Badges, badges, and badges... - Untappd Blog
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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.

Show Offs

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.

Repeat Offenders

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!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

PETA Scores Victory Against Big Beer

St. Louis, MO – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has largely been a non-stop source of fodder for the world’s comedians for years … until recently. PETA, throughout its 4 decades of unintended hilarity, has been the group that has produced a slew of wait-is-this-an-April-Fools-Day joke campaigns. Here are some of the highlights: (these are actually all true)

  • Petitioned the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to cancel the tradition of milk in the winner’s circle for two reasons:
    • It is seen as “cruel to cows”
    • And milk is racist because many African-Americans lack the enzyme needed to digest it.
  • Once protested against a Texas man who claimed to have hunted and killed Bigfoot. Yes … Bigfoot.
  • Tried to have the word ‘fish’ changed to ‘sea kittens’ because people would be less inclined to eat them.


But chalk one up for PETA. In a shocking turn of events, AB InBev, parent company of Budweiser and the famed Clydesdale horses has decided to cave to PETA pressure and will cease using the majestic creatures in their promotions. PETA President, Ingrid Newkirk was quoted as saying, “Well crap. That’s cool that we won once, but now I don’t have any reason to be insanely bitter. Not sure what we do next.”

Expect to see more of this …

But back to Budweiser. Their commercials during the holidays are part of the very fabric that makes December feel like a warm sweater. Those massive horses pulling a simple wagon in parades are the attraction – the highlight – that draws crowds by the millions. So, who will pull the wagons now? Who will ‘star’ in the holiday commercials now that the horses have been loosed from their supposed bondage? The bearded hipster … that’s who.

Known for their universally rugged appearance, chiseled good looks, and apparent strength (because ya know … they’re always wearing flannel), these studs will become the new workhorses of the AB InBev holiday season. Carlos Brito, CEO of Budweiser said, “They’re always hanging around the brewery, just standing around and giving us that cold, dead stare. I figure … why not put ’em to work?”

As for the horses, Brito said, “We’re just gonna open the doors and see where they go.” No word yet on what the Clydesdales have decided to do. I’m sure PETA has horse psychologists on standby.


This article is parody, in case you didn’t already know that. It’s meant to be funny so lighten up, Francis. If we use real people’s names, all the supporting details are totally made up. Except for the crazy PETA antics at the beginning – that was all legit.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Sacramento, CA – In the wake of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s sweeping and far-reaching guidelines regarding upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations, Gov. Newsom doubled-down this week, extending additional regulations on myriad groups and upcoming gatherings.

As a proposed set of regulations designed to limit the spread of the BeerVirus, Newsom last week announced that Thanksgiving celebrations can only be two-hours long, can only have three households involved, must be outdoors, and everyone is required to bring their own turkey or other planet-friendly protein to the event. When pressed on how he personally planned on celebrating Thanksgiving with these regulations, Governor Newsom said, “Oh, this s*** ain’t for me. My mom said that I have to host this year, since Aunt Maureen did last year. I’m making my famous squash casserole!”

“Oh, this s*** ain’t for me.” – California Governor Gavin Newsom

Despite outcries from all corners of the state, Newsom dug his heels even further with a second wave of government overreach. Here are some of the more eye-opening decrees handed down:

  • All homes with more than three cars are subject to being invaded, monitored by satellite, or ‘totally creeped out by Government drones’ to make sure they are in compliance,
  • Effective immediately, the new state song has been changed to “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police,
  • The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) has been given a 30-day mandate to develop masks that allow you to drink without removing them. An early prototype can be seen here, and
  • Christmas is currently on hold until there is CDC clearance regarding the ability of reindeer and/or elves to either contract or spread the Covids. When asked about this specific guideline, Newsom stated that he was always uneasy having a reindeer with a “bright red nose, almost certainly the result of a nasty infection” prancing about on his roof. There was no immediate indication as to the progress made on elf and reindeer Covid testing. 

There was one swift and positive reaction. The President of Introverts Anonymous (who refused to give her name, because – ya know – she’s shy) announced plans to move their headquarters to Yuba City. Said the unnamed President, “I mean – this is the sign we’ve been waiting for! I know they have oppressive taxes, and the mudslides, earthquakes, and raging fires will kill us all soon. But we won’t legally be allowed near people. We chose Yuba City because I guess we need to be kinda near Sac-town, but we didn’t want to be too close, ya know?”

Governor Newsom has another press conference next week. Leaked information says he’s going after three main sources of what he calls, “too many people in close proximity”: huddles on the football field, mothers pregnant with twins, and Mormons.


This article is parody, in case you didn’t already know that. It’s meant to be funny so lighten up, Francis. If we use real people’s names, all the supporting details are totally made up.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

The Craft Brewers Association (CBA) made a very controversial decision yesterday, and the fallout continues today and for the foreseeable future. In a shocking move, the CBA held a press conference in front of their Milwaukee headquarters building in front of a throng of dumbstruck onlookers. Chairman of the Board Ned Nederlander proudly announced, “In accordance with newly passed and ratified association bylaws, and in keeping with the undeniable recent trends in the industry, the Craft Brewers Association announces the following changes to our membership structure. As of today, the CBA no longer recognizes any brewery not owned by dudes with super long beards. I’m not talking five o’clock shadow or some hipster starter beard. I’m talking ZZ Top flavor-saver beards.  ”

“I know you’re going to think that we’re just chasing the latest fad – and you’re totally right. I mean, hazy IPAs, glitter beers, the sour craze, and now even hard seltzer coming out of breweries? Yeah – we follow every fad and craze.” – Ned Nederlander, CBA Chair

Ned Nederlander not making friends

Continuing with the statement, Nederlander said that any breweries not currently in compliance had 90 days to either change ownership or “buy a crap-ton of Rogaine and Minoxidil” hoping to meet the requirement in time. Reaction from the industry was swift and very divided. Representatives from Frothy Beard Brewing, Bearded Iris, and Beer’d Brewing Company was strongly in support of the move. Kavon Togrye, Founder and CEO of Bearded Iris said, “Wait – there are people who work in breweries without beards? Who knew?”

