Untappd: An app for showy drinkers

If you are a Facebook friend or Twitter follower, you’ll no doubt see the occasional item that looks like this:

2013-02-17 at 07-07-08Last week while in Dallas, one of my former students marveled at how I was still able to post Tweets after my sixth beer. I explained that I was talented. In reality, I’m not. I (wait for it) have an app for that.

Untappd (tagline: Drink Socially) is the FourSquare for the beer-loving set. Whereas FourSquare makes you think that people care about what store/airport/restaurant/room of the house you are currently in, Untappd allows you to announce what beer you are currently imbibing. The app is a reflection of its co-founder Tim Mather: “a melding of technology and…love for all things beer.” 

The app functions much in the same way as FourSquare. You search for the beer you are drinking and check into it. You can post a photo, review and rating of the beer and share your check-in with your social networks (FourSquare, Facebook and Twitter. Luckily, there is no LinkedIn connection). Untappd uses the FourSquare API and your phone’s location services so that you can connect your current location. Last night, I had my first-ever Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA at the Coppertop Tavern in Camillus. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and flavorful it was and reflected that in my check-in (you’ll note that I tapped the wrong location on my phone, instead checking in at my house…sigh):

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2013-02-17 at 07-09-31Untappd allows you to follow the brewery, if they have an brewer’s account (Sierra Nevada does), as well as friend other beer drinkers. Like FourSquare, it awards badges when you meet certain milestones, such as check-in plateaus, multiple check-ins of the same type of beer (I Believe in IPA is one) or if you’ve had a busy month, like me.

One of its better functions is it’s memory. It keeps a record of your check-ins, the different beers you have checked into and the badges that you have proudly earned. I suppose it’s a good way for The Wife to look back and figure out why the hotel bar charge at my Dallas hotel was so stunning (the Hyatt Regency Dallas Downtown has a very nice local craft beer selection). That section is called My Tab:

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If nothing else, Untappd offers a way to keep an eye out on what’s new and yummy in the craft beer world, allowing you to stay in tune to what you could be and should be drinking. It functions like a cross of Beer Advocate and FourSquare. As with any social media app, user beware. You may not want to be friends with your HR director on Facebook or have your boss follow you, for fear that they see your endless posts of “Drinking a (insert name of beer here)…” and start linking your drinking to other things. But, even if you don’t share with your other networks, Untappd can be your memory of a beer when you may not remember ordering it.

Untappd is a free app available on the iTunes App Store and whatever store you buy apps at for Droids. If you use a Windows phone, well, like most things in life, you are left out in the cold. Join the real world and get a Galaxy S3 or an iPhone. Or, you know what? Don’t. Just give up and get a Jitterbug.

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