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Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Longhorn08, Oct 2, 2020.
What about Weihenstephaner Alcohol Free Weizen?
More a NA beer than a wheat beer? Doubt it, but https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/252/12600/?ba=beer_beer#review
Number 14 Low Alc https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/top-styles/5/ among the IPAs and stouts!
People will learn, I know I still am. I am happy with everyone who bothers to write a review, I enjoy reading them! Do I think a gentle reminder that reviews are supposed to be style is a good idea? Sure, doesn't hurt, but most of all I think it would be good to remember reviewing beer is supposed to be fun!
It's probably the best NA beer I've ever had.
According to the score I have had better, but maybe just having a bad day?
A lot. That's why I don't go by the score. I go by the description of the experience. I also look at Beers of the BA in question, for beers that I have had, especially those of the same style, as a means to calibrate the review & the #s.
Everyone's review is subjective and even more so the numerical rating. Personally, I always give a beer a 3.75, which is my baseline and average. Anything positive or negative influences it from there. I figure 3.75/5 is a 77.5% which is pretty average. Greater than a 4 is excellent. Less than 3.5 is poor. Just my rating but that's how I do it.
I can see where there's sometimes a disconnect between ratings and commentary. I'm sure I've been guilty of it, too. If a beer is stylistically correct but the user didn't enjoy it, of if it's wildly off-style and someone still liked it there can be a difference between the two.
Hey, a 2.5 / 5 is a 5 / 10, and god knows I’ve experienced plenty of those..
So true. BA has always encouraged ratings and reviews to be given 'with style in mind.' Hardly anyone follows that method anymore.
When you get a beer that fits the NA category (or Low Alcohol) and it happens to taste pretty good, that's a quandary deciding which category to place it. But NA should take precedence since that might be the search term used by someone who has to drink alcohol free for personal reasons such as medical, diet, etc.
I agree. An actual case in point that you might also have experienced is the Doc's ESB at Big Buck in Gaylord. Obviously the brewer thought it was an ESB but I always thought it more correctly should have been Doc's Red Ale. It was a sweet malty beer that I thought was just too obvious, but who am I to disagree with the brewer?
(I see that beer is still on the beer menu with the new ownership. I'll have to revisit the brewery someday to try it again.)
I totally agree with this. I am on restricted alcohol a couple days a week and when I searched for beverage alternatives I went to the NA style ratings. I did not go to IPAs and hope that I could find some NA versions among the endless list of IPAs. When I rate NA beers I definitely take into consideration the NA limitations and judge how well that NA beer approximates an alcohol beer of the same style.
Ok, do what you will. But it really is better from the can. I’ve drunk at least 100 Headys, and can confirm.
Lol, thanks for bringing up Big Buck. Usually if I stop in Gaylord it's for gas or supplies at Meijer on the way to Grayling. Some day I'll have to stop, I've wanted to follow the elk herd there for years
Agree. I have added all my NA beers in the Low Alcohol "style", it has precedence. I may start trying to add in the review-section what, in this case, "substyle" it represents: lager, pilsner, amber, helle, bock, tripel, and the big guys stout, wheat and IPA, etc. Maybe some day recommending that added to the Notes, if being sure enough...
The beer rating scale does not go below 1, so the midpoint is 3.
A 2.5 on a 1-5 scale is a 3.75 on a 0-10 scale.
But, in reality it is worse than that, since many (most?) people here seem to set the midpoint of ratings at 3.5 or higher (myself included).
And, 3.75 is more like 68% along the 1 to 5 scale.
Applying an academic grading system to the 1 to 5 scale,
Above 4.6 is an A, (90%+)
4.2-4.6 is a B, (80-90%)
3.8-4.2 is a C, (70-80%)
3.4-3.8 is a D, (60-70%)
Below 3.4 is an F. (<60%)
So, there are many ways an individual rating a beer can interpret and apply the scale.
(Caution: I was drinking while I did that math!!!)
I knew better, but for a moment I thought the title of this thread referred to some sort of beer-related heist. Call it Ocean’s IPA.
I'm a 4 on average guy, which is pretty high when you look at the NA ratings, where 3 is a "compliment". But what can you do, for me 3.6-3.7 is starting to look I'm not honoring the mostly well made and good tasting beers. 3 pretty much means "don't buy again", and they are utterly few.
