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Old 10-30-2008, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default BeerAdvocate Ratings.

When I look at the ratings on beeradvocate, I get the impression that the grades they give beers seem to be based on what type of beer style the beer is instead of if the beer matches the beer style it's suppose to be. Also I noticed that certain beer styles will have higher ratings than others. For example, American Macro Lagers and Light Lagers have very low scores. It would seem more helpful to score the beers based on matching their beer style as this would be more objective than subjective. How do you guys pick which beers you want to try out and are there other sites you use to get reviews?

I don't know if I just made any sense...but discuss

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Old 10-30-2008, 04:06 AM   #2
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There's definitely an amount of snobbery there, but I think people judge American Macro Lagers as lagers, and not really among a subset of American macros, which is why they get low scores.

I prefer RateBeer, less snobbery on there.

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Old 10-30-2008, 04:29 AM   #3
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You hit the nail on the head, there. That's my big qualm with BA, too.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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IMHO, that's just the way things go when you get a bunch of passionate fans drawn to reviewing/rating/discussing craft beer (or just about any subject when it comes down to it). The mass-market consumer segment is typically going to get ignored or outright slammed by the rabid "connoisseur." I don't find either site more or less snobby when it comes to discussion or reviews. Either way, I like the reviews just for a general concept of what a beer is like. It's not an absolute that will meet everyone's subjective taste and we all have different experiences.

How do wine forumites discuss cheap wines like Lancers or Boons Farm? Hit a musicians forum and ask about opinions on the last Brittany Spears or Pink album and you'll find the same kinda thing....there are numerous examples, know what I mean?
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:17 AM   #5
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yep... those sites are not BJCP. They are just about what individual users like/dislike and how much they buy into the hype. Most people drink the rare beer kool-aid (myself included) which is why some beers will never leave the top ten (Westvletaren comes to mind). I just look at hte reviews occasionally or use the site for research. I mostly just drink for myself and am going to try something new whether it received good scores or not.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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Yeah but if you're going to BA to get macro ratings???
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Just my humble opinion, but i noticed that BA seems to have an east coast bias due to the fact that the Bro's that run the site live in Boston. Thus, east coast beers like sam adams, smuttynose and DFH have many more reviews than Deschutes or Avery which are not readily available back east. That being said, i do enjoy the website a lot and it is what educated me to beer.

Getting back to OP, i agree that there is a tendency to "over rate" beers like stouts, belgians and IPAs while great beers such as amber ales, pilsners and other lighter styles are "under rated". Not sure if this is because stouts and belgians have more character or just a consequence of beer snobbery.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:19 PM   #8
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BOTH BA and RB rate Macro poorly and BIG beer gets BIG scores.

As for how I choose a beer to buy. For one, I don't pay any attention to the shelf talker at all if they are present.

If I have a particular styel I am looking for, obviously, I look for styles of that example and either get all of them or choose the one that appears most appealing at the time.

Otherwise, I generally just peruse the shelves for ANYTHING I haven't tried yet. Which can be difficult at times since I neither take notes or rate anything. It works for the good ones but not so much for tha bad ones. I have tried a number of poorly made beers a few times by mistake. Greenes Organic comes to mind.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:00 PM   #9
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I too have noticed the BIG beer gets BIG scores. When I come across a beer I haven't had I check out the ratings, but I take those ratings with a grain of salt, afterall, nobody know what I like more than I do.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:36 PM   #10
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I only use BA to get info about the beer....ingredients, flavors present, etc, etc. I don't really look at their ratings because they are more often than not on the other side of the spectrum from what I would give something...taste is all subjective. I like Breckenridge vanilla porter a lot, but it got a not so hot grade (can't remember what though), while on the other hand, I think arrogant bastard is absolutely undrinkable (one of the few beers I've ever poured out), but since it's a big beer, it got a great score. The whole thing about BMCs is, while they don't taste very good, they're good beers...that is indisputable. They adhere perfectly to style guidelines and are champions of consistency.

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