Is it bad so many of the best Top 250 are over 10%?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by StJamesGate, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. EyePeeAyBryan

    EyePeeAyBryan Crusader (704) Dec 20, 2011 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I think it's okay not to rate entirely to style. I can think of a handful of times a brewer has called a beer an imperial IPA at 7-8%. For example, Lagunitas Sucks or Troegs Perpetual; was it awesome? Hell yes. Was it an imperial IPA? Probably not. Should the score really suffer because I don't believe the brewer's title fit my personal belief of what an imperial IPA really should be? I mean, how do you compare SUCKS to 120?
  2. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2011 Colorado

    I'm going to start and get more hits than anyone ever dreamed of! Drink Beer! Have Fun! Be happy this is the biggest problem to face, Do I drink big or small or do I go home?
  3. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I think we have to establish that the "average BA member" is actually recording the majority of the reviews (and/or ticks). In other words -- are the majority of the Dark Lord (for example) reviews from average BA members, or are the average reviews from a small majority of tickers who are just enamored with hit-you-over-the-head beers? I can't say myself, just a question.

    But I agree with KDB's assessment on style-ranking. I think the majority of reviewers can't (or won't) understand that to be a beer it has to be a head-banger to be good.
  4. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    And while I did see a lot more 6.3% beers than I expected, I didnt see a lot of extreme beer on the shelf.

    And there were plenty of beers below 6% to give you a choice.

    Boo-hoo, it isnt 100%. Deal with it. There are a hell of a lot more <6% beers on the shelf now than there was 15 years ago. Even if the percentage is lower. And Im not talking about BMC, I didnt look on that shelf (although there was some GI on the "craft" shelf).


    [I can one up your italics with all caps!]
  5. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    If someone wants to complain about the lack of 4% beers available, thats a legit point.
    RattleheadKV2 likes this.
  6. PuFtonLyfe

    PuFtonLyfe Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I couldn't agree more. But I don't think your average, run-of-the-mill BAer would. When you start rating beers you set up the perfect arena for beers to more or less compete for a top spot, regardless of style. I would never compare an imperial stout to a pilsener if asked which I think is better, but on this site they are, in a sense, competing as if they had the same goal- to make the top 250. BA was set up so that any beer in any style has just as much chance of making the list as any other. In fact, my top 250 list would look nothing like the top 250 list on this site. But it's not my list, it's a collectively decided list.
  7. PuFtonLyfe

    PuFtonLyfe Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    You bring up a good point. I don't know if we'll find the answer to that question.
    steveh likes this.
  8. PuFtonLyfe

    PuFtonLyfe Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Although I don't believe that all 2,569 people who have rated Heady Topper are tickers. :wink:
  9. PuFtonLyfe

    PuFtonLyfe Initiate (0) Jun 2, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I wish more people understood this^
    steveh likes this.
  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I get the feeling we have different definitions of extreme.

    What the hell are you smoking man -- and why aren't you sharing? I never said I was looking for 100% (does anyone read the whole post anymore?) lower ABV, just a few more that give some choice -- and I do deal with it, and I'm saving a whole ton of money these days because I don't buy beer that much anymore.

    I might have more discerning taste than you, and our areas may have different choices -- but I think it's just that nothing is new to me anymore.

    Congratulations on mastering your keyboard - pure genius. Now just look above your response window and try out the special features BA has provided. :rolling_eyes:
  11. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Quite possibly. In terms of ABV, I think that starts somewhere north of 8%. Of course, there are extreme beers at lower abv, like lambic, for example.

    I know you werent looking for 100%, but it is still way more than 5 years or 10 years or 15 years ago.

    Im not a ticker, so dont care about new. But Ive had 4 new local production breweries (counting Lexington as local) open in the last year+, so that isnt a problem.
  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,045) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Well, that definitely puts you in a better situation than me.
  13. JZ468

    JZ468 Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2012 New Mexico

    One of my favorite local breweries here in Albuquerque is La Cumbre Brewing. Here in NM the brewers have taken the west coast style and amped it up even more. Some great high abv and Ibu beers are being made here. Elevated IPA from LC has been quite well received and is rather " mellow " at 7.2 abv and 100 Ibu. They do make some very big beers in several styles but they are always very well balanced. Jeff at LC also does traditional German styles. Dortmunder, pilsner, kolsch, Etc. All were fantastic and well representative of the style. It is said these styles are harder to get right as they tend to be more " light" in flavor than ales and are harder to cover imperfections. I think the great balance achieved by LC with their big beers is a direct result of Jeff's interest in smaller lighter styles. More brewers could learn from this.
    RattleheadKV2 likes this.
  14. goodbetterbestbested

    goodbetterbestbested Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 California

    it's not the same. the equivalent in bourbon would be somebody who drinks 100+ proof stuff "mocking" (not what i'm doing btw, only thing i'm mocking is the germanophile who only posts to tell people how much better the beers he likes are) someone who drinks 80 proof bourbon. the person who drinks george t stagg with a splash of water is right to think that he is getting a more complex and flavorful drink than the person who is watering down his drink to 80 proof.

