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

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

  1. Rkitchen

    Rkitchen Aspirant (206) Feb 18, 2017 Michigan

    Yeah, I’ve wondered what filter keeps beer like Vanilla Rye from being among the top rated beers. It does not appear the “in production” status is filtering out beers.

    I didn’t find a lot of use in the all time beer list and I’m in the camp that misses the Top 250 list. However, I do like the new lists for the reasons it was created and gives way to a lot more beers to be considered for enjoyment.

    Perhaps an all time top rated list could be a compromise? Maybe even top rated beers of the last 5 years list? I get the point of old ratings on Heady and KBS being likely to sway the current ratings, so interested what the BA minds thoughts are on this.
    officerbill, JLK7299 and REVZEB like this.
  2. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,884) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I concur with the general call to bring back top beers. I can understand the reluctance; you can't do it based on the new 100 scale since there are many 100's. They could bring back the list calculated the old way but then they'll be getting complaints that such-and-such beer is rated a 100 but not in the top 250, or it's #50 but only scored 85. There would be all kinds of quirks, so not sure what the answer is - but bring back top beers in some form.
    JLK7299 likes this.
  3. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,120) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Hmm, this is an interesting suggestion. It would be cool if BA and Untappd did this.

    I wonder if tickers would all of a sudden seek out a Pilsner because it was one of the top overall beers due to weighting a beer versus the average rating in its style.

    This topic of filtering out old reviews is a very interesting topic to me.

    On one hand, it should be done because there's so much competition, and newer beers may in fact be better. So the new beers are being penalized because they have less reviews.

    On the other hand, one could argue it shouldn't be done because scarcity and hype can boost a beers' rating.

    Let's be honest, if Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout and Founders KBS hypothetically tasted exactly the same, due to availability, there's NO WAY that KBS would ever be rated higher than Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout.

    I LOVE Beer Advocate, but I don't personally know anyone who uses the ratings to make purchasing decisions. They all use Untappd.

    People know what Beer Advocate is, but its strength is as a source for sharing and learning information about beer.

    Perhaps the changes here on Beer Advocate were in response to this?
  4. Chuckdiesel24

    Chuckdiesel24 Meyvn (1,164) Jul 6, 2016 Illinois

    If a beer is listed as retired it’s always been kept off the lists.

    It looks like now they’ve also removed beers whose most recent check in is more than a year old.
    officerbill, AlcahueteJ and Rkitchen like this.
  5. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,919) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    When I click on a beer that I have had, I don't see the date I had it..even clicking on edit my review. I know it's a minor thing but that's my 2 cents for now.
    TheDoctor and Lone_Freighter like this.
  6. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,553) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Darn we have been having "Top 250 Tuesday" beer tastings for last few years with my beer pals. I guess now we'll just have to switch our theme to "100 score Saturday's" or something else. We are adaptable creatures, so no complaints from me on that issue. Change is hard.

    PS: You can still search breweries by state and sort by beer avg for those looking for top brewers in an area while traveling and such. Just not a best beers by state listing, so it's a little extra work involved but not gone entirely.
    REVZEB, AlcahueteJ and Lone_Freighter like this.
  7. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,884) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I do. Not at the top or when I edit, but below. I click on the link in my list of beers.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  8. fthegiants

    fthegiants Poo-Bah (1,625) Nov 20, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Top new beer list gave me insight as what to hunt down next......
    MJSFS, Eman17 and JLK7299 like this.
  9. jvgoor3786

    jvgoor3786 Poo-Bah (1,720) May 28, 2015 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    I use BA all the time to make purchase decisions. I trust it WAY more than untappd. That said, I reiterate my opinion to bring back the top beers lists and put the 1-5 average for each beer in the listing also.
  10. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (3,746) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    The Top 250 was complained about frequently. There are even debates in this thread about why certain beers deserve to be higher in the now extincct list. That's never going to change, but bring them back so those debates can rage on versus fading into obscurity.

