Obsession with BA ratings

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by rubicat, Dec 22, 2012.

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  1. Reagan1984

    Reagan1984 Poo-Bah (2,161) May 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    While I do not consider myself Obsessed with BA ratings, I certainly use them to determine which beers I select in a very crowded field. I find that this is one of the greatest perks of the community. I have a group of folks, that as a collective, I trust to help me determine if a beer is worthy or not. With few exceptions, I think the general direction is correct. One of the phases of being a BA member is finally realizing you will NOT try every beer there is on the market. Therefore we need to be somewhat selective. BA ratings are great for this. As a frequent business traveler I find the rating invaluable in picking out spots to visit while out in the country....... and also beers to try. Hats off to the guys using the system. Keep up the great work!!
    scotorum likes this.
  2. JKAllen

    JKAllen Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012

    If I'm in bottle shop and the clerk is busy, I'll sometimes whip out the iPhone and pop over to BA, but it's a tool not a crutch... In a Bar I'll ask the Bartender and take his advice if he seems knowledgable. If I relied on BA in Korea I'd have gone dry... after drinking Korean and Vietnamese beer I honestly thought about it.

    Honestly, I don't think I can agree with this... sometimes BA and I just don't see eye to eye, especially with pumpkin beers... These guys might be totally misleading themselves. They should at least read the reviews... someone giving a beer a bad rating might do so for a reason that would make you like the beer.
  3. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (154) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    When I first started drinking craft, I was a broke college student and didnt know a ton about beer. I would look at reviews and buy what was rated highly. Now that I have more dipsosable income and have a good knowledge of my pallet, I rarely look at a beers score. Maybe twice in the last year.
  4. Dirtinabottle

    Dirtinabottle Devotee (486) Aug 21, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    If you can't tell the difference between beers in the 90's and beers in the 80's with a blind taste test, then it probably doesn't matter what you buy. Try having 10-15 friends over, doing a blind tasting with beers from the 70's - 90's and rating then according to BA's ratings. You'll learn a lot about preference, styles, and "palate". Most people can tell the difference between the decade ratings within a certain style but not across the board. Stick to what you like at first, and then, expand using the BA guide. You could do a lot worse. Happy Holidays and thanks to BA for keeping it crafty.
  5. kerry4porters

    kerry4porters Zealot (587) Dec 31, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Reviews do help you avoid wasting money on styles you really dont enjoy especially when the bottle or packaging dont give much information on taste and style some are very generic with their description Ive bought pale ales before BA that I thought were going to be closer to a darker ale in flavor and style was not a happy camper now i know what Im getting into before hand. As for thenumbers I dont pay much attention to the score especially because the beers I enjoy do not necessarily coincide with the tastes of others
  6. Casey3236

    Casey3236 Crusader (710) Sep 14, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Just tell them to look it up on ratebeer. Everything is 99 on there.
  7. mrcraft

    mrcraft Poo-Bah (1,757) Dec 15, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I don't look at the numbers or read reviews before buying beer. I'll try anything at least once. I usually visit Total Wine or Sunset Beer Co., when I'm just picking up random bottles to try out since I can buy singles at those places.
  8. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Poo-Bah (1,625) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Like mrcraft said, when I go to the store and see something that I never had. I drink it with an open mind. I will give a beer it's fare due before I bash it.
  9. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Zealot (520) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I'll occasionally look up ratings. More so if the beer in question is on the expensive side. I certainly haven't passed on a beer because the rating was in the 80s though. There are plenty of beers I love that are only rated in the 80s.

    Now, I can understand passing if the rating is in the mid to low 70s, as you can probably find something more worth your money.
  10. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Disciple (343) Aug 21, 2005 Minnesota

    I respect the ratings and opinions on the site. But I prefer to try something new without bias, so I give it a shot blind. Sometimes the ratings just do not reflect my palate, and I'd have missed out on beers that I really enjoy had I gone solely off a rating. I think their is plenty of time in life to try many things with an open mind. It seems sometimes people are trying to reach some mythical pinnacle when it comes to craft beer. That seems like a recipe for disappointment to me.
  11. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Chad

    That doesn't surprise me at all. I don't look at / for ratings much anymore. My bottle hometown bottle shop sells singles so it's cheap to try out new brew without too much concern. Based on the discussion forums here, RB and Reddit I think I'm familiar with a lot of beers not in my market to be on the lookout for, which is good enough for me.
  12. atomic

    atomic Disciple (332) Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    The more money I'm spending on a beer, the better a rating I expect from it. I don't want to drop $10 on a single mediocre beer. Maybe 6 mediocre beers. So with the plethora of crummy $10+ bombers out there, we need to vote with our dollars and say no thank you to the likes of Rhizing Bines.
  13. Mybeercanbeatupyourbeer

    Mybeercanbeatupyourbeer Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2013 Ohio

    I use BA in my bottleshop to help paint a better picture of the brews. If a vendor is talking to me about a brew that I don't carry, and I haven't heard of/seen. I'll pull it up on rate and BA just to get a feel of what's being said about it. If the beer has 500 different ratings, but it's average rating is 2.5 or below.. chances are it isn't that enjoyable of a brew, and likely I'll pass. I've brought bombers in that BA and the BROS give a lower score too, but sell well. It's all about the area, but BA helps paint the picture.
  14. gcamparone

    gcamparone Poo-Bah (1,531) Dec 6, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I always look up ratings. Seriously, why the hell wouldn't you look up ratings? What else are you judging your purchases on? The label?

    I'm not spending my hard earned money on a beer that sucks, and I trust YOU (yea, you) to tell me if it does :wink:
    DIM likes this.
  15. jdaddy

    jdaddy Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Not really. There are just a shit ton of 90+ beers out there that it would take a lifetime to get through those. If one would choose not to drink < 90 rated beers they would likely miss very little. Also . . . .

  16. JustBill

    JustBill Initiate (0) Jul 28, 2010 Vermont

    While I love the internets and all, my least favorite thing is the plethora of random opinions that seem to dictate others... It's a shame.

    Having said that, I've used BA many o' time after the fact. I have these thoughts often:

    "Sweet jeebus, how could so may people dislike a beer so good?"


    "Sweet jeebus how could so many people like a beer so bad?"

    Use your own taste buds. Form your own opinion.
    beertunes likes this.
  17. AnchorDrops

    AnchorDrops Aspirant (287) May 11, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    A lot of my "go to" beers are in the 80's. Bell's Cherry Stout is an 80 and in my opinion was an excellent beer. And some styles just receive higher ratings.

    I will look up beers for the ABV and let my taste buds determine if I like the beer or not.
  18. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,527) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I look at ratings but it's not a bible, but if an IPA is rated 85 I might guess it's mediocre and not worth a shot. Depends on styles I suppose on how useful they are.
  19. SaisonFest

    SaisonFest Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2012 Washington

    I pretty much just trust the ratings i make myself.
  20. fullmetal1381

    fullmetal1381 Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2011 Florida

    Generally, for me, if a brew is >=80, I'll try it if it's been on my radar; the threshold bumps up to about 90-ish if it's something I've never heard of before seeing it on BA. I've discovered a few nice sub-90 and sub-85 brews this way (most notably Green Flash Saison Diego, Weyerbacher Heresy, and apparently anything made by 7venth Sun Brewing).
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