Updates to the BA Score, Rankings, and Top Rated Beers

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jul 22, 2019.

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  1. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    The top state lists were incredibly useful for seeing all the most interesting breweries for a given state at a glance and removing them is a huge loss for BA in my opinion. I will agree that the top country lists were usually not very representative of those countries, but the top state lists were definitely very useful.

    The other top lists were never dear to my heart, but they obviously are to lots of other people and I just don't see the benefit of taking them away, to be honest.
  2. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Same here. Back in 2004 I was searching for the "best beers" because I was curious. I stumbled upon Beer Advocate and never looked back.

    Although then it was the "Top 100".

    I wouldn't mind seeing the "Top 100" again, rather than 250. 250 always seemed like too much.
  3. JediMasterLenin

    JediMasterLenin Dec 25, 2018 District of Columbia

    I like the idea that a beer needs 10 ratings to get a BA score... It makes me feel less awkward about being the only one reviewing certain beers.

    Also, bring back top 250!
    JLK7299, ian_graf, hopley and 3 others like this.
  4. Amendm

    Amendm Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    Looks like Recent Reviews are gone, that was a favorite.
    beersampler6 likes this.
  5. M_chav

    M_chav Apr 15, 2014 New Mexico

    cool emphasis on the categories, but I click on Top 250 at least once a week and is pretty much the reason I visit this website as often as I do. bring it back please! even if it's just a little side tab for us to continue our little quest.
  6. 22Blue

    22Blue Nov 10, 2013 Kansas
    Society Trader

    I really enjoyed the Top 250 list (and beers of fame). I do appreciate the effort to make changes and improve the site. Put me down for wanting the old and the new.
  7. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I'll join the chorus asking that the top beers overall and by state be brought back. Definitely understand the problems with them but they were/are still useful and interesting to me.
    Otherwise nice job, I really like the overall look. Thanks for all the hard work
    TheDoctor, M_chav, JLK7299 and 8 others like this.
  8. heysuz

    heysuz Nov 18, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    One quick change/addition to the new “Top Rated Beers” page.

    Please make the style options (each bullet item) a link that will take the user to the “Top Rated” Beers for the that particular style.

    It will make navigation much easier
  9. zid

    zid Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I very rarely looked at the top 250 lists, and the concept of a “best beer in the world” is inherently silly, BUT people enjoy this and they use BA for it.

    If Esquire hypothetically has an article that mentions that “Heady Topper is the best beer in the world according to BeerAdvocate users,” it’s because people and the media want that info. When someone trades in their car for a bottle of KBBS so he can host a tasting party and give his friends a 1 oz pour of the “best beer in the world,” he’s going to find a source to justify the claim and expense.

    The top 250 is more than just a list... it’s a story, a goal, and a quest too. If people can’t go to BA as the source, they’ll go somewhere else. Give the people what they want rather than opening the door for someone else to do it.

  10. mrnatural

    mrnatural Oct 31, 2018 Georgia

    +1- this feature was absolutely the best thing when traveling and going places where you have "no lay of the land" as far as beer choices/what is what is concerned as well as for trading with others. I would use those lists as well as the locations search to call up and ask ahead of my travels to see if certain places had xxx beer in xxx state. oh well. RIP......
    ian_graf, Blazer22, MJSFS and 2 others like this.
  11. darktronica

    darktronica Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    For now, at least, looking at the Gots in your profile still shows the 1-5 average rating along with your own score and the rDev, for this comparison. I suppose this is a workaround, although it's not a perfect one when you have thousands of ratings in your Gots and would have to navigate many pages to get to a particular beer and remember how your rating compares to the community average.
  12. RobH

    RobH Sep 23, 2006 Maryland

    Agree that for industry use, a 100 point scale is the one that's most commonly adopted. I prefer it personally as well.
    officerbill and Todd like this.
  13. beersampler6

    beersampler6 Apr 4, 2018 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Agreed, it’d be nice to see how the average (mean? weighted average?) score correlated with the new 100-point score.