I've been drinking microbrews/craft beer for over 20 years and I still don't know where to draw the line between "World-Class" and "Outstanding," much less what would distinguish a 4.25 from a 4.5. That's partly why I've rated so few beers. I enjoy writing the reviews in various threads (virtual tastings, various regional threads, etc.) but I don't feel I'm qualified to assign a numeric rating.
Yep. I bet there's a pretty decent correlation between rating and intensity of flavor. I've had experiences where I can perceive a subtle but clear difference in how I would rank two beers, while my friends (also big into craft beer) will say "Eh, they both taste like a standard/generic beer."
I would love the ability to do this. Frankly, I find the reviews, on average, to be way more informative than the ratings. Especially considering how so many people have their own definitions of what a "3.25" means. Is it an F or don't buy again or poor? FWIW, Todd's guide puts it in the middle of the "okay" range. So even when people are trying to rate to style, there's a lack of consistency in what the scores mean. It's a 17-point scale, which is ridiculous unless you're a trained judge. All it does is provide an illusion of precision, but I bet what people are probably doing is far more simple (e.g. poor - average - good - very good - great).
Getting back to the suggestion, as it currently stands, I have various notes strewn all over the site and in notebooks or Google docs. It'd be awesome to have those on BA without the need to score those beers.
And the total rating is graded to the second decimal. I'm ok with that, always waiting with anticipation for the number! For some reason I take the numbers as a tool for how I feel about and evaluate the different factors right then. It develops the senses with time I think. One number is just a part of the process, even if trying to be honest, which is the way forward.
Thanks for this! As a teacher, I have these conversions ingrained and I almost always think of each beer's characteristics as a letter grade first, before converting to numerical for the score. This is why I cringe when I see so many reviewers call a beer "solid" and claim they'd gladly revisit it yet give it a 3.25 (more-or-less the equivalent of an F). A lot of reviews are marred by this dissonance between what the reviewers think and the score they give. I think you pinpoint the reason for the bulk of the problem - forgetting or not realizing there is no 0-1 on the scale.
I believe "ratings" like this are an artifact of not having a "had" tick option without ratings. BA used to have this option. I believed at the time that not having this option would lead to artificial ratings because people faced with a forced option on a form will just fill in something to get the form finished. I wanted an unrated tick because I wanted to note beers that I had tried, but were of styles I wasn't fond of; I didn't feel that it was right to review something where my rating was heavily weighted on personal taste rather than quality or flavor comparison with similar styles.
I'm a huge fan of reviews and try to review every new beer I try, so I understand BAs push to encourage everyone to give meaningful reviews when they rate something, but blanket random average "ratings" are the result of the policy of not having a tick option IMHO.
No I think you understood perfectly.
I'm going around in circles here
No you understand perfectly.
I'm just trying to find the middle ground here I guess. So I shouldn't review a beer from a style I hate, even if I want to give it a chance? Say a friend knows I don't like this one style, but recommends a beer he thinks I'll actually enjoy. So I try it, and ultimately don't like it. So I shouldn't review that beer?
I guess that's fine, but what if I liked it? Can I review it then?
I don't know, I'm overthinking things. I've always rated to taste, which I suppose can be troublesome since I'm going to rate a "great" NEIPA far higher than a "great" AAL. I kinda see the issue there. If they're both great, they should have a similar rating.
But like I said, I'm going to keep the "How to" in mind going forward.
Mine was a criticism on my history with various women. Haha
Looking at some of your reviews, I don't have access to many of those NAs -- including your highest rated. ISO.
No worries, they are a bit difficult to get one's hands on. I'm having some new shipped from Germany, waiting! Maybe try the ones in your local store now, and then look again in some months.
For what its worth, my personal opinion is that you should rate it either way (assuming you want to, you can always just drink beer if you want) but should make some effort to consider how well it hits its goal. I, personally, try to note on the review if its a style I don't particularly like and then explain why I think it hits or misses its target.
I've come to like reviewing styles I don't really like because it makes the experience more analytical and somehow then more tolerable
Oh, I definitely have tried many in recent months -- most available are pretty bad, but there are definite standouts I look for.
Not to mention a good, new influx of low-alcohol beers that are very tasty: see Bell's Light Hearted (probably not available to you).
Thanks for the tip, my next order could well go to the States!
When reviewing, I find it difficult to find superlatives that fall in the mid to high 3 rating because in general, this is above average but when compared to rating and overall expectations by how everything is rated, below 4 is a bust, which brings me to the bigger issue, inflation. "3" really means average, "4" should be the exception to the average and "4.5-5" really should be the 1% exception. I've been guilty of it as well, slowly trying to work my ratings slightly lower but it's still not going to align with everyone else's and would certainly make a beer with few reviews look less appealing than it's peers, and unfairly as well. Maybe someone can tweak the algorithms to account for inflation or grade on a curve or something.
