Some brewers are awesome and kind enough to place information like the ABV, IBU, and even SRM right on the label of any beer they distribute. This is rad, because (in theory), it means I know exactly what I'm getting myself into, and how to expect a given beer should taste.
However, I find that - especially with IBU, this information often isn't available - even though it is among the most reliable predictors of the overall flavor profile of a beer that I've never drank. As a consumer, it's a really helpful way to try to sort through different beers. I've been trying to educate my palate by paying attention to things like how different beers are rated along this scale, in order to better adjust my expectations, but unfortunately, without good information, this is hard to do.
Is there any way that I can figure out how the beer I'm drinking rates on that scale without complicated equipment?