Please forgive me, if start to sound a little bit nerdy, but I like to ‘collect’ beers and probably have done for the last 12 years or so, there I’ve said it. Not collecting in the traditional sense, that would be tedious, having dusty bottles of beer on a shelf and never sampling them just does not appeal. But it was born, more out of a search for that elusive great beer and documenting that journey. I used to carry around a little brown book, which I filled with my musings and tasting notes. The idea being that I would be in a new pub, see the beer offerings and quickly reference if I had had any before. The reality was, that I could never find the beer in the book in a timely fashion, stopping it from being that quick reference guide I wanted.

This all changed in 2014, when I discovered Untappd.

Untappd in its purest terms is Facebook for beer lovers. It’s an electronic version of my little beer book, with added social media. You can check-in beers that you are drinking and share their locations and what you think of the beers with your friends. So typically, you could take a photo of the beer, give the beer a considered review, highlight the flavour profile and score the beer out of 5 stars.

So, any friends that use that App, get to see on their timeline any beers that are being checked-in and can ‘toast’ and comment on any subsequent review.

As a user you can search a venue and see what beers have been checked in recently, this is most useful if you are in a new town and wish to find a decent watering hole, or if you are after finding a specific beer, you can also search and find where to your location, this beer has been drunk.

And that’s not all, you can collect ‘Badges’, albeit virtual. These badges are divided into beer badges, venue badges and special badges. Beer badges are for instance based upon by how many different beers consumed (for example 100, 500, 1000), 5 different from one country, 5 of a type like amber or wit, or it can be 6 check in of one beer. Venue badges are for checking in at locations like different bars, different bars in one night, sport venue and so on. Special badges are available when a beer is checked in on special days like Christmas Day or National Beer Day (Yes, there is a day).

Breweries can use the reviews to shape their future output, although there is some debate on how reliable the beer scoring is, with such a wide variance of reviews and standards by so many different reviewers; but it does gives them some broad feedback on how well a particular beer has been received, which has to be a good thing.

For me, I find I can’t try a beer I’ve never had before and not miss the opportunity to review it, I’ve yet to score a beer 5 stars, although Buxton Brewery – Cranachan nearly got me. I seem to remember beer reviews more readily and would urge you if you have any passing interest in beer, have a go at reviewing a beer on the social media app, I’d like to know what you are drinking.

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