I kinda view it like this:
Once a year me and my buddies scrounge up the funds for an off-shore fishing trip on a charter. It is my favorite fishing of the year, but obviously, I can't go fishing offshore every week. So I just appreciate sitting on the side of the pond with a bobber and worm for some sunfish, maybe rent a rowboat or kayak at the local reservoir state park to catch some bass, or hit up the local creeks in the spring when they are stocked with trout. They are all enjoyable, and I appreciate them all for what they offer. If I was a snob, I wouldn't tend to do anything but fish off-shore, and if I did, I would talk shit about it for not being offshore fishing.
I don't think that's the way the rating system here is actually designed. We aren't rating on a curve. It could actually be the case that a lot of breweries are putting out a lot of good stuff that deserves a 4+ rating.
In theory, there could be hundreds (or even thousands) of "world class" examples of a given style. My personal experience is that most of the beers I drink tend to fall into the 3.75-4.25 range, for me.
Lots of very good and outstanding beers out there these days
Absolutely agree with this one! Beer is not terroir dependent (set aside spontaneous), as in there are no "objectively better situations for something." Same yeast, similar grain, mimic the water chemistry, buy pelletized hops, you can fairly accurately replicate a brew often enough.
I do wish that rating systems had weighted votes within styles. No reason why someone who has had 10 saisons vote should count the same as another reviewer with 200. Experienced drinkers need to have the ability to call out flaws (*cough* THP in 'sours') in an impactful way and fit a representation into the larger category.
If I could "like" this comment more than once I would. I absolutely believe that there is real value applying greater weight to opinions from people who have sampled more of the universe of beers within a style, and I do not think the Karma points are at all a good indicator of that since experience in one style has zero to do with experience in another.
Rating beer is subjective. It's a product of the beer drinkers bias. To rate a beer objectively requires one's personal bias to not come into question.
That being said, I try to rate beer according to style. In other words, how good is it good according to Style?
In explanation, a Budweiser will not rate as high as as many craft or import Lagers, any light lager will rate even lower as it is a very poor example of the style, it's beer so a 2.0- might be in order.
There are styles that I don't quite understand, yet I will try to objectively rate such as Sours.
The problem is occasionally I run up on a Farmhouse Saison, a style I really like and I think I rate these higher than they might deserve.
It takes time and a good appreciation of the various styles to rate beer more accurately and objectively.
I read the description and realize that some people rate with low numbers despite the fact they really like the beer.
To my way of thinking all Craft Beer should rate near 4.0, otherwise it can't be very good.
A few deserve a 4.5, I haven't had a 5.0 yet.
Descriptions tell me more about a beer rating than a number.
In any event it's supposed to be FUN.
Subjectivity is a fluid thing and likely your's will change with additional experience, even in styles that you really like now. Keep on learning.
For your learning purposes, I'll disagree with the bold section from your post. Budweiser (and all of the other macro lagers from the other macro brewers) is actually 'King' of that style, but so are most of the others. (It's really a logjam at the top.) Whether these beers fit into the Adjunct Lager, American Lager, Light Lager, Pale Lager or Pilsner style category, they are very well made beers and deserve a high score. Unfortunately, because they are light-flavored beers, many craft beer drinkers rate them downward because they perceive the lack of flavor means lack of quality. There's a place for these beers, and on a sweltering hot day when you're sweltering hot too, these beers hit the spot better than anything else short of ice water. The rest of the year, ehh.
It’s awesome either way.
I totally agree with this in theory. In practice though the logic would have to be tweaked to either exclude this concept from certain, popular styles, or to only give weighting not only to people who have had X+ number of beers from that style, but also have had X+ in at least Y other styles as well.
I say this because giving extra weight to someone that's had 200+ saisons, or 200 dark milds (if that's even possible) makes sense. Giving the same weight to someone that's had 200+ NEIPAs...I dunno. Anecdotally I have seen reviews from certain haze-centric users seemingly range from:
"Most disappointing NEIPA I've had from NEIPA-focused Brewery XYZ in the last two years - 4.25"
"Sex on the pallet - 5.00"
I’m mainly concerned with the less popular styles continuing to be less popular because less experienced drinkers have equal weight.
Hazie folks, well, if these two people think this beer is over 4.0, I’m at a loss