    This site has lost traction to others who have made reviewing/rating simplier at an earlier date. I'd hate to see them trash one of their community regarded contributions to the craft beer scene. Even with revamps to the BA application, I still do not see traction forming in the local craft beer community. That's frightening for the longevity of this platform.

    It's been less than 24 hours and I've already resorted to some other sites to answer a friend's question.
    TheDoctor, Holderness, MJSFS and 6 others like this.
  11. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (2,808) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    I like it.
    officerbill and Todd like this.
  12. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,895) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Everyone: Thanks for the constructive feedback. I've already begun to rollout adding the average (now the truncated mean) back to lists and beer pages. pDev and rDev are back, too. As is a direct link to your review (if any).

    I've also considered other feedback and I'm currently exploring some worthy compromises.

    Anyone who's been around a while knows that this is how we've been doing updates for around two decades now; disrupt, gather feedback, compromise, drink some beers!

    Thanks for your patience.
    Premo88, DIM, REVZEB and 40 others like this.
  13. JLK7299

    JLK7299 Meyvn (1,094) Apr 21, 2016 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Hopefully the compromise is the top 250 returning. I enjoy this site for more than that but honestly it is that list that totally drives my coming here numerous times per day and my choice to be in the Society.
  14. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,900) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I’m on board with everything except for the termination of the top rated beers by state.Pretty useful when traveling to see which breweries tend to stand out.
    #94 WesMantooth, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    REVZEB, Nichols33, eppCOS and 11 others like this.
  15. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,884) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Cool, thanks!
    jvgoor3786 and Todd like this.
  16. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,411) Aug 3, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    Awesome. Thank you. Yes, always been like that and that's the beauty. BeerAdvocate is the best site/rating system/whatever for beer.

    Having said that, I DO NOT want to have to resort to using Untappd! You perfected BA over the years. Don't undo that! Just my 2 (or 3) cents.

  17. wolfpac255

    wolfpac255 Aspirant (267) Apr 13, 2015 Illinois

    Bring back the top 250.

    Bring back top beers by state.

    Add another list - Top Beers of the month.

    That is all.
    Eman17, Nichols33, MJSFS and 6 others like this.
  18. GuyFawkes

    GuyFawkes Poo-Bah (4,216) Apr 7, 2011 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I hate this. It basically means all beers will have middle of the road ratings.
  19. Gambyt20

    Gambyt20 Crusader (787) Jan 14, 2016 Illinois

    Bring back top 250 list please.
    Top 100 list by state.
    Just all the lists please!

    If they are not useful to certain people then certain people can just ignore them.
    Lists have been very useful and fun for me and looks like many other BA members.

    Just have as many variety of lists available: by style, by state, by country, top 250 overall, bottom 100, most checked in, best taste, best smell, best paired with... i digress..

    My point being provide lists and let BAs use and enjoy whatever they want and ignore what they don't careful. I get it that some folks will complain about how this list is built is wrong and that list isn't right etc. Then don't look at the list then! I thought the lists on this site were very useful so please bring them back.
    FLBeerGuy, Eman17, mattmarka1 and 6 others like this.
  20. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (2,641) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Society Trader

    The new layout for individual beers is very attractive IMHO, as is the 100 point score.

    But Top herb and spiced beers: Not Your Father's Root Beer.

    REVZEB and TrojanRB like this.
  21. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,607) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Haha I am in favor of bringing the top 250 back to make others happy. Tell the truth I only think about it when something like this update happens, and I remember it exists. I do understand that this hobby contains many folks who enjoy that kind of thing, enough it might be worthwhile to keep them happy.

    As far as using reviews, I use them all the time for info about prospective beers I hope to try. I admit I do go to that other site after that to find out where near to me it's available, which for me is only reason that other site is useful.
    mudbug, MJSFS and JLK7299 like this.
  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,120) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Well yeah, you're on Beer Advocate.

    I'm not a member of Untappd, so I also typically search the reviews on this site before purchasing beer at the store.

    But the reviews are becoming less and less useful, especially for newer beers. A new beer might have 8 reviews on Beer Advocate after a week. On Untappd there might be hundreds of check-ins/ratings already.

