When reviewing a beer, do you take price into account?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by IPAExpert69, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (210) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I was just reviewing Stone's Loral & Dr. Rudi's Inevitable Adventure ( a fantastic DIPA for anyone curious), and I noticed that my score/review was much higher than the average. I thought nothing of it until I started reading reviews and literally EVERYONE mentioned the high price. I may be in the minority here, but I take price out of the equation when reviewing a beer. I review based solely on the quality of the product in front of me, and do not take into account external forces. And this specific beer was a limited run, what do people expect $9.99 a 6? (funny story due to a computer error at my local liquor store I actually ended up getting this 6 pack for $9.99).
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (9,400) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Exactly, price is not a factor in the review although I have no objection to anyone mentioning it, and in fact would like to know in advance of heading out to buy it.
    utopiajane, JoeK89, beergoot and 3 others like this.
  3. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Defender (606) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Beer Trader

    If a beer is either very good or poor value for money, I think that it's not a bad idea to point that out in the review. It shouldn't really affect the rating though.
  4. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (210) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I agree entirely, but I think it's kinda human nature to take price into account. I make an effort to never mention it unless it's just absolutely outrageous
    fehrminator and spelingchampeon like this.
  5. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,368) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    There have been a number of threads either on this topic or addressing it tangentially as a side issue with how people review beers. No, price shouldn't be a factor as you should rate the beer according to the style (as best as you can) and within the parameters laid out by BA. This is especially important since price can vary wildly based on the location one lives in. Case in point: Hopslam can be had for about $16 to $17 a 6-pack around Chicago. In DC, its around $28-$30.
    spelingchampeon, dcotom and drtth like this.
  6. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,409) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    No, I try not to take price into account in reviewing the beer. I try to keep my reviews focused on what the beer looks like and it's flavor profile.

    Price is a known way of creating bias in reviewing. So once I've spent the money it becomes a non issue to me.

    In fact for most, if not all, of the beers I have in the fridge or the basement waiting quietly to meet their fate I could not tell you the price I paid with a gun to my head. Clearly I know I paid more for a 750 ml bottle than a 12oz bottle but that's sort of a "Duh!"
  7. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,877) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I don't take price into account when reviewing a beer. I might mention that it's spendy or that I think it's a good value, but that's about it. I'd never say that a particular beer isn't worth the price because as we all know, tastes vary. By the same token, I won't be dissuaded by others' opinions if it's something I want to try.

    If I listened to what other people said, I might never have paid $18 for a bottle of Lizard of Koz. :wink:
  8. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,877) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Member Beer Trader

  9. scream

    scream Zealot (552) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    Appears that at this point the consensus is price is not to be part of a rating. I agree. I do like the value aspect in comments/review
  10. Riff

    Riff Crusader (762) May 12, 2016 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I don't change my scoring based upon the price, however I will note in my review whether or not I think the beer was a good value for the money.
  11. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,235) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    I do, but only when giving my 'overall' report. As in "good beer but not worth x dollars."

    Won't really change any of the other scores I give.
  12. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,173) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I don't let it affect my score but I write my opinion of its value in my review. I think its important info. for readers to have some knowledge when deciding to buy.

    For example, I did this review below for Founders Solid Gold just a few days ago...gave it a very solid 3.94 score....

    Before I looked up the style, I thought $8.99 a sixer, all-right Founders, that's a good price for a craft beer, now we're talking something competitive. Smell and taste, I was thinking this beer just tastes like a decent AAL. Surprisingly it is an AAL and a darn good one. Unfortunately $8.99 a sixer for AAL is just a stupid buy. At least 2-3 others for 30-50% less that are equal or better. A good beer, but if I want an AAL I'll save some extra coin and go with a decent macro.
  13. spelingchampeon

    spelingchampeon Defender (653) Feb 21, 2016 Delaware
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I've never considered the price. It's not an option in the drop-down area. Hell, if price was a factor, I think all beers would have low scores.. except for BMC Light beers.
    Dragginballs76 likes this.
  14. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,409) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    This is actually a good example of why price isn't a reliable guideline. That pricing for Founders is targeted to be competitive with Michelob and Michelob Ultra which are both seen by their brewer to be a "Premium" beer. (i.e., They are not targeting Keystone or some budget brand AAL as a competitor.) So the real price comparison should be with those two Michelob beers, not with something cheaper to produce and to buy.
    IPAExpert69 and FBarber like this.
  15. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (164) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Should it? Ideally, no. But it inevitably does, because our expectations are higher when the price is higher. In a blind test an $8/6 pack and a $15/4 pack beer might rate exactly the same. However, if we paid the money for each our expectations are higher for the more expensive beer. We are then disappointed by that beer and impressed by the cheaper beer, inevitably influencing the ratings.

