Rate Beer Top 50 – Analysis of 2009-2011 Ratings

bierfesten, January 28, 2012

 

Each January the top 50 or what used to be 100 beer lists are released on RateBeer and though its classified as 2012 its actually the year before for which the ratings are transcribed. So 2012 Top Beers is actually from the data collected in 2011. So I decided to do some digging and found the 2011 & 2010 results online and have found some trends in the data behind the scenes. I think these sites provide a great service to the beer community and a definite guide to what to look for when choices of these beers could be offered. Here some of the key points of analysis that I found.

New Entrants into 2011 Rankings

The following are those beers that did not make it into either last years or the prior year. The interesting part is Cigar City getting into the top 10 with a Berliner Weisse beer.

Rating

Brewery & Beer

8 Cigar City Pilot Series Passionfruit and Dragonfruit Berliner Weisse
25 Russian River Beatification (Batch 002 +)
26 Mikkeller George! Barrel Aged (Bourbon Edition)
27 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Zomer
31 Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia Old Ale
35 Alchemist Heady Topper
37 Firestone Walker Abacus (Sucaba)
38 Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th Imperial Stout
39 Cigar City/Mikkeller Nielsbohrium
40 Southern Tier Choklat
42 Hill Farmstead Ephraim
49 Avery Margarete

Which beers Repeated ?

So which beers in the 2011 Ratings were also from 2010 and 2009 ? we found that in 30% of beers were on the 2010 Top Beers and 20% were also on the 2009 Top Beers List. What this says is that tastes are changing, and also provides some validity to the survey data set is getting stronger.

Strange Anomalies?

Lost Abbey had 5 Beers in the Top 100 in 2009, and in 2010 they had 8 beers, but yet in the latest 2011 TOP 50 beers they had 0 beers listed. Are their bottles out of favor with beer RateBeerIans? or is it the quality has changed?

Cigar City appears to be the most consistently loved brewery in this type of Survey, as in 2009 they had 7 Beers in the Top 100, and 7 in 2010, and in this years shortened they had 4 represented out of 50 beers.

Bells Expedition Stout moved 55 places from 67 to 12th on the list

Alesmith had 8 entries in 2009, but in 2011 0, as was neighbor Ballast Point with 0 in the 2011 rankings, which is quite a surprise.

In previous years there were a few of the same beers but with variations such as Brandy Barrel, Bourbon Barrel, or Vanilla Bean, where this year instead of 6 of the same kind of beers, there was only 1 entry. This area is where some of the data can get skewed, as if Deschutes Abyss came out in 4 variants then it would likely have 4 entries in the Top 50.

 

The Top 50 List 2012

2012 2011 2010 Beer
1 2 1 Westvleteren 12
2 1 31 Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter
3 5 11 Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Stout
4 9 8 Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
5 16 10 Rochefort Trappistes 10
6 12 21 Bells Hopslam
7 3 Russian River Pliny the Younger
8 Cigar City Pilot Series Passionfruit and Dragonfruit Berliner Weisse
9 50 98 AleSmith Speedway Stout
10 17 18 Deschutes The Abyss
11 15 Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
12 67 12 Bells Expedition Stout
13 7 7 Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout
14 63 53 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente
15 16 Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel
16 8 9 Russian River Pliny the Elder
17 22 26 Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA
18 11 29 Westvleteren Extra 8
19 34 Firestone Walker Parabola
20 44 19 Stone Imperial Russian Stout
21 30 39 Struise Pannepot
22 31 51 Cantillon Don Quijote
23 54 37 Surly Darkness
24 77 58 Samuel Adams Utopias
25 Russian River Beatification (Batch 002 +)
26 Mikkeller George! Barrel Aged (Bourbon Edition)
27 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Zomer
28 98 27 Hair of the Dog Matt
29 61 49 Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
30 20 96 Russian River Supplication
31 Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia Old Ale
32 57 35 Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged BORIS The Crusher
33 31 51 Cantillon Blåbær Lambik
34 18 32 Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast
35 Alchemist Heady Topper
36 4 17 Cigar City Zhukov’s Final Push
37 Firestone Walker Abacus (Sucaba)
38 Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th Imperial Stout
39 Cigar City/Mikkeller Nielsbohrium
40 Southern Tier Choklat
41 30 81 Surly Abrasive Ale
42 Hill Farmstead Ephraim
43 53 34 St. Bernardus Abt 12
44 52 Port Brewing Older Viscosity
45 51 20 Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel
46 55 36 Struise Black Albert
47 29 92 De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis (Wild Turkey Barrel)
48 75 Cantillon Lou Pepe Pure Kriek
49 Avery Margarete
50 92 11 Goose Island Night Stalker

We can see a wide variety of beers on this list, with some rare and others not so. Though I’m not a big fan of some of these beers on the list, I can appreciate that those that rate beers have reviewed them earnestly. The issue I have is that ‘Rare’ Beers that are only released for a few days/weeks/months a year are so high up on the list, which says to me that they have less reviews in a year than ones that are available widely for more beer ‘Geeks’ to review. 

It would be good to see the ‘minimum’ amount of reviews in a given year, with certain criteria put in place that may exclude certain ‘Rare’ beers from the main list, but put them on a separate rare beer list. I find it bizarre that some brewers who produce some of the best US beers didn’t make the list for 2011, but had so many in prior years. I also wonder if its representative of other beers from the UK that should be on the list, but then again RateBeer is primarily an American based site with 49% of visitors from the US.

Should their be a changing of the how the list is made up ? or is it primarily a reference tool for beer geeks? there is more analysis that can be done on this type of data.

I am not a rater myself but several of my beer associates are, and I respect their opinions, but even they view these lists with a grain of salt, but again its the only TOP Beer Lists we can view from multitude of raters.

 


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