The Hall Rating is the backbone of the Hall of Taps. Without the rating, there’d be no Hall of taps. It’s that simple. The Highest rated beer in the hall currently is Heady Topper boasting a Hall Rating of 130.40. The lowest rated beer currently is Bourgogne Des Flandres with a dismal rating of -189.07. Now, a negative beer rating shouldn’t exist, but there are over 9000 beers currently with a negative rating. So, is the hall rating in its current state suitable?
To answer that question. First, we ought to know the formula behind it first. First, we want to know how a how beer compares against other beers in its style. Let’s look at the style for Heady Topper- IPA Imperial / Double. Among Double IPAs, the lowest rated beer (with at least five check-ins on Untappd) is the Storm DIPA by BrewDog Brewery boasting a rating of 2.6 in 500+ check-ins. A quick google search shows that according to BeerRate.com the beer is no longer brewed, so that’s somewhat a plus mark in the hall rating column.
What we are trying to do here is accomplish what sabermetricians call “replacement level.’ In craft beer culture terms, from any beer style, what’s the lowest quality of beer I can get for that style. For a Double/Imperial IPA the data says a Storm, whose untapped rating clocks in a 2.6, and has a Hall Rating of 0. Which we expect for what we are going to call a replacement beer, so that’s good. But, what about Bourgogne Des Flandres and its Hall Rating of -189.07?
Let’s take a look at that. The Des Flandres comes out of the Flanders Oud Bruin Style (which I have never heard of). When we look at beers using the replacement level criteria, we can’t find the Des Flandres (as seen in Image 1 below). But, we remove our criteria (more than five check-ins and a Untappd Rating greater than 0) we find Des Flandres(see image 2). AHA! So, that partially explains the negative rating. The replacement level beer for Flanders Oud Bruin is the Oud Bruin from Beer Works sitting at an Untappd Rating of 3.11, so Des Flandres TAP rating comes out to -3.11
TAP = Untappd Rating – Replacement Level Rating
But how does it get all the way up a hall rating of -189.07?
Next, we look to check-ins, for example, the Bourgogne Des Flandres has 6,496 check-ins on Untappd but has a total rating of 0. Where Oud Bruin has 32 check-ins but a rating of 3.11 (our replacement level beer). So how do we compensate for higher check-in beers? We use the math equation LOG10 to value check-ins. That way the value of check-ins for Bourgogne Des Flandres is 3.81 whereas as the value of Oud Bruin check-ins equates to 1.5 making the value of the check-in less skewed than it was.
But how do we determine just what a perfect brew is? We’ve looked at ratings and check-ins but we haven’t really defined what we think perfect brews to be. We need a number that makes sense. The Heady Topper is the best beer we currently have according to the Hall Rating, and its style is an Imperial / Double IPA. The beer that really started the Imperial movement was Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA, so a perfect Hall Rating would be 90, an homage to the beer that is considered to be the flagship for Imperial IPAs.
So the perfect beer will have a hall rating of 90, with a least one thousand check-ins and an Untappd rating of 5. Currently, there aren’t any Beers with a rating of 5, the closest to that is The Heart of Darkness from B.Nektar Meadery with a rating of 4.8343 on Untappd. But this presents a problem as there a plethora of beers up for nomination currently with a Hall Rating greater than 90, what we just deemed to be a perfect score. It seems counterintuitive to say they aren’t perfect beers, as we said a rating of 90 is so. But, beers can’t be better than perfect. It’s called perfect for a reason.
We haven’t perfected the Hall Rating yet.
At its core, it’s a starting point for trying to value a beer by looking at the data provided by Untappd users. Currently we are a looking at the number of check-ins for a craft brew and then its rating related to other types of beers in that style.
One question that immediately comes to mind is the relative to style ranking. That just gives us the perfect DIPA, perfect stout, perfect porter, etc. IS there a perfect beer? After all numbers suggest there is a player who the greatest baseball player ever. Babe Ruth, followed by Hognus Wagner. After that, there are positional rankings of players throughout the history of baseball, so maybe we out to do that in addition to what we are already doing.
It seems worthwhile to hold our scaling method to the fires (a 90 hall rating in 1,000 check-ins, with a 5 rating). After, all in generating the Hall Rating for Heady Topper it’s the most disproportional number. Heady’s Untappd rating is just 2 higher than the replacement level Imperial and its check-in value is value, whereas its scale is over double that coming in at 12.274.
So next time we need to tackle one of the cornerstones of the Hall. There is always the off chance that there isn’t anything wrong with said cornerstone, but that’s a different discussion.