    On the other hand, I think often many people rate more expensive beers higher simply because they are more expensive. Perhaps this is to justify to themselves the higher cost, or perhaps they have already convinced themselves before tasting that this is a high quality beer. Our brains influence our ratings as much as our taste buds and nostrils.

    Bottom line is we are consumers in a capitalist system, trained to think about price (just notice how many comments about price there are on every thread, almost as many comments about taste). This influences us when we drink the beer, whether or not we want it to, and I think to disregard price when we rate beers takes a conscious effort to do so.
  16. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,484) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Cliff's Notes version: letting price influence your review score isn't appropriate, because the price of a beer is not an intrinsic characteristic of the beer.

    Annoyed Rant version: it's one thing if you want to reference the price of a beer in descriptive review of a beer. It's part of the overall experience, so sure, whatever. But a review of something is intended to evaluate the characteristics of the thing being reviewed. Price is not a characteristic of the beer--you can tell this because the price can change based factors that have nothing to do with the beer. Price is an external factor placed on something else related to its perceived value relative to the rest of the market. Price is relative. Characteristics are inherent.

    If you are someone who changes the score of a beer based on what you paid for it, then do everyone else a favor and just stop reviewing beers. You clearly don't understand the concept enough to make your reviews worthwhile.

    Following the logic that it's okay to alter a score taking price into account would mean that a movie is a better movie when you watch it at home for free on HBO than watching it at the multiplex for $15/ticket. Or that a beer tastes/smells/looks worse when you buy it for on-premises consumption vs. buying it at a bottle shop to take home.

    "Well, it was a 4-star movie when I saw it in theaters, but then I watched it again at home and it was the best movie I've ever seen because it was so much cheaper to watch!"
  17. horsehockey

    horsehockey Aspirant (260) Jul 31, 2014 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I leave the price out of the overall beer rating. I add an asterisk in the notes if I think a beer is either a great value or over priced.

    The numerical rating is completely based on the quality of the beer.
  18. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (1,651) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I try to leave pricing out of reviews. However, if the beer was expensive and I didn't like it, I mention it. Price is more of a factor with buying the beer again.
  19. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Devotee (473) Mar 19, 2012 California

    +1 It doesn't impact the beer rating, but I do take into consideration the perceived value (primarily for beers which cost is low, but have high rating or beers which cost is high, but have low ratings. Not so much in the middle).

    So, I will occasionally make it a note in my review, but not too often.
  20. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (920) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    sometimes. if I feel it's unreasonably priced or an uncommon bargain I'll mention it in the review but typically the price does not weigh into the ovreall score.
    beergoot, thebeers and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  21. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,278) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Agree with you 100%. I am reviewing the product inside the can/bottle. My opinion on cost is not part of my review and it should not be in order to give the beer a real review. If people are lowing their score on a beer out of anger over cost then they should pass on doing a review in my humble opinion.
    tzieser and Squire like this.
  22. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,278) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Agree with that take, your not scoring beer on price just offering a view on the cost as a separate item. I can get behind this because it gives people additional feedback but your keeping it out of the product review.
    tzieser and thebeers like this.
  23. bl00

    bl00 Disciple (307) May 13, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Generally speaking, I wonder if higher priced beers tend to have higher average ratings due to consumer expectations. Despite my best efforts, I tend to find myself examining an expensive brew more thoroughly and 'looking' for value in those cases- I don't want to have wasted my money. Its such a heartbreak when you finally land a desirable bottle and it doesn't live up to expectations. I understand that rarity/desirability would also factor into this given supply and demand on many of those sought after bombers.
    Dan411 likes this.
  24. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (210) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Interesting question: I've always thought brand identity played a huge part in scores as well. Some fantastic beers (Yuengling IPL comes to mind) have awful scores due to brewery reputation, while some lackluster Tree House beers have inflated scores due to the brewer.
    bl00 and JackHorzempa like this.
  25. Dan411

