Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster
I can see where you're coming from and I'd probably agree with you on all points about the distinction between the systems/website/community of the two sites. I'd also go as far as saying beer advocate seems to take more pride in its snobby attitude than rate beer. I don't see anything wrong with people being passionate about beer (aren't we all?) or bragging about their haul or cellar or talking about which beers are their favorite.
However, I don't see the qualities of reviews being any better at ratebeer over beer advocate. That was more my point. There's a lot of snobbery and misinformation in the reviews on both sites that makes them rather useless to people reading the reviews to understand the beer. A lot of what I dislike about the culture that comes along with those review websites is the groupthink that hoppy-sour-high ABV-oaked-limited release beer is automatically better than anything that doesn't fit those descriptions or isn't the most of any of those of a given style and if you don't drink style X you can't be a beer enthusiast.
I get you there. But I still don't think that's a factor in the entire community. It's uttered a lot at tastings and on those sites, "A ****ty stout thrown into a bourbon barrel doesn't make it a world class stout". It's easy to get excited about a special process like barrel aging but I don't see the majority of reviewers getting their pants in a wad because it was placed in a barrel. It's usually only when quality beers are then put through a special treatment that they become highly sought out.
As for the reviews being completely off-base, all of us are guilty of that. When I first started reviewing, the amount of saisons I reviewed that I detected coriander and honey in were 9 out of 10. I've seen some reviewers simply give it a score and not many notes. It's okay to score 1-5 and just add a note of where you bought the bottle.
What do you think is the solution? I would imagine that requiring every beer reviewer to become a master cicerone or homebrewing for 5 years is a bit too. I agree it would improve ratings.
finally, when you get the guys offline and in person at tastings, festivals and camping trips, you realize a lot more guys than you thought don't care for paying $10 bucks extra for a barrel aged beer or guys that simply don't like lambic. The majority of guys drink Sierra nevada during the week and save the bombers of stouts for the weekend or buddies. But when 200,000 users are posting on the forums all day, the majority of the noise is "sours, stouts and barrel aged saisons"
Originally Posted by TJinWV
I've visited it a few times to see reviews on some of my favorites, but for the most part, I know what I like and I don't need someone else to tell me if they like it.
Compare reviews on both sides. It's as if each community decides what's hot and what's not and sometimes they don't align. As in, a beer is reviewed better on one site but not the other. Why? Groupthink / echo chamber. So, for people who aren't watching those reviews and watching upcoming hot beers every day might have a favorite and realize it's rated a 2 out of 5. Drink what you like and I think that's what everyone tries to do but being in that community you might start to think..I can't drink this, it's not popular. It's such a small percentage of beer drinkers that it's not as if these reviews can actually make or break breweries. Most beer drinkers don't check beer advocate before buying a beer.
..and maybe I should add that I"m not a representative for BA or RB..I just spend a lot of time over there so trying to share some observations. Good points though. I agree on the ratings issues.