Ah, Untappd. The beer recording app that divides opinion amongst the beer drinking community. Sometimes described by it’s detractors as “Pokemon Go!* For beer” but loved by it’s user base as a convenient way of tracking what they are drinking.
It’s one of the apps on my phone that I wouldn’t be without, to the extent that I happily pay each month to be a supporter. I find it a great way of recording what beers I have drunk, and what I thought of them through it’s rating system. It’s also great for seeing what friends are drinking, what beers are available at venues in the area, or for trying to track down a particular beer you want to try.
In any new place I will fire up the app, search for ‘Verified Venues’ and get a feel for what is around me. For example, when we visited Paris I had a list of venues I had researched that I planned on visiting but on checking Untappd whilst in our hotel I discovered a Brewery Tap 5 minutes away that I hadn’t picked up on, and it ended up being one of the best places we visited.
In familiar areas, such as wandering around London, I use the app to see which venues I want to visit based on current tap lists. With so much choice available it is a great way of filtering choice and expectation.
And of course the my poorly hidden “anorak” persona loves the ‘badges’ awarded for drinking a certain number of beers based on style, location, brewer and any number of other categories. It is this aspect that I guess earned the Pokemon comparison.
The ratings can be contentious, and open to abuse, but as far as I am concerned they are only ever for me, and I have noticed over time that ratings have become more refined as I increase the number of available comparisons. Personally I try to be as objective as possible and score a beer based on the style that it is claimed to be, so, for example, a beer which is supposed to be a Saison but has none of the Saison characteristics that I would expect will, obviously, score lower than a classic Saison, such as Saison Dupont.
Occasionally a brewer will comment on one of my check-ins to ask as to why I scored it as I did and I am always as polite, honest and constructive as I can be with my feedback as I believe we all appreciate constructive criticism as to our endeavours. I would never just say “it was a bad beer,” I would attempt to explain why I thought that.
If you use the app too, and haven’t already done so, then ping a Friend request to musinganorak and for those that are interested there is a feed of my on-going activity lower down this page.
*Yes, I play Pokemon Go!…