Monday, August 25, 2014

BEER!![16] – BeerGraphs

As anyone who has read this blog at least semi-closely knows, these are my favourite things in the world to write and read about:

1.      Using analytics, especially to prove something is wrong
2.      AFL, especially using analytics to prove something is wrong
3.      Indie music
4.      Basketball
5.      Comic Books, particularly the Avengers
6.      Lists
7.      Beer
8.      Economics, particularly minimum wages
9.      Cricket, especially to prove something is wrong
10.  Books
11.  Movies
12.  I don’t have an opinion on anything else
BeerGraphs then is a site that combines nos. 1 and 7 on that list – and I guess no. 6 as well. The clever piece of analytics on this site is its Beers Above Replacement (BAR) rating. Since beer ratings vary widely from one style of beer to another, the ‘worth’ of a beer has been rated here relative to other beers of the same style (i.e. lagers are compared to other lagers, stouts to other stouts, etc.). There are some other tweaks to get to the final figure, but that is the basic concept.
Using BAR, the BeerGraphs site has built leaderboards both for beers and for breweries. You can filter these leaderboards for ABV, and also for region. I have had a go at these, although using them reminds me just how many different beers are out there, particularly on the US Pacific Coast. Hence, it is rare on the leaderboards that I see a beer I know, and since even the best beer shops near my place would have only a fraction of those beers, rare that I would see a beer that I could easily try. The site is probably a lot more fun to use if you live in the US, especially given the content of the articles. Regardless I do admire the concept of BAR, and might still use it sometime in the future to guide my beer drinking.

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