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,556) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    I dunno, there might be a few seltzer fans on here that only dabble in beer. :wink:
     
  38. 02bsurfn

    02bsurfn Initiate (16) Sep 16, 2011 North Carolina

    I have this weird allergy. Every time I drink a beer with Azacca hops it knocks me out for 20 or more hours. Hops are not always listed on can or brewery website. Any suggestions? Par 4 from Noda got me this weekend. They just answered my email that yes it is brewed with Azacca.
     
  39. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,117) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Seek medical advice from a professional allergist.
     
  40. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,091) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    And query the specific breweries about beers before trying them (especially IPAs as that is where you are most likely to encounter Azacca).