How Does Your Favorite Beer Stack Up in the Hophead Scoring System?

Baltika 9 is still the lowest-graded beer on the Hophead Beer Scoring System. Was it really that bad?
Baltika 9 is still the lowest-graded beer on the Hophead Beer Scoring System. Was it really that bad?
Jesse Hughey

Now that I've graded more than 50 beers since introducing the Hophead Beer Scoring System, it seems a good time to take a look back at all of them and list them in order.

The system (which I have called by a different name in every post, a running gag nobody has ever commented about -- I can only assume you were all too incapacitated by laughter to type) is explained in this introductory post. Basically, beers are graded by Appearance, Nose, Taste, Body, Finish, Style/Originality and Party Factor, with the most important criterion, Taste, weighted at a possible 40 and other criteria at up to 10 apiece. Party Factor, the alcohol by volume divided by the price per 12-ounce serving, is the great equalizer, with cheap high-alcohol beers able to score up to and even above 10 and pricey low-ABV brews hampered by 1s or 2s.

The idea was to give a numeric grade that would range from 0 to about 100, with anything above an 80 being a good to very good beer and anything above a 90 being outstanding. Grades of 100 and even above are theoretically possible, but with great beers invariably having not-so-great prices, I don't envision this ever happening.

I think it's working out pretty well for the most part, though there are some beers with high grades that I don't remember liking quite that much, and some low 80s that I remember liking a lot more. I've thought about doing something to tweak the Party Factor, such as doubling it to give great beers a better chance of hitting 100. But that would entail going back to every post and doing more math. I'd rather just continue being a hard-ass grader.

Actually, with only a six receiving "failing" grades of under 70, maybe I'm not such a hard-ass. Or maybe it's because I don't rank beers I know I'll hate. I should probably go ahead and rank some especially shitty beers just to have some 10s or 20s to bring the curve down. At this point, the lowest grade is a 44, while the highest is a 95.

After the jump, the list arranged from highest to lowest.

Flying Dog Raging Bitch, October 20, 2010
Total: 95

Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, April 23, 2010
Total: 94

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, June 3, 2010
Total: 93

Harpoon Leviathan Baltic Porter, April 29, 2010
Total: 93

Urthel Hop-It, July 16, 2010
Total: 92

Baird/Ishii/Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA, July 28, 2011
Total: 92

Magic Hat hI.P.A., August 19, 2010
Total: 92

Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA, May 21, 2010
Total: 91

Samuel Adams LongShot Mile High Barley Wine Ale, April 15, 2010
Total: 91

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 11, April 14, 2011
Total: 90

Kulmbacher Eisbock, April 23, 2010
Total: 90

Sockeye Red IPA, July 9, 2010
Total: 90

Samuel Adams LongShot Old Ben Ale, April 15, 2010
Total: 90

Franconia Kristal-Weizen, July 21, 2010
Total: 89

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 10, November 4, 2010
Total: 89

Dubuisson Scaldis Belgian Ale, October 27, 2010
Total: 89

Kodiak Brown Ale, July 9, 2010
Total: 89

Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout, July 21, 2010
Total: 88

Ska Nefarious Ten Pin Porter Easter Version, June 3, 2010
Total: 87

Harpoon 100 Barrel Single Hop ESB, May 21, 2010
Total: 87

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, August 5, 2010
Total: 86

Real Ale Devil's Backbone Tripel, July 21, 2010
Total: 86

Magic Hat Hex Ourtoberfest, August 19, 2010
Total: 86

Rahr Stormcloud IPA, August 11, 2010
Total: 85

Abita Jockamo IPA, August 5, 2010
Total: 85

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy, March 18, 2011
Total: 85

Celis Grand Cru, October 20, 2010
Total: 85

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Fritz and Ken's Ale, April 1, 2010
Total: 83

Avery Karma Ale, June 23, 2010
Total: 83

Harpoon Leviathan Imperial Red, May 21, 2010
Total: 83

Samuel Adams Noble Pils, February 10, 2011
Total: 83

Foret Organic Saison, June 23, 2010
Total: 83

Real Ale Empire (Barrel-Aged Lost Gold), August 11, 2010
Total: 82

Jason Fields & Kevin Sheppard/Tröegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout, July 28, 2011
Total: 82

Magic Hat Odd Notion Fall 2010, August 19, 2010
Total: 82

Magic Hat Blind Faith IPA, May 21, 2010
Total: 82

Brother David's Triple, April 8, 2010
Total: 81

Rahr La Grange Farmhouse Ale, September 8, 2011
Total: 80

Schneider Weisse Hefe-Weizen, June 23, 2010
Total: 80

Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter, July 9, 2010
Total: 79

Saint Arnold Summer Pils, August 5, 2010
Total: 76

Magic Hat Demo IPA, February 10, 2011
Total: 74

Samuel Adams LongShot Lemon Pepper Saison, April 15, 2010
Total: 74

Harpoon Belgian Pale Ale, April 29, 2010
Total: 72

Magic Hat Odd Notion Ginger Golden Ale, May 21, 2010
Total: 72

Bridgid's Brew, April 15, 2010
Total: 71

Mama's Little Yella Pils, March 4, 2010
Total: 69

Harpoon Summer Beer, April 29, 2010
Total: 65

Magic Hat Vinyl Lager, February 10, 2011
Total: 65

North Coast Brewing Le Merle Saison, July 16, 2010
Total: 58

Magic Hat Wacko Summer Seasonal, May 21, 2010
Total: 52

Baltika Grade 9 Extra, March 4, 2010 
Total: 44


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