    It's not really a debate, there's more people reviewing on Untappd than on Beer Advocate. So I can understand them shaking it up again.

    To be honest, I just use the forums here more than anything to find out which beers I might be interested in purchasing. Talking directly to those on here that I trust.

    Yup, this.

    Except the last part, I think the website will be just fine. As I said, it's strength has always been the community here on the forums. A place to "socialize" and learn.

    Yup, been here 15 years, this is fairly regular. And necessary.

    To anyone who thinks the sky is falling, I urge you to use the wayback machine and look at what the site looked like back when I joined in 2004.

    If it still looked like that, none of us would be here. They changed things, they'll change them again, and guess what? It'll be fine.

    I'm not an expert in statistics, but removing outliers doesn't do that. Middle of the road ratings are the median. Outliers skew the average, so removing them typically makes sense.

    That's why they're called outliers.

    If a beer mostly has ratings from 3 - 4 (just a hypothetical scale) and some dip shit with an axe to grind against their local brewery "hate rates" that beer at a 0, it'll unnecessarily skew the average.
  23. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (3,746) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    I think overall we'll be fine, but I do worry. I hear lots of talk about "when Beer Advocate was relevant" in local craft beer circles. Pair that with people ditching their old profiles here to open up new profiles elsewhere in more 'social settings', and it becomes a worrisome trend. Keeping lists like the Top 250 keeps people visiting, who may never do so otherwise, and supporting the site through ad revenue and the small chance that some guests will become contributing members.

    In regards to community - it's nice, but have we ever thought about how we ostracize so many potential users? So much talk about how and why certain beer styles or demographics are screwing up beer and suddenly this place doesn't feel so welcome to people who enjoy those styles or fit in that demographic. Personally, that's why I have taken a step back from the forums as I'm tired of sifting through these frequent conversations and rants for quality beer information.
    #103 Harrison8, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  24. bwarner2015

    bwarner2015 Initiate (69) Mar 25, 2016 Connecticut

    Agreed, I'd like to see the raw average side by side with the BA Score.
    MJSFS likes this.
  25. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,895) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    bwarner2015 likes this.
  26. BunsMcGillicuddy

    BunsMcGillicuddy Initiate (40) Aug 12, 2015 Illinois

    Bring back the general 250 list please!!!

    On top of that, I'd say why not lean harder into the lists, they are very popular features, and all of the rating data BA has is a tremendous resource. Maybe make the 250 list sortable, so that one can see all the top beers by style, region, country etc.
    JLK7299 and MJSFS like this.
  27. hopley

    hopley Meyvn (1,388) Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    You make some good points, and to Todd's point about disruption, gather feedback, compromise, drink some beers...I love this - it really makes it a community. It breaks my heart to see BA become less and less relevant from both a beer ratings perspective and a trading platform, but the fact is - it is (not so for everything else). So you're right - they need to do something to shake it up (let's not forget, they have a mobile App on the way that's still being beta tested).

    The problem here is that they took away something many folks rely on in their ongoing search to tick beers, try beers, etc. I've been keeping spreadsheets of my progress of on these lists for years, and now I'm disheartened, and I'm just one. In the meantime, like others, I long ago set up an Untappd account, but until about a month ago, never once actually rated a beer on it, and until yesterday, never even realized they had a top beers list. Yes, they do. It's got 50 beers, on a 1 - 5 scale with King JJJulius on the top and BCBS Prop 2014 as #2. Hate to say it, but I'm going to explore it in more detail now, but one glance and I can say, like beer ratings on Untappd, it pales in comparison to BA. The longer these lists remain off the site, the greater the risk that more and more people will explore other beer ratings alternatives, albeit none will be as good as BA's was.

    One other thing to consider here - BA is a small organization, largely free of ads, and has been beer and user-focused for as long as it has been around. Like them or not, these guys bring you beer, and with this one, maybe their eye was off the ball. One of the more salient comments thus far in this thread was from @Harrison8 related to the analysis of site data traffic. If BA had an IT team of 8 people, maybe there would be more data to support the value of the lists, but I'm pretty confident they don't. In any case, with BA, I've come to realize that change is good, and I'm sure that given the cattle call to bring back these lists, they'll do the right thing.
  28. heysuz

    heysuz Crusader (762) Nov 18, 2010 Indiana

    On the individual beer pages the “wants” and “gots” links seem to be missing.