    I also miss the top-250 and top-beer-by-state rankings. That’s how I found this website - I was investigating which Michigan beers were recommended after I moved here years ago.
    stortore, JLK7299, AlcahueteJ and 2 others like this.
  14. mudbug

    mudbug Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    The only thing I would change about the new system would be that no beer would get added or rated until there is at least one written review.
    cavedave, tone77 and Amendm like this.
  15. shelby415

    shelby415 Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    What I like about BA and appreciated about the last few years of updates (up until the most recent) was that it seemed like the objective was inclusivity. There were a number of ways to use the site depending on the user. With the most recent update it seems like that has narrowed a little. The trading community really needs the Top 250, the more historical minded no longer have the beers of fame, and those who are into beer travel will struggle without the regional lists.

    Unless there was an underlying reason why there should be a streamlining of features, it seems like an about face in direction for the site. I was actually expecting additions, not subtractions. That said, I do like the 100 point score and would have liked to see how the changes of weight based on style would have affected a list that had multiple styles on it.
    TheDoctor, MJSFS, heysuz and 2 others like this.
  16. REVZEB

    REVZEB Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    I actually like the top beers by style, think it is better than the 250 (hype) top beers. But for traveling having the ability to sort by state and country was huge. For example, I practically lived on the top belgian beers page on that trip.
    While I am very thrilled the 100 point scale is back, I would also echo the request of having the 1-5 scale presented as well. Especially helpful for beers that don't get 10 reviews
  17. darktronica

    darktronica Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Agreed that for beers with less than 10 reviews, it would still be useful information to see a numeric average rating, both on a beer's page and on the beer search results. For example, I'm currently traveling in France, where craft brewers generally have very few ratings. My other primary use case would be searching for a base beer's name, then perusing search results to see how barrel-aged or other variants compare to the base. If the variants are new and only have a few ratings, I'm very unlikely to click in to each one's page, scroll down to see a few ratings, then back out to repeat with another variant, especially if I'm at a shop or taproom on my phone.

    On the downside, I acknowledge that means there are tough design choices to make when mixing and matching 1-5 averages for lesser-reviewed beers with a 100-point scale for others. This is not an easy communication task.
    Amendm and Todd like this.
  18. REVZEB

    REVZEB Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    Agreed, there are plenty of styles that are defined well enough. For example, saison on BA captures all kinds of styles that really should be separate if going to directly compare together in a ranking list. That being said, I like that style is becoming more of a focus again. Give some love to the pilsners!
  19. donspublic

    donspublic Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/ Just clicking on the BEERS menu will take you there.

    Have to say I like the new format, somewhat miss the point ranking along with the 100%, but that is just change, will get used to it. But while the top 250 never was that much to me, I do sorely miss the state ranking. For the NE states it can get somewhat cluttered with NEIPA, but for most states it gave you a pretty good indicator of what beers to seek out when there. Thanks for the constant site improvement.
  20. Amendm

    Amendm Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    Thanks, I was hovering over BEERs, once I clicked it--all is well.
    I joined the digital age later than most.
    JediMasterLenin and donspublic like this.
  21. Bhubbard34

    Bhubbard34 Mar 4, 2016 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I like the 100 point system but no reason to eliminate the top 250. Maybe rework the formula so it’s not all the same breweries/styles, but I was definitely using it as a bucket list, and really the only reason I visit this site. Bring it back for the tons of people that already commented they want it
    JLK7299, MJSFS and pmarlowe like this.
  22. bwarner2015

    bwarner2015 Mar 25, 2016 Connecticut

    Just when I got used to the average score!
    My two cents is a score of 85-89 should not be Exceptional, as I think Exceptional is greater than Outstanding. So maybe 85-89 is Excellent, which makes sense after Very Good. 90-94 should be Outstanding, and ≥ 95 remains World-Class.
    officerbill and Jacobier10 like this.
  23. PeterPGH

    PeterPGH Oct 30, 2015 Pennsylvania

    I miss the Top 250 and other older lists as well. Was one of they key reasons I visited. Other changes are okay, but I hope this is brought back.
    JLK7299, MJSFS and Bhubbard34 like this.
  24. codytwo

    codytwo Aug 19, 2015 Connecticut

    Why do you keep making changes just to make changes? Honestly, retiring the Top 250 is just asking for people to stop visiting BA. Changing the formula has been understandable/swallowable, but come on! You are completely unselfaware with this change!
    JLK7299, MJSFS and Hopelessly0 like this.
  25. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    The layout looks great and I really like the switch back to the 100 point scale.

    I will miss the Beers of Fame and regional lists. They weren't perfect but few lists are. The Top 250 list never resonated with me at all - maybe because I'm not a beer trader? - but I understand people's interest in it.

    BA has been a constantly evolving site since the day I signed up. You learn to live with the new tweaks and I do think the site is better for it overall in the long run. I come to BA to drink, learn, and talk about beer. As long as I can still do that it's all good.

    Agree with this 100%. Beers in the 85-89 range don't stand out as "exceptional" to me. It is also kind of odd that beers rated "Outstanding" have higher scores than "Exceptional." Might just be me, but I would think it would be the other way around.
  26. woodychandler

    woodychandler Apr 9, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I don't like the way that "Availability" has rolled into the "Notes/Commercial Description". A beer's availability should be a separate line entry as it used to be. There is too much fluctuation as a "Limited Release (Brewed Once)" beer finds an unexpected popularity & becomes a "Rotating" beer. Having this info tied in with the Notes just makes it more difficult to parse. Please CANsider making "Availability" a separate line item again.
  27. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    I only just noticed this and couldn't agree more. It seems very odd and just doesn't look clean. I wonder if this is actually by design or a bug...
    JediMasterLenin likes this.
  28. MJSFS

    MJSFS Apr 22, 2015 Florida

    “Top 250” and “Top Beers by State” are the two functions I used the most, and what made this website my favorite beer rating source. Please bring those list back ASAP
  29. spersichilli

    spersichilli Apr 26, 2018 California

    What you ignore is the fact that the majority of the best beers in the world are super limited. KBBS isn’t distributed at all, where as KBS is languishing on shelves all across America. If anything, this system excludes the even more limited stuff. Side Project’s stouts are regarded as some of the best in the world and go for a ridiculous amount on the secondary market but were underrepresented in the old top 250.

    Specifically with KBS, most of the extremely favorable reviews were from many years ago when it was one of the only BA stouts you could find.

    I think the main problem with the top 250 is user error. The average person rates the bolder/more flavorful styles (IPA/stout) higher than a well executed clean beer (pilsners/other lagers). Maybe weighting a beer versus the average rating in its style might help

    I personally really enjoyed having a top 250. However arbitrary it can be its a fun feature that definitely didn’t need to be removed
  30. bwarner2015

    bwarner2015 Mar 25, 2016 Connecticut

    I guess it's a good time to bring this up again. I would like to see another layer of scoring that reflects only recent reviews - say within the past 1 year. As the palates of reviewers change, head brewers change, facilities change, ingredients change, better beers are introduced, I would like to see a Total BA Score, from when a beer was first introduced to present, PLUS a recent BA Score from the past year only. The average ratings for beers with thousands of reviews over many years do not change much, and may not accurately reflect the current ratings for that particular beer. For example purposes only, Heady Topper has over 13,000 reviews going back to 2005, and recent reviews will likely not change its score significantly. I'd like to see what the average reviews are for Heady over the last 1 year only, to see if its ratings have declined or increased compared to its historical average. Not necessarily due to changes in quality, but perhaps due to the variance in certain batches, and also the change in our palates as there are hundreds of new beers to compare with. Does this make sense?
  31. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    Thanks for all your work, love the layout, it has a real nice look.

    I also dig the 100 rating scale considerably.

    My only stickler is that the personal rating is in the grade school mode of 4.23423 etc..

    In my opinion it should be consistent, as you linear read it seeing the bros rating next to your rating and they are done with different methods. My feeling is they should be the same.

