Most of you are likely familiar with and maybe even users of the most popular social beer check-in app, Untappd. (You can friend me there @BabyGotBeer). Founded in 2010, Untappd now boasts over 9 million users … and those users use the app in very, very different ways. The concept is simple. Have a beer and check it into the app, give a score from 0 to 5, and complete the check-in with tasting notes, serving style, location, tagged friends, and more. With seemingly every check-in, users receive one of a never-ending sea of ‘Badges’ – the gamification side of the app.
What do brewers think about Untappd and the feedback they receive? After having polled several brewers, opinions varied but there was one commonality amongst everyone I interviewed – user reviews are taken with a massive grain of salt. Whether it’s because of dirty tap lines at the neighborhood pub, a novice beer drinker who doesn’t know a hop from an adjunct, or Yelp-style morons trying to avenge grudges online – too many reviews lack real value. For entertainment purposes, we have identified seven types of Untappd users and will lampoon and caricature them here. The question is, which one are you?
The Trophy Hunter
Untappd tracks the total number of check-ins and the total number of unique check-ins. It’s fine to pound the same beer all the time and continue checking it in, but the Trophy Hunter is only concerned with driving up the unique number.
- Pro: The Trophy Hunter is always on the look for something new and different. This is an adventurous beer drinker!
- Con: “Westvleteren XII? Utopias? Pliny the Younger? No thanks – I’ve had those before, but I’ve never checked in a Bud Light Mango-Rita!”
The most important part of checking in beers on Untappd is …. remembering to check them in! Seems like a “No duh” thing to say, but there are so many users (looking in the mirror on this one) who enjoy some beers with friends and never go back and add them to the list.
- Pro: They’re actually sociable with their friends rather than being nose-deep in the phone for hours on end, typing descriptions and tasting notes on yet another NEIPA. (Pro tip: Just take pictures of the labels or menu and check back in later.)
- Con: Can never remember if they’ve tried a beer before or not. They cannot remember if it was good or what they thought of it. They probably have had 3,000 unique beers but still only show 184 in the app.
These are the people who won’t even check a beer in unless it’s something worth bragging about. These people are whale hunters and have checked in no more than 8 beers.
- Pro: Can’t think of one.
- Con: They’re insufferably annoying and boast a list of check-ins like Zwanze Cantillon, Tree House Jjjuliusss, Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch, Odd Project OWK, and probably a PBR.
This is the opposite of the Trophy Hunter. Real life example of this is the infamous Chris H. Chris has 28,000 total check-ins but only 276 unique beers. We get it, Chris. You love Guinness, but there are other beers out there too.
- Pro: The Repeat Offender is genuinely a happy person. They know what they like and never have to worry about getting something that just doesn’t cut it.
- Con: B-O-R-I-N-G. “Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” It’s okay to try something new once every decade or two.
The Beer Judge Certification Program is the certification program, training people to understand and taste the differences in beer styles. BJCP-certified judges are in high demand at beer festivals and competitions. BJCP users really try to analyze each beer and judge it based on what it’s supposed to be, not whether or not they love it.
- Pro: Gives real and valuable feedback and really can help guide people to beers they’ll love.
- Con: They can look like real asshats. The beer snobbery can be very real with this crew. They’ll use terms like esters, phenols, and ‘off-flavors.’
“I had 1-ounce pours of 384 beers this week. I’ll be able to give very valuable feedback on the complex flavors of each when I sit down to add them next week.” These people are just there to try to break Untappd with as many check-ins as possible as quickly as possible.
- Pro: They do love to explore and try new beers, but …
- Con: Are they actually tasting anything? Some people would argue that they don’t really care about beer – they just want to achieve some mythical check-in number.
Yes – I combined oblivious with idiot to make up a new term. You get the point. These are people who know next-to-nothing about beer, drink a style they typically don’t like and then give it an awful review. “Ewww – it’s too hoppy. I hate IPAs. I give it a 0.25.” These people should be forced to delete Untappd from their phones and be subjected to a life of White Claw.
- Pro: Really reminds us that there is a market for Bud Light Mango, White Claw, and hard lemonade.
- Con: Utterly useless feedback. And they’re probably leaving the beer to be poured out which is a crime against humanity.
So there we have it. Which style(s) are you? I’ll be honest that I have found myself in a few categories at different times. And I always try to remember, it’s okay to post a check-in on Untappd with NO ranking. Maybe you tried something and it felt off, or you hated it but also don’t dig the style. Check it in with no score so you can remember that you’ve had it but don’t need to have it again.
Cheers! Please do not leave a review on this post. Ha!