Untappd may be one of the best apps around if you are a craft beer connoisseur. Basically Untappd is a social media site for craft beer drinkers to log the beers they drink, create wishlists, rate beers, and see what friends are drinking. Here are the top 5 reasons why I love Untappd.
1. Beer tracking – I am terrible at remembering things that I drink or eat. And the more I drink, the less I seem to remember. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Untappd helps me through this. Every time I drink a beer, I check it in. I can track what it is, where I’m drinking, and how I rate each particular beer. I can also choose whether or not to post these check-ins to Twitter, Facebook, or Foursquare. I often skip right over the comment section, but use it on rare occasions when beers blow me away or make me want to cry. If the beer isn’t listed in Untappd’s huge database, I can create it. This is especially helpful for home brews and tiny breweries. Untappd keeps track of two different numbers related to check-ins: total beers and unique beers (beer that I have never had before). When you get to certain numbers within the unique category, you earn badges (see below) labeling you as a novice, master, legendary, and so on. This is definitely the best and most utilized feature available on Untappd. On a whim, I can look to see if I have had a particular beer and how I rated it. Although some beers, I will never forget. For example, Ta Henket by Dogfish Head. I’m still uncertain why they made a beer that tastes like dirt. Or Citra DIPA by Kern River which is God’s gift to my tastebuds.
*Side note: it is always especially funny when I can’t remember checking in a beer, and yet, there it is checked in and rated from a previous engagement. This seems to occur a lot after bottle tasting events.
2. Badges – How fun are badges? What do they mean in the real world? Nothing. Do you even get a real badge to iron on to your letter jacket or Girl Scout sash? No, which I find sad by the way. But badges are totally fun to earn. It is like a reward for drinking. And who wouldn’t love that. Plus, Untappd has some really fun badges. Many of the badges are relatively easy to earn and you know when you are going to earn one. Some are based on the number of a particular beer that you drink and others are based on holidays. They have badges for venues, like ski resorts and airports and badges for drinking before noon. I personally enjoy earning badges when I didn’t even know that they were coming. I’m a huge fan of my Beer-Giving 2011 badge, simply because it has a cute turkey on it made out of beer bottles, and my Legendary status for drinking 500 unique beers. I also love that my phone or computer screen tell me “Huzzah” each and every time I earn a badge. If the beer community has any say in the matter, we are so bringing that word back. And who doesn’t love New Brew Thursday, which gives all craft beer drinkers not just an excuse to drink on Thursdays, but almost makes it a requirement.
3. Friends – Who doesn’t like having friends? You can add friends on Untappd just like on Facebook and Twitter, but without hearing about their places of employment, seeing pictures of their children (usually), or knowing how frequently they do their laundry. Friends check-in beers and can comment about those beers in 140 characters or less. You can reply to check-ins or “toast” your friends when they are drinking something you approve of. The “crazy toasters,” one of which is the man I am married to, are just really nice people who toast everything to show their support of your drinking habits. When you click on your friend’s name, you can see their favorite beers, favorite places to drink, their wish list of beers (see below) and the photos they have taken (see below again). I think this could totally be used as a gift registry, which of course means I am thinking like a girl. If I need to buy one of my friends a gift, I can check their Untappd page for suggestions. Move over Amazon and Cracker Barrel.
4. Pictures – Pictures can add an element of fun to your beer check-ins. Mostly people take the standard picture of the bottle or glass of beer, or the bottle with the glass of beer. But every once in a while, you come across a gem. Just the other day I saw a hedgehog checking out a can of Resin by Sixpoint Brewery. My friend BobbyLikesBeer always seems to find a way to work himself into his pictures. And then there are the random pictures of things that aren’t related to beer, which I find kind of odd, but interesting and often humorous.
5. Wish List – The wish list is exactly what it sounds like. I can add beers that I want to drink to this list as a reminder to me. I can either come up with the beer names on my own, I can search a breweries list of beers, or when I check-in a beer, Untappd provides me with suggestions. This is wonderful when I have found a beer or style that I really enjoy. Untappd educates me to other beers that fit my tastes. I like this feature and always intend to use it, but my shoddy memory seems to get in my way.
6. Side Bets – I know. I said 5 reasons. This is an extra for your reading pleasure. While I never win, side bets with Untappd are also quite fun. A few friends and I just had a race to 600 uniques. One of my friends has already reached and surpassed that goal. I am at a measly 554. But the bet itself and trash talking that goes with it, make Untappd that much more enjoyable.
If you aren’t on Untappd, I highly suggesting signing up. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks Tim and Greg for making drinking even more fun than it already is.
Feel free to friend Hopbunnies when you join!