    Still otherwise I am diggin it.
  32. officerbill

    officerbill Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    There's been a few mentions about how the ranking of beers that have been out for several years can be skewed by high scores back when they had no real competition (KBS is the one frequently mentioned).

    Have you guys ever considered letting ratings age out after 3-5 years? The information would still be there, but the old ratings would not be counted. This way a beer isn't being judged on past performance, but on how it compares to the current competition.
  33. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I don't care about the lists, rarely ever looked at 'em. Not sure I like the truncated score, especially since I tend to score lower than most folks.
  34. agreenman19

    agreenman19 Apr 10, 2011 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I like the re-addition of the 100 point scale. This was a great way to quickly gauge a beer's score.

    That said, I am disappointed in the black and white interpretation of how a beer should be ranked. I like to see all beers pitted against each other and also rated within their style. Both are equally valuable.

    Why not two scores? BA Score and Style Score side-by-side similar to the old days with The Bros score.

    I also do not like the removal of raw average. If it takes 10 ratings to show the score, some people may be less inclined to write reviews for obscure beers because their rating will not immediately be reflected in the score.

    Stumbling across a "no score" beer will be annoying because it forces me to sift through the ratings and conjure up a mental average. I'm okay with leaving the BA Score blank for these beers, but please add the raw average. I would even be fine with the raw average solely for "unscored" beers, then take the average away once it has a 0-100 score. But of course I'd rather the raw average be present on every beer because it is a good reference point, especially since many other sites use similar 5 point scales.

    Also, I'm seeing several beers with 100 ratings... can we conclude that these are all 5/5? Perhaps one beer is a 4.9/5 while another is 4.7/5, yet both are 100. The 4.9 is arguably far more impressive of a feat, yet that is not reflected at all in the score.

    The 0-100 score is supposed to add finer granularity to the scores compared to prior BA scoring experiments, but with the removal of the raw average, it is a step backwards with no discernible way to separate out the best of the best. The top-rated NEIPAs are clearly in an intentional order, yet they are all 100. Should they not simply be random at this point? If you're going to continue ranking the 100s, we should be able to see why a particular 100 is better than another 100.

    Bottom line: I like stats and numbers and this is a step backwards. Add options and data, don't remove them. I do like the clean BA score badge on each page though.
  35. mig100

    mig100 Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    This x1000. I'm already starting to use Untappd to look up average ratings since the BA update.
  36. Gkruszewski

    Gkruszewski Nov 1, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    I definitely agree, it was more of a hobby and the competition as well ......
    MJSFS, Bhubbard34 and spersichilli like this.
  37. Gkruszewski

    Gkruszewski Nov 1, 2013 New York
    Society Trader

    Please reconsider bringing back all top 250 lists.....
  38. rudzud

    rudzud Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts

    I have to echo missing the top beer from each state as well as missing some sort of numerical rating for beers that have sub 10 rates as with the way it is now it can make what should be a quick glance at a liquor store into something not so quick in having to go to each beer and scroll through to assess.
  39. REVZEB

    REVZEB Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    This would be interesting, would show which classics hold up over time. However I like to think of the ratings reflecting how cutting edge and great the beer was for its time. Just food for thought
  40. hopley

    hopley Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    The new lists are great, well done - it reflects a huge amount of work. Unfortunately, an unmitigated disaster for BA. Obviously I'm on the "bring back the top 250 train" - your new lists are like the spreadsheets supporting a financial statement, and now you can't see the top line financial statement! Great intentions on going deep with the detailed lists, and I look forward to exploring them, but without including the top 250 lists, you're losing both beer nerds as well as newbies! Almost as bad as eliminating the state lists. Simple idea - just bring them all back! Simple links under "Beers" are all you need.

    Last thing - I love the new page designs. Only suggestion is that I would add the users' rating 1 - 5 ratings right next to the BA user's rating in bigger font somewhere near the 1 - 100 rating so an easy comparison can be made. Thanks and cheers!
    MJSFS, JLK7299, pmarlowe and 4 others like this.
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