Rollin’ Golden Pub – 2017

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Humble origins.

It began innocently enough.  Someone goes to California on business with a side mission: “If at all possible, bring back this specific beer.”  She looked.  And had someone else help her.  And via faithful sleuthing and persistence, she found it.  She packed it in her suitcase.  It survived the flight.  It was delivered as requested. And then…  Glory be!

The recipient shared.

Four years later, that spirit of sharing endures.  The quest, however, has changed.  Sure, there are ample specific beers out there waiting to be found and welcomed to the RGP, but the nature of the endeavor has changed, described thusly:

Are you planning a vacation?  What breweries are there?  Is there a standout beer we haven’t sampled yet?  Is it a seasonal offering and will it be available?  Your spouse knows the itinerary includes breweries or craft beer retailers, right?
Are you traveling on business?  What breweries are there?  Is there a standout beer we haven’t sampled yet?  Do you know beer enthusiasts in the area who might have beers to trade?  Do you have a suitable stock of beers to trade in return?
Is a co-worker visiting your office?  Where are they from?  Would they mind stopping by this particular brewery on new release day an pick up this specific beer?
Are you surfing the internet?  Stop planning vacations and reading sports.  Focus on the beer swapping site.  You don’t need disposable income anyway. 

These are the questions that mark the passage from innocence to consuming hobby.  The RGP must be stocked and ready to serve.  Obligations exist. Capture5

And so it is time for our Annual Report.  For a detailed listing of beers, just click the logo to the right.    While we try to publicly disclose objective measures of our success, we regret to inform you that BeerAdvocate, one of our key rating agencies, abandoned their traditional grading methods mid-year, which, much like a fiscal accounting change, makes our year to year comparisons difficult. 

BeerAdvocate has done one thing to simplify their ratings and four things to confuse them.  The scoring is now plainly the average of ratings, from 1 to 5, given by anyone who cares to post a score.  That’s a good thing, because they removed algorithms to “correct” deviations in scoring as they saw fit.  However, that is also a bad thing, because our tasting over the years supported the ratings they provided, thus creating a lot of work by the RGP to compare apples to oranges.

Not bad, but the BeerAdvocate should clarify their ranking methodology, which seem to give more credibility to beers rated at least 1,000 times.  This is needed, else every new beer would be graded by its brewer and start off at the top of the list, but the question remains whether the number of ratings is the only influence on their rankings.

Thirdly, a bad thing is their own characterization of the ratings based on the new scoring system.   This requires a correction, we are obligated and decently qualified to correct. 

At the time of the change, BeerAdvocate offered their recalibrated range of scores and descriptions: 1Capture

That’s plain enough.  Only, in the real world, no multitude of people will score the perfect beer with top marks.  In short, a beer cannot sustain a 5.0 rating due to consumer preferences for styles.  The highest rated beers – those previously ranked 100 - currently average in the  4.57 to 4.70 range.   Although the original BA scores may have changed over time, the following is a truer approximation based on a comparison of beers as they were previously scored with their new ratings:


Lastly, the scoring change should upset retailers.  “Outstanding” or “World Class” are helpful, but discriminating buyers want differentiation within those categories.  Buyers of both wine and beer are used to seeing scores, which retailers often place on the shelf to help guide buyers.  If they’re left with the scores of RateBeer for shelf guidance, they risk purchasing a beer that sucks with a score of anything less than a 96…

Enough methodology and disclosure.  Here’s the results:3Capture

And there we have it, 2017 brought an all-time high for the number of beers tasted AND overall quality ratings.

With quantity and quality thus trending up, we bring our attention to another number… 8.53.  That’s the average ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of the 2017 RGP offerings… and squarely on par with prior years.    That may not be interesting to craft beer partakers (though unfathomable to imbibers of Bud Light and the like), the ABV is high enough that care must be taken, thus a segue to:  

RGP Bylaws

The following are understood to be the operating principles of the RGP, an IFG (Informally Formed Group) without legal standing, to meet approximately monthly at a publicly undisclosed parking space, for the tasting, enjoyment and subsequent judgment of beers reputed to be of the very highest quality or which, in a pinch, have a really cool label.

Forthwith, RGP members shall:

1.  Limit group consumption to a total volume of 72 fluid ounces, in due regard for preventing injury to public health and civility.

2.  The presenting host member(s) are required to arrange for suitable glassware and product refrigeration for each scheduled event.  And a bottle opener.

3.  A quorum is required for a standing event to take place, a quorum being defined as more than three members but fewer than five.

4.  As requirements for IFGs are, by definition, not well defined legally, if at all, the RGP hereby establishes that its count shall be four members, such that the quorum requirements can be met.  Such is considered fitting and appropriate so as to not overtax participants with a deluge of e-mails, conflicts, cancellations, delays, etc. etc. etc. so that such good times may be first be scheduled and then enjoyed.

Henceforth declared,

February 16, 2015 Anno Domini.

*All beers for one, one beer for all*

Wisdom, this is, much like the establishment of speed limits.  If speed limits did not exist, bad things would happen.  Chaos while texting.  Mayhem while dipping fries into ketchup.  Spilt coffee.  But everyone knows that a certain latitude is permitted by law enforcement, and so it is with the what is affectionately (I think) termed “Reese’s Rules.”   RGP members have demonstrated a far  closer tolerance to the stated limit than any might admit to whilst behind the wheel.  And, lest there be any confusion, the Rollin’ Golden Pub is much like a Food Truck.  Yes, it travels, but it does its business while parked.  So much so, that its existence and location can be objectively confirmed in Untappd, the mightiest of beer aficionado apps. 

Lastly, we come to our pursuits of achieving diversity.  Geographical diversity, that is.  We crossed off all 50 States a while ago, but now we aim to have tasted the #1 ranked beer in each State as ranked by Beer Advocate.   We’re at 18 after 2017, an increase of one after 2016.   All things considered, we’re pleased as the changing rankings could throw an upset as we also seek out anything related in the Top 3, understanding that some #1’s and others are available draught only, which is a bit of an impediment.  Alternately, I’ll offer that we have tasted 32 of the 150 listed in the State rankings.

We’d like to close with a hearty “thank you” to our mules who help source our heralded provisions, and a special shout out to our hosting property owner, who, despite our frequent and conspicuous activities – vehicles, glassware, beer cooler, open imbibing, duration of the event, and dumping of ice - imply their tacit blessing for use of the premises for year #5!

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