Two Stanford computer scientists have demonstrated that beer geeks have great taste.
Stanford University computer science post-doc Julian McAuley and assistant professor Jure Leskovec released a paper earlier this year outlining how our tastes change as we consume more products and gain more expertise.
Their theory was the more experience we have, the more we will like certain products that are less accessible to beginners. They wrote:
It would be a mistake to recommend the iconic film “Seven Samurai” simply because a user enjoys other action movies; rather, we might conclude that they will eventually enjoy it — once they are ready. The same is true for beers, wines, gourmet foods — or any products where users have acquired tastes: the ‘best’ products may not be the most ‘accessible.’
McAuley and Leskovec developed a model to help them separate the “expert” users from the “beginners” on a given review website. You can read all about it here, but briefly, it takes into account the number of reviews a user has written, and how the user’s ratings evolved compared to the rest of the “expert” community (those who have written more than 50 reviews).
So with Oktoberfest kicking off this Saturday, we asked them to share data for the highest-rated beers by experts on RateBeer, the largest beer-rating website, with more than three million beer reviews.
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