As has been noted, the fundamentally subjective nature of the raw data we use on this site is controlled for, in part, via large sample sizes. A large sample enables an observer to draw meaningful conclusions about phenomena without having to worry too much about whether extreme outliers are unduly skewing the results (among other benefits). You know this.
The thing is, dagnabbit, outliers are interesting. We remember outliers. I’m not a big hockey fan, but I know who Wayne Gretzky is. I wasn’t alive in the 60’s, but I know who Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is.
People like these are exceptional. Their abilities and accomplishments transcend the ordinary to such a degree that we cannot help but notice and remember. Put another way, people like the ones I listed above are anomalous; they do not accurately represent the characteristics of their peers, let alone the billions who share(d) their space and time on planet earth.
So it goes with beer, my friends.
Blasphemous segues aside, there are plenty of outliers in the wide, wide world of suds. Have a glance at our leaderboards and you’ll see what I mean. Some beers, such as ‘pseudoSue’ by Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, with its 124 Style+ and 11.62 BAR, are clearly excellent relative both to the general field and their respective style class (American Pale Ale in this case).
The thing is, the stats I cited above, while reliable and succinct, conceal the fact that there are almost certainly some beer-drinking people out there who don’t care much for pseudoSue (what’s wrong with them?). Those are the people I’m interested in today.
Incidentally, my gut tells me we’re all “those people.” Each of us has our own palate and preferences, and so we necessarily experience our beers a little differently. It speaks to excellent craftsmanship, therefore, when most of us can agree that a beer is good.
Still, regardless of all the collective head-nodding and eyebrow-raising and crispy-mouthfeel-brah-ing, there will still be that guy in bar who can’t wait to get onto the next one, because he just doesn’t get what all the fuss is about. He doesn’t ever say it, of course, lest he open himself to ridicule.
So let’s give this post over to the contrarian. BeerGraphs is nothing if not a congenial place. Let the comments section be your Trust Tree.
‘Fess up: What is your least-favorite good beer?
Also: what’s wrong with you?
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(header artwork creatively retrieved via a Google Image search of "thumbs down")