I have a friend who checks those sites for every beer before he drinks it like it’s gospel. I have no faith in them I figure half the people who go on there have no idea what their talking about. Not only that I’ve had beers I liked that had low scores. And also the reverse. It makes no sense really I’ll sit around with people doing a coupe flights and generally very few times does everyone like the same beer. So are those ratings a useful tool in your opinion
I think they are only useful before you buy the beer. If the ratings are consistently bad, pass on it. I don’t check much but find half the people seem to trying to impress you with their fancy speak about beer. Fine lacy foam=nice head.
After I have already had one, I can’t see any point of looking at others ratings unless I felt there was something really wrong with the beer. If I like it, I like it and don’t care what anyone else thinks.
I’ll look, but I generally look at the accumulated score. Within style counts, too. A high rated lambic is probably to-style, meaning I won’t like it. A low rated one might be more to my liking…
Ultimately, though, I don’t think it will mean anything about how much I might like it. I hate drink a lot of high rated commercial beers, and really love a lot of stuff that doesn’t get well rated.
If you want real weirdness, try to follow the hype trains on Instagram. All these California “juicy” East Coast beers people spend hours in lines for, only to get hoarded and shipped all over and shown off for their rarity.
The thing is anyone can rate these beers. I know a guy that’s on there all the time and I’m not impressed with his knowledge. I’m sure there are many many people on there skewing the ratings. This same person thinks the longer he waits or the more he pays they get a higher rating. It’s like award winning beer it means nothing.
I use BeerAdvocate, RateBeer, and Untappd for information on what to buy and where to go when I travel to new destinations. I find that more often than not, the information is reasonably accurate on the average. I ignore unusually high ratings for IPAs, imperial anythings, goses and some sours, because those scores tend to be way over-inflated. I’m more of a malt-head anyway. So I use the data from more traditional and “ordinary” styles like good old blonde ale, pilsner, witbier, hefeweizen, porter, and stout. If they can get consistently good scores in those, they’re usually a pretty good brewery. On BeerAdvocate, generally looking for scores above 3.85. Above 4 is very likely to be good. RateBeer and Untappd seem less reliable, except necessary when looking for ciders and meads since BA disallows anything but beer.
Gotta form your own opinion. Even low scoring beers have merit. Genny Cream Ale, a lowly 71 on BA, is Denny’s Podcast partner Drew’s nostalgic favorite. I had one last night! I think the BA and Ratebeer thing has gotten outta hand with the NEIPA’s and other “whales” warping the ratings…I thought they were pretty accurate in years past, but now…
I dont, won’t even spend the time to read anyones review… Mainly cause I read a bit slower than most peeps. Mostly, what I like, most others may not. I am very good at forming my opinion… I’m sure you’re well aware of that. I don’t mind buying 6-ers of brews I’ve never heard of! And if they are crappy, well, I have some peeps I know that will fall in love with anything crafty… Sneezles61