    clearly the vast majority of BAs favor double IPAs and imperial stouts to The World's Finest Pilsener Brewed with Yeast Harvested From The Earth's Core and the Water Of Melted Ice From The Peaks of Everest and it has nothing to do with them looking at the label and seeing the ABV is lower, no matter what herr goebbels wants to think. obviously i'm not advocating dumping a bottle of vanilla extract into your beer because vanilla is a "good flavor" but i and most everyone else would rather drink a 10% vanilla stout than a 5% vanilla stout provided they're equally well balanced because the 10% beer can offer so much more flavor. for some reason the lager vanguard seems to think that appreciating how well crafted something is is superior to appreciating how it tastes.

    personally, there's a flavor i have a hard time describing that i dislike in pilseners. as far as i know the highest rated pilsener i've had is moonlight's reality czeck (granted i don't think they have access to The Lord God Almighty's Personal Yeast Stash) and it has the same flavor that bothers me in every other pilsener. i don't care about the ABV, it's just not a style of beer i enjoy.
  15. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I see where your coming from. But what about the DFH 120 mins. and Sink the Bismark's of the world then. Replace my analogy for bourbon with those beers. Aren't those the most flavorful and thus shouldn't they be the best?

    Just playing a little devil's advocate here. But do you see where I am coming from? I do understand that the DIPA, Imp. Stouts, Sours and Barelywines of the world dominate Beeradvocate. Heck, I love those beers myself (well, not really sours, I can't seem to get into them). But as a big lover of a well crafted lager it does seem like beeradvocate users are almost exclusively about what's the most intense, what's the biggest, etc. So, it can get a bit frustrating. I can't speak for anyone else on this site, but from my perspective a well made Czech Pils, which I love, is a thing to behold. It gets tossed aside on this site because it's never going to knock anyone out of their seat like, say Heady Topper, but it's not supposed to either. So, if rating to style, there should be a ton of awesome lower abv beers (not just lagers either) that impress folks. It just seems like there is a glass ceiling on BA. You can make the best Czech Pils in the world, but it'll never get straight 5's because, well, it's a Czech Pils after all. So, while I am personally bummed not to see more love for less intense, more mellow stuff, I do understand why I am in the minority.

    Thanks and Cheers!
  16. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    I actually heard Stan saying this! LOL!
  17. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    When I drink an 18%abv DFH Heaven & Hell, what I pee is better than what Bud, Miller or Coors could EVER produce!
  18. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,044) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    I swear, I have learned more in the past couple of days from BAs obsessed with ushering me to my defeat than I have from almost anything else on here over the years:

    1. Revolutions in brewing such as the discovery of the perfect water profiles for an ale and a lager that eventually came to dominate people's tastes the world over, the terroir behind certain barley that makes it the world's most prized, and the cultivation of specific yeast strains for the purposes of letting flavors develop more fully over time are no longer important, as beer has now "evolved" beyond that.

    2. Each beer has as good a chance as any other to crack the BA Top 250 -- as long as that beer is brewed by a U.S. craft brewer (since the large majority of those who compiled that list have never tasted the best beers of the traditionally great brewing nations at their origins) and does not belong to one of the numerous styles U.S. craft brewers have yet to "nail"

    ...and, finally

    3. Personal favorite flavors (the more good flavor the better!) are more important than a "craft" beer being well crafted.

    It's been educational folks. Cheers, and Prost!
    steveh likes this.
  19. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    hummers are always hot. SUVs not so much :grinning:
    Drink whatever you like. This is a beerocracy. If a majority shares your preferences, the # of low ABV beers will increase.
  20. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 California

    i honestly can't imagine asking a bartender to give me an extra glass so i could split my beer with a buddy, unless said bar was in West Hollywood, not that there'd be anything wrong with that
  21. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2012 California

    you sound like you need a beer
    benjaminahudson likes this.
  22. wesbray

    wesbray Disciple (355) Feb 29, 2012 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I ranked Fullers ESB a 5 because I felt it was the absolute pinnacle of its style. You may agree or disagree with that but I ranked it a 5 without letting Westvleteren 12 or Heady Topper enter my mind. I totally believe that beers should only be ranked to style. I normally filter the top beers by style and ignore the 250 altogether.

