Beer Rating System

Our beer rating system and rating scale is based on overall feel for the beer and the necessity or lack there of, to have another one of the beers in hand. The scale should be similar to other rating scales that you have seen and used. This scale should be pliable to the point in which a you might insinuate your own descriptions for the values, after all, the site is about your personality and subjective views of the beer. So the 10 point scale was born.

The 10 point scale is just from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest rating and 10 being the highest. As mentioned before: something you are familiar with from other areas of life.

Rating Description


Perfect Beer

Scot: A beer that you would drink anytime, anywhere, and all the time. Should have a crown placed around the neck of the bottle!

Rich: Not sure there are 10 ratings, but if there are it's held for truly unique brews. Cannot be awarded until multiple tastings, spread over time. Something about this beer must truly stand-out. Must take it's beer-style to a new level, and be so exceptional as to define a new characteristic of a style.


Superior Beer

Scot: The brewer must have read my mind when coming up with this recipe. I think I function better when I drink it.

Rich: Must have perfect balance, superior ingredients, and adhere to GABF style characteristics. To rate a nine it must be really, really good beer.


Excellent Beer

Scot: This is some awesome stuff. Throw this over a bowl of cereal and you can't help but start the day off right.

Rich: In this category the beer still needs to be really good. But, various elements of rating the beer can be less than perfect. Not that any flaws exist, but some variation to tasters palate can exist.


Above Average Beer

Scot: Somebody knew what they were doing when they made this beer. Would drink it often and if it was seasonal, I would get it each season.

Rich: Scot, pretty much nailed this one. This beer is still good, but less agreement among various tasters brought on by less adherence to perfect characteristics of the style or a experiment gone slightly astray.


Slightly Above Average Beer

Scot: A good beer that I would have again. Just a sliver away from making me say "wow" out loud.

Rich: OK taste, and felt the brewers were professionals and trying for a great beer. But, beer’s not hitting on all 8-cylinders.


Average Beer

Scot: Exactly! I would have the beer again but only occasionally. In the right scenario, I could have a few. Nothing makes it stand out.

Rich: Nothing is wrong, just no personality stands out and some aspect of the taste was slightly off-putting.


Slightly Below Average Beer

Scot: Something about the beer never allowed me to turn the corner into liking it. I might have another, sometime, but wouldn't seek it out.

Rich: Like my Ma always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


Tolerable Beer

Scot: A beer that was okay at best and because I am trying to be kind. I personally wouldn't buy it for myself again but I may drink a free one.

Rich: Like my Ma always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


Not That Good Beer

Scot: Could barely swallow the beer, but only since I paid for it. But I would never have another.

Rich: Like my Ma always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."


Yuck Beer

Scot: This wasn't pleasant to drink at all. Possibly an old or contaminated beer. I would choose a root channel over this again but the Novocain might help the flavor, especially if I was drooling uncontrollably.

Rich: Like my Ma always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Remember when you write a beer review, more than likely, you are taking your first taste of a beer, possibly only, and that there is a lot that factors into the reason you felt the way you did when you wrote a review. Some factors: mood, feelings, like or dislike of beer style, food, other beers drank before, etc. These are the reasons that Two Beer Dudes will more than likely never put a review on the site below a 5. We will try and give the beer another chance on another day.

One last thing: when tasting beer only have about 2 to 3 ounces and drink beers of the same beer style. Split a 12 ounce bottle between friends, formulate your own opinion and then share with each other. Each of you may have found something different within the confines of the glass container. Really try to enjoy the beer for the style that it is and appreciate the effort that the brewer put into making the beer. Trying to be unbiased will give the best overall chance and rating for a beer. Enjoy!

Standard Deviation

Standard Deviation is a mathematical (statistics) calculation for determining the clustering (spread) of a group of numbers. Simply it calculates the dispersion of values in a set of numbers. The lower or closer the standard deviation is to 0 the greater the standardization in the numbers (inverse relationship), meaning that the variance in the set of numbers is minimal, the numbers are clustered closely together. Contrarily, the larger the standard deviation, the less the standardization in the numbers, meaing that the variance in the set of numbers is not clustered closely together. That all said, based on the type of numbers being compared a standard deviation of 100, 500 or more might be determined to be low. But, in the case of beer and establishment reviews on this site, a standard deviation should be less than 1.

Standard Deviation Calculation

There are three steps to finding the standard deviation. Calculate the:

  • Mean (average)
  • Variance
  • Standard Deviation

Example set of ratings: [8.36, 9.61, 9.12, 9.08, 9.27, 8.98, 7.91, 9.54].


(8.36 + 9.61 + 9.12 + 9.08 + 9.27 + 8.98 + 7.91 + 9.54) / 8 = 71.87 / 8 = 8.98


  • Take the difference between each rating and the mean.
  • Square the difference (this will always result in a positive number).
  • Calculate the average of the squared differences.
  • (8.98 - 8.36)2 + (8.98 - 9.61)2 + (8.98 - 9.12)2 + (8.98 - 9.08)2 + (8.98 - 9.27)2 + (8.98 - 8.98)2 + (8.98 - 7.91)2 + (8.98 - 9.54)2 / 8
  • (0.62)2 + (-0.63)2 + (-0.56)2 + (-0.10)2 + (-0.29)2 + (0)2 + (1.07)2 + (-0.56)2 / 8
  • (0.3844 + 0.3969 + 0.3136 + 0.01 + 0.0841 + 0.0 + 1.1449 + 0.3136) / 8
  • 2.6475 / 8
  • .3309375

Standard Deviation

  • Calculate the square root of the variance.
  • .33093751/2
  • ~0.57527167495 or as precent of average: ~6.41%

A standard deviation, for this group of numbers and example, less than 1 would signify that the group of numbers is closely related. This may be further varified by determing the range of one standard deviation.

One Standard Deviation

One standard deviation are the numbers that create a range +/- average.

  • 8.98 + 0.3309375 and 8.98 - 0.3309375.
  • 9.31 to 8.65

This is what is displayed in the graph on the rating pages.

standard deviation example graph

One Standard Deviation Caveats

  1. The lower bound cannot be less than 1.0.
  2. The upper bound cannot be greater than 10.0.
  3. The upper and lower bounds represent the rating scale on the site.
  4. Standard deviation functionality is only applied when at least two ratings have been done on a craft beer or establishment.
More Beer Information