The craze for “premium” beers is in full swing. More and more tastings and beer fairs keep popping up and it doesn’t look like they’re going away anytime soon. Now we can all drink to that, but there’s something even better; there’s now an app for Android where beer lovers have a place to find each other. We’re talking about Untappd, a social network where passion for beer becomes an art form.
I’ve always been more of a beer-drinker than a wine person myself. It’s not that I’m a hater of one of the most important beverages in the world, but I just tend to prefer to throw back a cold one when the moment strikes. I think this preference is probably shared with the vast majority of people and that’s exactly why it’s no surprise to find an app like Untappd exists. Nowadays, there are social networks for any and all sorts of people, so finding an app dedicated to beer didn’t exactly knock my socks off. In fact, we’ve already talked about other similar apps like Beer Citizen, but the one we have here is, if anything, more complete.
Untappd brings us a clean and clear interface. The app’s yellow band label is present at all times, but it will never make you have to look away because it’s hurting your eyes or anything. Like any good social network, you have to create an account to enjoy everything Untappd has to offer, but here I’ll give you a sneak peak at some of the great features.
The app works like a beer diary. You can enter all types of beer you’ve drunk, you’re drinking at the moment, or want to drink in the future, and it’s easy to do so regardless of the type of beer. The app recognizes almost any beer brand. The number of brands included is remarkable; so many in fact, that Untappd acknowledged my attempts at trying to outsmart it. Even local labels that I thought only the creators,their families, and I knew about. One point goes to Untappd.
To enter a beer into your account, you can do one of two things: write the name of the beverage selected or scan the bar code to enter the beer to your list. This isn’t the end-all to avoid touching any keys at all, but it’s a more useful feature than I’d expected. It works perfectly with certain labels that have a thousand and one different types of beer. I may not be able to tell the difference between a Pale Ale, an Indian Pale Ale, and an Old Ale, but the app never fails.
Here we also have a sort of Foursquare for beer drinking, since in addition to recording the brands you drink, you can also indicate where you’re drinking it, turning Untappd into a great guide for local businesses. But as the social network it is, its performance depends greatly on the community that uses it, and here, I have to take my hat off to it, because it has a thriving community of users. Amazing.
Each beer available in Untappd has a complete profile with the type of beer it is, the company that makes it, its alcohol content … and best of all, recommendations. If you’ve enjoyed a certain brew and want to try similar ones, Untappd can give you a few recommendations to get you started. The social network includes even more information like how many people drink it (and enter it in the app), as well as how many times you have yourself. A record of all the times you’ve enjoyed a beverage in some place in the world that can’t even be called “beer.” The horror!
There’s another great point for the owners of businesses where beer is very important. Untappd not only helps small establishments become known, but small craft and micro-breweries can also present their products and analyze the consumption habits of their products. All this in a tool that’s reminiscent of Google Analytics. You can read more about this on their website.
To all this, there’s still even more features to add, in case anyone still isn’t convinced as to the usefulness of the app. It has a ranking of the best beers in the world where votes are gathered from the app’s many users, it has good social integration, it shows events close to your location, and news about the world of beer. You even earn different badges when you enter the different brands of beer you’ve consumed!
Untappd is an essential tool for any true beer lover. Whether you use it as a source of reference or as a social network, you can get plenty of use out of it. I’ll just say it’s earned a permanent place on my smartphone, that’s a fact.