Poll: How often do you check BA before buying a new beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ao125, Dec 20, 2012.


How often do you check BA before buying a new beer?

  1. Always

    93 vote(s)
  2. Sometimes

    198 vote(s)
  3. Only if I've never had anything from that brewery before

    56 vote(s)
  4. Never (I like spinning the wheel on beer roulette)

    43 vote(s)
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  1. HeyJim

    HeyJim Initiate (169) Sep 22, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Not always, but usually. There's a few breweries that I'll try anything from blindly (Troegs, Bells, Founders, Victory). It helps having a smartphone though.

    As others said though, I look less at the rating and more at the descriptions, and I never take "The Bros" rating into account. I used to pay attention to ratings more, which led me to having left over Duchesse De Bourgogne that I can't stomach, and drainpouring a few saisons and berliners (sorry, robinsmv).
  2. Kaz646

    Kaz646 Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2010 California

    At this point in the game the beers I purchase are generally more expensive then when I first got into the craft world. I voted for sometimes just because I don't like spending $10 on a bomber when there's a chance of not liking it. Don't get me wrong, I looove trying new beers, but there are a lot of sub par beers out there.
  3. GardenWaters

    GardenWaters Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Illinois

    Never! If I let BA influence my beer buying decisions, I would have to feel uneducated and undeserving of *good beer* such as BCBS and FBS, simply because I cant stand them. I dont let "ratings" or popular demand dictate the meaning of the word "quality." If I did, I feel I would miss out on a lot of good brews.
  4. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,191) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Here and there. Usually to figure out if something is brand new or if a style isn't listed.
    If ratings are super high or super low it's hard to ignore them, though.
  5. jmgrub

    jmgrub Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 California

    I'll almost always check BA (or the other site for Euro beers that may not be on here yet), but if there are only a few reviews I'll usually give it a go. However, if there are 15 or 20 reviews, the majority negative, I will usually pass. Too many great beers out there to spend my liver and money on bad ones.
  6. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (284) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    Or those 300 have bought into the hype about a particular beer. If 320 people say they love a new 16% ABV barrel aged DIPA brewed with Simcoe and Fuggles I can promise you that I won't like it for any number of reasons. Conversely when I see a beer that has low scores and comments like "boring", "underwhelming flavors" from 320 of 325 people I'm probably gonna give it a shot.
    beertunes likes this.
  7. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,146) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    Never. Drink first, ask questions later.
    beertunes likes this.
  8. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I do not check ratings and what not but I am not playing roulette either. If I know the brewery or know the style I will already have a decent idea of what I am in for. I feel very safe making initial assumptions based off of previous experiences and acquired knowledge.

    I prefer to go into new beers with out too many outside expectations. I think many people ruin their experience by flooding themselves with others opinion and do not let their own palate decide for itself.
    JamesShoemaker likes this.
  9. ScottUCF84

    ScottUCF84 Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2006 Florida

    I check just to see that it isn't panned by the majority. While there are definitely some beers out there that I enjoy and others may not, it's good to play it safe and at least check the overall (I feel good to try if its 80-85+) and make sure the comments don't report anything alarming.

    For a while I was avoiding doing this... until last winter I tried Scuttlebutt Weizenbock, thinking "hey I love weizenbocks, here we go!" Ugh. After that I vowed to always at least peak at a review or two. Would have saved some drain pours (it was really that bad).
  10. ggwheeler

    ggwheeler Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 California

    This topic bums me out.

    Half, if not more, of the fun is the discovery.

    Work in a bottle shop for a week and it will bum you out too.

    The first time that you see someone skip over a beer which you know they will love because of some reviews is an infuriating moment.

    The tenth time it's just sad.
  11. LMT

    LMT Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2009 Virginia

    I usually do if it's pricey (I want to spend my money as wisely as possible) or from a brewery that I've never had anything from.

    However, it seems that most higher ABV beers seem to get higher ratings (almost by default?) so I pay less attention to those. If it's a lower ABV beer that gets a high rating then I'm more likely to buy it.
  12. King_KongDCO93

    King_KongDCO93 Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 Minnesota

    What I've done is compare between the the reviews and the bros some where between is usually where the beer is for me. I also do look at how many reviews the beer has. If it has like 10 reviews, you are just buying with blinders on.
  13. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,566) Mar 18, 2010 California

    I usually check BA after I buy beers. Sometimes with a frown on my face.
  14. TheFightingMongooses

    TheFightingMongooses Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2012 New Jersey

    I would think (or at least like to think) that most people who actually put the time and effort into reviewing a beer are objective and discerning enough to rate based on their own tastes. If you're just going to be a sherson (singular of sheeple?) and repeat what the majority has already stated, then what's the point?

    I use BA reviews to get an idea of new beers I would like to try if I happen past them, but I'm becoming more independent as I discover what I enjoy and what I don't.
  15. BrownAleMale

    BrownAleMale Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2011 Wisconsin
    ¬°Bad Trader! Beer Trader

    I almost always buy bombers or create your own 6 packs so Im never getting more then 22 oz of something I dislike. Every once in a while there will be a beer that I can only get in a 4 or 6 pack and then I refer to BA.
  16. Morey

    Morey Meyvn (1,042) Dec 30, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    If it's expensive, I always check. Even great breweries can make lackluster brews sometimes. I just don't have the money to spend 20-25 bucks on a beer that isn't 90 or higher. While I don't always agree with the overall BA score, it's often somewhere in the ballpark.
  17. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I think in my early days of craft (so, like, three months ago), I definitely relied on BA when buying beers. Now that I feel a little more comfortable with my tastes, e.g. what styles I generally like/avoid, which alcohol contents are too low/high, I rely less on the opinions of others.

