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More thoughts on beer ratings

BeerTap TV has recently changed their “rating policy.” If you refer to my previous post on rating beer you will get a better idea of where this post is coming from and also why there are no ratings on this site. Anyway, BeerTap TV made a change where they are not rating the beers in the traditional manor, bur rather giving them a 1-5 scale in terms on your own walk in knowing and understanding craft beer. A one for example your be your basic Bud Light or dozens of other clones of that beer. Where a five might be Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA. Basically as you taste more and more craft beer your taste buds evolve and beers that might of blown you away when you first started getting into the hobby, might not anymore.

For me personally, if I had half of the beers I am drinking now a few years ago, I would not of enjoyed them or appreciated them as I do today. The scale they are using a based on white water rafting and the different classes of rapids that you would experience. A newcomer to rafting should not be in rapids that have lots of rocks and other hazards because they will be eaten up by them. I think the crossover to craft beer is a good one.

In my previous post on beer ratings, Scott from The Brew Club talked about the ratings they make on their website. Essentially he pointed out that the ratings on their site are not meant to be the end all of a beer, but rather their own personal rating, more or less for them. Fair enough and I can totally understand that. In fact, when I first started this site I put a lot of thought into a ratings scale, but I never ended up using it for reasons I have already mentioned. I still don’t think that a ratings scale will ever be coming to Brewery Reviewery, but it is nice to see that some usable scales out there exist. Below is the ratings scale of what I originally come up with for this site, it is based on how much of this beer I would drink (goes from bad to great)

  • Single bottle
  • Six pack
  • Case
  • Keg
  • Taking seat at the brewery

I thought it was clever at the time and I am sure it has been used all over the place well before I thought of it. Well, I mainly just wanted to point out a few other thoughts on beer reviews and such. Again, nothing like this is coming to this site, but I am glad to see that there are ratings scales out there that don’t really judge the beer.

4 thoughts on “More thoughts on beer ratings

  1. I am working on an article that goes hand in hand with this post. The whole rating beer thing is so subjective to one’s experience, as you point out in the rafting analogy (that is a great, simple analogy, btw).

    I too appreciate a review that doesn’t necessarily “judge the beer,” per se. We often overlook the joy of beer and camaraderie it provides as we seek to pick out hints of stewed asparagus and japanese oak (sarcasm). I miss the days (and am wandering back) when a beer was just a good beer.

  2. Great post Nate! As you explained, our rating system is very personal and its us just saying ‘hey, we really loved this beer’ or ‘the beer was drinkable but not something I’d buy again’, and we apply that concept to a 1-5 star scale. More technical than that, and it would just be silly I think as I’m not a pro beer judge or anything like that. It works, but I can really see the merit, as the other nate says, of enjoying a beer for what it is and not worrying about ranking it so much.

    You make an excellent point about the aging of the beer rating based on experience and such. I can definitely see some highly-rated beers on my site that I might not rate as high now that I’ve had a few more beers! 😉 I don’t go back and change anything because it reflects where I was at the time, but it does skew the scale a bit. I won’t tell if you don’t!!!

  3. @Nate thanks for the comments and I am looking forward to your post on beer ratings.

    @Scott Isn’t if funny how much taste buds change over time. I would love to re-try some of the beers I first had when I started this site and see what I think of them now.

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