Facebook for Beer Lovers
More than four years ago, I discovered a free iPhone app, untappd. It is a nice app I use to track most of the beers I drink. Many of my beer friends use it, so I can see what they’ve been drinking as well.
Craft beer can be expensive, so I like to research my next beer. I often use Beer Advocate for their beer reviews, but untappd is another good source for beer ratings. Unfortunately, most untappd users do not add comments, leaving just a numerical rating by quarter stars.
Most of all, I use untappd to take notes for this blog.
untappd offers lots of nice features. You can do more than just record the beer you are drinking. You can take a picture of it, leave a brief comment, give it a rating, tell where you are having a drink and even record how you are drinking it -taster, bottle, draft, etc. Also, it’s a great way to help pick out your next beer. They even offer top rated beers by category. A new feature is the barcode scanner which allows you to scan the UPC from a bottle and usually fills in all the info. If you’re all thumbs like me, it’s a great help.
After four years, I have a nice personal database of beers with ratings. untappd provides a great way to sort and search your beer list or your friend’s list.
Adding friends to your untappd account is a lot of fun. You can follow them even when you aren’t with them. Also, you can toast a drink or even leave a comment. Groups are a new feature that I have experimented with, but really haven’t figure out yet.
I sent an email to untappd’s support a few times when I had problems. Once, I was trying to cash in a reward I had received for a beer festival, and the code did not work. They responded within 15 minutes.
I have a few issues with untappd. It really does require strong wifi. For instance, it often does not work at one of my favorite local hangouts, Frisco, especially on a busy night. Also, it is not intuitive. I find that if I don’t use it for a while, I cannot remember how to do things. On the phone app, why does the check-in a beer require clicking the search for a beer?
All those limitations are minor. The worst problem with uptappd is its success. I find myself fiddling with my phone while hanging with your friends. The main reason I like to go out and have a beer is to be social. Sometimes I’ll let someone else log the beer and just enjoy the moment.
Most people don’t add a comment, they just provide a rating. I find the comments important, especially since ratings can be so arbitrary. Unfortunately, only 140 characters are allocated for comments.
Finally, about the badges. Really, why?
There are plenty of beer apps, but with all the time I’ve put into it and the friends related to this great app, untappd is the one for me.