    I think this may be a common experience?
  18. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    If 9 out of 10 reviewers say a beer tastes like bananas, I ain't buyin' it.
  19. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    At some point many of us realize that we taste beer with our own palates and not anyone elses. There is little reason to place great importance on others palates once you are confident in your own. This is why when I do read reviews, it is limited to a select few and when I read their reviews I am more concerned about the total body of the review rather than the rating. I can use the information they provide to determine if there are qualities in a beer than I tend to prefer.
    BMitch likes this.
  20. johnkale

    johnkale Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2009 Wisconsin

    I think you forgot to put quotations marks around "correct."
    joedevivre likes this.

    CORKSCREWFISH Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 Illinois

    Please then enlighten me. How many beers,rated under 80,are really good? Maybe I'm missing some gems as well?
  22. taez555

    taez555 Poo-Bah (1,588) Dec 9, 2002 Massachusetts

    All beer menus at good beer bars should have QR codes that link to Beer Advocate.

    It would save me sooooo much time.

    CORKSCREWFISH Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 Illinois

    Translation: If it's made by either Founder's or Bell's, I love it. Always!
  24. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    No. Your translator seemed to malfunction a little there. If it is brewed by Bell's or Founders I know what to expect but that does not mean I will love it. There are plenty of beers from both breweries that I am not crazy about.

    CORKSCREWFISH Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 Illinois

    I'm just teasing you a bit my friend.

    CORKSCREWFISH Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 Illinois

    Where's the Usually or Frequently choice? We have Never and Sometimes. There should likewise also be an Often/Usually/Frequently choice in addition to the Always option.

    I'd also guess this missing option would be the one most selected.
  27. chimaylvr

    chimaylvr Aspirant (205) Mar 20, 2011 Rhode Island

    Some stores I don't get good reception but I like to check them out if I haven't had it before since life is short, could be gone tomorrow so why bother with inferior beer. I agree with BA nine out of ten times...can't understand why many people like Goose Island IPA or why many don't care too much for Atwater Vanilla Java Porter. That being said, eventually you won't need to once you've developed and encyclopedic knowledge of beers and breweries....sneak peek...there will be a Bud beer coming out around superbowl time called Black Crown. I've had one and an aficiando and brewer friend of mine I was with dismissed it as water without trying it. Another craft drinking bud we were with also had it and we were impressed...so never knock it til you try it.
  28. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    I'm just curious. I try not to because I don't want myself to unconsciously bump up or down a rating of a beer to coincide with what the average rating is.
  29. WebGuyMike

    WebGuyMike Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012 Florida

    Not before drinking it but usually right before rating it myself. I just like to see how my opinion matches up with the masses. I'd like to say it doesn't affect my rating but in reality it probably does but typically less than .25 so nominal, all things considered.
  30. bryanole27

    bryanole27 Aspirant (227) Jun 24, 2011 North Carolina

    I usually check ratings before I buy actually. Got to narrow-down the shelf somehow:slight_smile:
  31. wembly13

    wembly13 Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2011 West Virginia

    Well it depends on the situation. If I'm going to a beer store or ordering online I like to check the reviews and ratings before I make the purchase, as long as the BA score is 80% (or user rating 2.5) and up I buy. Sometimes I'll buy if its below, but only if I really want to try it or I've read a lot about it. If I'm going to a bar / restaurant or brew pub, I just wing it. I try to enjoy the atmosphere instead of playing around on my phone to check ratings.
  32. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    I check up what beers they have online, if they're on there. :stuck_out_tongue:

    My dear Green Dot Stables in Detroit lists all of their beers on Facebook and their website. There's simply no better bar in Michigan, as far as I'm concerned. Off topic, but really ... I'm high on that place.
  33. MusicaleMike

    MusicaleMike Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Never. Not for purchases, not before drinking, not before rating. I write my ratings down and then transcribe them. Sometimes I will make a comment in my review though that reflects surprise if I see that the beer scored really high or really low in comparison to my score.
  34. wembly13

    wembly13 Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2011 West Virginia

    That would be nice, but bars around me don't do things like that. They post their Miller Lite specials on FB instead of their lists of craft beers. :slight_frown: But If I do travel somewhere, I do try to check websites or FB to see what they sell and if its worth the visit.
  35. ChanChan

    ChanChan Devotee (475) Dec 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't!
  36. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,547) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    If I'm doing a mail order buy I definitely look first since I want something new but not a dud.
  37. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Then you are the 2nd most interesting man in the world.
  38. bleakies

    bleakies Devotee (400) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I usually just check BA once before buying a new beer, but occasionally I'll do it four or five times if I've been smoking a lot of weed or I recently sustained a head injury.
    CORKSCREWFISH and Cugabuh like this.
  39. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I take my beer purchasing seriously. First I try to check online if the store has anything new. I will then check ratings out to get an idea of whether others like it since I tend to agree with the majority. If there are several favorable newer reviews, I'll go for it, but usually only a couple of bottles at stores that sell singles. In addition, I will get the info about where the freshness date is on the bottle. I've been burned too many times with trying beers just because they're new to me, but have been sitting around somewhere too long. I don't worry about having the rating influence my tasting since I usually let the beer sit in the fridge for a week before trying it and forget what I've seen before. But I do know that if it's in the fridge, there was a reason I bought it.
  40. Cugabuh

    Cugabuh Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2012 Massachusetts

    Typically I don't like reviews swaying my vote. There are many beers I love that have subpar BA ratings (~3.5), and there are some beers I loathe that are considered the holy grail.

    The only time I will really consult BA is if I am deciding to make a lengthy brewery trip to try something. In that case it is usually the BA referencing that inspires the trip in the first place anyways!
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