    I love big beers, but it depends on the situation. I'd love to see more Milds or other low ABV styles on the shelves but I also love Imperial Stouts, Quads etc.
  23. goodbetterbestbested

    goodbetterbestbested Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 California

    i've never had a brewdog beer but from the sound of it their beer is garbage and barely qualifies as beer. obviously i get your point and while i generally believe what i said about more good flavor being better, i was trying (and succeeding :slight_smile:))))))) to get a rise out of the cliche old man who sits around complaining about those darn kids all day. i think with beer there is a threshold beyond which the balance necessary to create "good"ness is cast aside in favor of extremity for the sake of it (see brewdog). above 20% there is very little that isn't deliberately extreme and those beers are not regarded highly at all so they're irrelevant in this conversation. i don't think comparing a 5% pilsener to a 15% stout and a 15% stout to a 50% thrice frozen "beer" is a fair comparison, and i think the people implying that since craft beer went from 5% to 15% then it will continue on until 50% are being ridiculous.

    honestly i'm not even sure what we're arguing about. you wish more people liked a beer style you like so more brewers would make them, and that's totally fair and reasonable. herrshithead, on the other hand, has made it his sole ambition to convince through derision the entirety of BA that their taste buds are wrong. he is clearly aware that he's vastly outnumbered, so either he thinks we're all lying about our preferences for some reason or he thinks his obnoxious fetishistic elitism is going to convince people to somehow alter the way their brain interprets signals from the taste buds. or he's just a contrarian with a superiority complex. probably the last one.
    IamMe90 likes this.
  24. mattfitz

    mattfitz Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2009 Connecticut

    Perhaps we're seeing the difference between crowd-sourced and expert ratings, and why film festivals and chili cook-offs need a "People's Choice" award.
  25. benjaminahudson

    benjaminahudson Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2012 North Carolina

    either that or a break from this site. or both.
  26. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,383) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Elevated was excellent. The wife had an excellent Pale ale. The pils was good, but not excellent (lived in Germany, I might know).
  27. jacewg

    jacewg Defender (616) Jan 7, 2012 District of Columbia

    Of course. I'm not a BJCP judge. My rankings are just that, my rankings. I don't evaluate a Vienna Lager or a Czech Pilsner on craftsmanship or technical qualities. I evaluate it based on how enjoyable it is to drink FOR ME.

    And I enjoy drinking big IPAs more than I like drinking kolsch, pilsner, altbier, etc. My rankings and reviews will reflect accordingly.
  28. BKBassist

    BKBassist Devotee (439) Jan 24, 2013 New York

    Why don't slapstick comedies win Oscars? Why don't metal albums win Grammys?
  29. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Aspirant (259) Feb 14, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    It's not just bad, it's the worst!

  30. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (3,741) Oct 8, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader


    It's the same methodology that puts "Pulp Fiction" and "Fight Club" at #4 and #9 in imdb's Top 250.
    I love both of those movies, but I don't for a second think they are two of the best films ever made.

    I think some here lose sight of the fact that the Top 250 measures popularity far more than absolute quality.
  31. jimlapaglia

    jimlapaglia Initiate (116) Jan 1, 2009 New York

    Reading this post I'm reminded why I get uncomfortable with the rating system here on BA. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading the ratings, generally they are well thought out, entertaining and informative. But people get too invested in the fool's task of determining the "best". And you end up with the sort of overheated discourse you see on this thread.

    For the record I think too many people here exhibit that truly American tendency of believing that "more" = "better". That's not necessarily the case. That's the kind of thinking that brings you supersized meals at fast food restaurants. On the other hand this weekend I had a cherry rye BCBS and a BA Bigfoot. So go figure.

    But folks, take it down a notch. This really isn't about who is right. The sun will come up tomorrow even if someone else thinks you're wrong.
  32. MusicaleMike

    MusicaleMike Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Michael Jackson, famed, deceased beer author for those who don't know, would be an outcast in this forum. Low abv beers certainly have their place in the REAL top 25 beers of the world list. But this isn't about the actual best beers in the world, it's about the best beers in the world according to BA members.
    steveh likes this.
  33. jacewg

    jacewg Defender (616) Jan 7, 2012 District of Columbia

    I couldn't agree more.
  34. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I think it can be explained simply.

    A well made beer to style gets a 4. The extra point is reserved for seat knocking. That may not be exactly what the typical reviewer is thinking, but I think that is what is happening.

    "This is a good well made beer, but it didnt wow me, cant give it a 5, thus a 4".
    wesbray likes this.
  35. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    They do, just ask Jethro Tull.

    [runs away and hides before the Metallica fans can track me down]
  36. BMitch

    BMitch Initiate (170) Jul 10, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    So basically, this is how vegetarians must feel when a larger percentage of people would pick a porterhouse steak as their last meal instead of opting for a tofu burger. Got it.
  37. Sarlacc83

    Sarlacc83 Crusader (752) Mar 2, 2008 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    It's the continuation of the reaction to soulless watered down beer (to the point of overreaction). If BMC has no flavor, then we have to have all the flavors and nothing less will do. Eventually the rubber band will snap back into position once the craft beer settles into a groove and becomes more of the norm, but for now, you're seeing the teenage rebellion phase.
  38. Brad007

    Brad007 Poo-Bah (3,422) Mar 28, 2007 Vermont
    Premium Member

    I've had just about everything from adjunct lagers to pale ales to DIPAs to Imperial Stouts and in-between. I would think that most beers in the Top 250 have earned their ratings based on popularity and on the actual characteristics of each brew. I do admit to getting suckered by some of the hype but most of my experiences with said beers have been pleasant.
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