    Dan411 Initiate (151) Mar 20, 2017 Missouri

    THIS THIS and THIS. Well said! You took the words right out of my mouth.
    dlcarst likes this.
  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,409) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Knowing the price definitely has an effect on our perceptions. This study was done with wine but there's every reason to expect the same result with beer (higher prices taste better):

    #26 drtth, Mar 2, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    bl00 and meefmoff like this.
  27. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,858) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I pay no attention to price when reviewing a beer though may mention I didn't think it worth what I paid.
    JMFBOSTON and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  28. Noelito76

    Noelito76 Defender (689) Oct 30, 2004 New York
    Beer Trader

    No, but the price is worth mentioning when you suffer a letdown. The opposite is true as well. Good price for a good beer, mention it.
    bubseymour and bl00 like this.
  29. taxandbeerguy

    taxandbeerguy Poo-Bah (1,901) Jul 12, 2013 Ontario (Canada)

    Personally, I usually make note of what I paid for it, just to give other reviewers and inclination as to whether the purchase may be worth it or not for their tastes. It's also the accountant in me coming out in beer reviews. As far as impacting the score, it does not affect it in anyway except maybe in a tie breaker situation.

    Say you have a beer that you are reviewing and you give it 4 in look, smell and feel and 4.25 in taste. Either way you look at it, it's somewhere around a 4.1-4.15 overall. If I perceive value or expectations are surpassed, I'm probably more likely to give the overall score a 4.25 rather than a 4. So a quarter point on a value that's 20% of the score. I'm pretty sure sure that's not skewing results on a beer with many ratings in any meaningful way.

    I'll also note particularly good value beers, or beers that were good, but didn't quite live up to the price tag at the end of a review.
    elgiacomo likes this.
  30. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,132) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    Price affects expectation, so yes.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  31. Relik

    Relik Aspirant (206) Apr 20, 2011 Nova Scotia (Canada)

    i can't taste numbers or dollar signs so no i go into each new beer tasting like its blind anyway.
  32. thuey

    thuey Aspirant (260) Nov 13, 2015 California

    Not in my rating but I'll mention in the review content whether I think it's worth the money/trouble/lines to get it.
    dennis3951 likes this.
  33. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,363) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I will mention it if I think it is out of line with typical pricing per oz, or just as a general take on it overall, but I try to rate to style within the categories and don’t use it to affect those scores
    bubseymour likes this.
  34. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,164) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    This begets the question as to whether expectations should be considered when reviewing a beer. In the interest of objectivity I'd argue that they should not, at least consciously.
    FBarber likes this.
  35. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,971) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    I like to think I don't let price impact my scores, though I can't guarantee it if I paid a lot and it really sucked or it was cheap and is a new favorite. Usually I just editorialize in the write-up.
  36. Mindcrime1000

    Mindcrime1000 Defender (663) Apr 30, 2016 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    I don't factor price into my reviews, but I do occasionally mention that a brew is a good "bang for the buck" if it's a lower-priced offering that stacks up well against its higher-priced competitors, because some people reading these might be more price-conscious.
  37. pianoguy

    pianoguy Disciple (387) Feb 14, 2015 Washington

    Price doesn't have any influence in my ratings/reviews. But I often devote one paragraph to (my) perceived value because some people (myself included), use these reviews as a tool to get the most bang for their beer buck.
    DrunkenMonk and mudbug like this.
  38. TheBrewsky

    TheBrewsky Defender (686) Apr 23, 2017 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I am still relatively new to the game, but I have not taken price into consideration when writing reviews. As said on the thread already, I think price would be a worthy addition to reviews. It doesn't necessarily need to be taken into the overall score of the beer, but is something I would very much like to know. I try to not let price of the beer influence how I rate the beer, but sometimes, it does alter my expectations (more expensive beer, higher the expectation).
  39. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,234) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Only if very high or low.
  40. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (1,524) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I couldn't give two f*cks about price. Just give me a good beer. Seriously.