    They seem crucial to finding trades. Go to the beer you want, get a list of who has that beer, then start trying to make your trade.

    Without those links it would seem the only way to get a trade is through the trade forums (which I never use). I go to the beer page for the beer I want, see who’s got it, see if I have something they want, proceed.

    Consider restoring this feature
    fthegiants likes this.
  29. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,937) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    They're still there for me, they just moved to the middle of the block of information at the top of the page. Below style listing and above brewery name.
    beertunes likes this.
  30. agreenman19

    agreenman19 Poo-Bah (1,796) Apr 10, 2011 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Not necessarily. If you throw out an equal amount of 1s and 5s, the score is the same.

    Also, it depends on how they define "outlier". If a beer has a raw average of 3/5 with a range of 2.5-3.5 over 10 ratings, do you think the perfect 5/5 is a "good" rating, especially when it has the averaging power to drastically increase the overall score? Conversely, you have a top-rated beer and somebody comes along and brigades with 1/5s... that's not fair either.

    Tossing outliers is a classic method of weighting averages.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  31. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,634) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    The new top beers by style page has disappeared.
  32. agreenman19

    agreenman19 Poo-Bah (1,796) Apr 10, 2011 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Going to say it again in a shorter post because my last one was rambly and TL;DR. Would love to see two scores/lists/etc. for beer:

    1) one score to compare each beer against all other beers

    2) another score to compare each beer against others in its style/category
    meefmoff and MJSFS like this.
  33. heysuz

    heysuz Crusader (762) Nov 18, 2010 Indiana

    I see those links but unless I’m missing something, they only seem to indicate what you want or have.

    I’m referring to the links that would give you a list of what other people had or wanted pertaining to a specific beer.

    Used to be able to go to a beer page and get a list of who had that beer offered for trade, then (if you’re lucky) that user would also list beers that they wanted and you could formulate your trade possibilities from there.
    FBarber likes this.
  34. officerbill

    officerbill Disciple (394) Feb 9, 2019 New York

    That's why I suggested leaving the old ratings and reviews visible. You could sort by date to see what folks thought of a beer 6, 8, 10 years ago, but those scores would not be counted towards the current rankings.
    REVZEB likes this.
  35. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,895) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Correct. Applying another update today.
    Bitterbill and FBarber like this.
  36. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,895) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    We've definitely discussed this, and I'd love to explore it further.
    kuhndog, hopley, MJSFS and 3 others like this.
  37. shelby415

    shelby415 Champion (886) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    Clicking on the word want or got will give you the list you're looking for
    fthegiants likes this.
  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,120) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    That's the way Beer Advocate has always been.

    And on a higher level, that's really just the nature of forums and in the internet overall in my opinion.

    It was potentially just a temporary change, and will be adjusted after the feedback is taken into account.

    I'm not saying you're doing this (I don't think you are based on your post), but I feel like many people think yesterday's changes were permanent.
    hopley and FBarber like this.
  39. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (3,746) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    What if old ratings/reviews just weighed less in BA scores?

    I'm thinking of all the beers that struggle to hit the 10 rating/review minimum to get a BA score. 'Retiring' old ratings would make this issue even worse. Weighting new ratings/reviews would help both showcasing the current thoughts while maintaining the relevancy of the old ratings/reviews.

  40. officerbill

    officerbill Disciple (394) Feb 9, 2019 New York

    It helps weed out low reviews due to style (I like IPA's, I'm giving this Quad a 2 because it's not hoppy enough), that loyally praise everything a brewery puts out (Hometown Brewery produces nothing but 4.5 beers), and those given out of ignorance or inexperience (this Gose is salty & sour I'm giving it a 2.5/this is my first BA Imperial Stout, it's fantastic 4.75).
    AlcahueteJ and Todd like this.