The feedback from those affected by the change … not so positive. Brey Sloane with Riverwatch Brewing was none too pleased: “You mean I have to sell to some caveman or have to go all circus side-show freak Bearded Lady?!? No, no, NO!” Determined to continue making her delicious beers in Augusta, GA, Sloane formed a new competing association, specifically focused on breweries that don’t have any beards onsite. Lovingly named Witches Without Whiskers (find them at www.www.www), the association was created with the aim to “basically be the exact opposite of the CBA.”

HaHaHops will continue to monitor this situation as it progresses.

This article is parody, in case you didn’t already know that. It’s meant to be funny so lighten up, Francis. If we use real people’s names, all the supporting details are totally made up.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Beer + Wrestling + … Fruity Pebbles?

Stone Brewing Co. ™ must have some lawyers without much to do. It all started with a lawsuit in early 2018 against MillerCoors (now Molson Coors) over the new branding of Keystone. Miller Coors started labeling it simply as ‘Stone’ and the folks at Stone Brewing Co. ™ were none too pleased. Stone Brewing Co. ™ CEO Dominic Engels said, “I don’t think anyone would truly confuse that crap with the beer we brew, but I thought I could make a few bucks off the big boys.”

The craft industry quickly rallied, clamoring for a victory from independent craft beer versus the big boys. It appears as though that initial lawsuit whet the appetite of Engels’ legal team. Since that case became public, Stone Brewing Co. ™ has since gone after over 100 other businesses that dare the use the word ‘stone’ in their name. Breweries, bars, restaurants, pizza joints … no one is safe from Stone Brewing Co.’s ™ reign of legal terror. Seeking to further their reach, Stone Brewing Co. ™ announced on Friday that they are filing suit against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for using a term that’s “kinda, sorta similar” to Stone Brewing Co.’s ™ brand. Johnson, who first gained popularity as a professional wrestler and later grew into one of the most famous actors in Hollywood, has been using the nickname “The Rock” since bout 1997. Said Engels,

“People probably think I’m some Arrogant Bastard for going after Dwayne Johnson. But we were founded a few months before he started using that name and feel that the majority of his popularity stems from his usage of a term that’s a synonym for the name of our Brewery.”

But it doesn’t stop there. Rumor has it that Stone Brewing Co. ™ has now turned their attention to other brands. Be on the lookout for future legal claims against Post Cereals (for their Pebbles, both Fruity and Cocoa), the California Granite Quarry (in Rocklin, California no less), and an all-out legal assault on Hanna-Barbera for their blatant infringements on The Flintstones: Barney Rubble, Pebbles, Fred Flintstone, Joe Rockhead, and Mr. Slate.

Be very nervous, Mario Lopez – you may be next for your portrayal of AC Slater on Saved by the Bell.


This article is parody, in case you didn’t already know that. It’s meant to be funny so lighten up, Francis. If we use real people’s names, all the supporting details are totally made up.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Chicago – Molson Coors, continuing the ever-growing push to acquire more craft beer brands, made an unprecedented offer to buy Leinenkugel for $12 billion last Thursday.

While the size of the offer is larger than most recent craft brewery acquisitions, there was a deeper force in play making this offer different than anything the industry has seen to date. For many years now, the larger global brewing conglomerates have shifted their focus from brewing watered-down lagers to buying the stuff that people actually enjoy drinking. In a statement released last year, AB InBev’s CEO Carlos Brito said, “Apparently people enjoy beer with flavor. We’ve never been able to make that happen, so we’ll just buy all the companies that can.”

No stranger to buying smaller craft breweries, Molson Coors stepped into new territory with last week’s offer. Having researched Leinenkugel and their impressively loyal fan base, Molson Coors’ CEO Gavin Hattersley learned that Leinenkugel was not independently owned. They had already become part of a larger company that was seemingly stockpiling small, independent craft breweries. This seemed too good to be true – a company that was already successfully buying market share, exactly as they planned to do.

Hattersley went for the boldest of all moves – he marshalled the forces to purchase Leinenkugel’s parent company, Tenth and Blake. Too good to be true? Yes it was. Much to Hattersley’s dismay, he learned that he already owned Tenth and Blake and, by proxy, Leinenkugel. “Egg on my face is all I can say,” said a sheepish Gavin Hattersley. “We buy so many breweries and really don’t know much about beer. I guess I just got a little greedy.”

The silver lining here? Molson Coors ended the day with exactly what they set out to get and didn’t have to spend billions to get it.



This article is parody, in case you didn’t already know that. It’s meant to be funny so lighten up, Francis. If we use real people’s names, all the supporting details are totally made up.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington