Drink Socially on Untappd

Have you ever yearned for a social network that encourages users to drink before posting? No? Me neither. I always assumed such a website would result in even more posts like “i need a summer job n e 1 kno n e 1 who hiring people to wrk?!?,”* which, in turn, would legally require me to barf.

But recently, a guy at bar suggested I join a new beer-based social network called Untappd. As with other such websites, you can add friends, comment on posts, etc., but the main focus is on drinking beer: Whenever you crack open a cold one, you can search for that beer on Untappd and check it in, which gives you a chance to rate and comment on it. This not only provides a forum for showing your friends what you’ve been drinking, but also for discussing your favorite beers, offering suggestions, and receiving recommendations.

But you might still think it’s an unsafe idea, and in some cases, you’d be right. For example, one day at work (I was sober, I swear) I started checking in beers from the night before. Just before clicking Submit, however, I remembered that one of my Untappd friends is my supervisor, and that this would undoubtedly look as though I were knocking back brews in my cubicle. (In his defense, he would probably join me were the beer in question Guinness.) But catching up later is difficult anyway because the site only lets you check in one beer every ten minutes and, if you attempt more, suggests you should slow down. It has yet to try to take my keys.**

But my favorite part is the badge system (which, if you’re friends with me on Facebook, you already know). As you perform various drinking feats, you earn badges. These can be awarded for something as simple as having a beer in a bar — the Night Out badge — to the more challenging Weekday Warrior, which is awarded when you drink five beers after 10 p.m. on a weeknight. If you enjoy two beers at an amusement park, you’re an Adventurer; if you drink 10 hefeweizens, you’re a Heffenista. The website even rewards noncraft-beer drinkers, as evinced by badges like Lite Weight, which requires you to drink three American light beers. There are tons of badges, and some are even seasonal.

Best of all, Untappd is easy. It’s a mobile-based social network, so although you can check in beers through any device with Internet access, it’s quickest to fire up the smartphone and use the intuitive mobile interface. It’s a little strange that there’s no app, but the online UI performs in an app-like fashion and doesn’t require downloading or updating. So head over and sign up, but please, don’t make fun of me for only being an Apprentice. I only joined a few weeks ago.

Next time: Since this article was mostly a plug, I’ll spend the next one tearing down some beer myths!

*Actual post seen on Lamebook.

**I commend Untappd for encouraging responsible drinking.

8 Responses to “Drink Socially on Untappd”
  1. Ryan says:

    I swear that site encourages alcoholism… or maybe it’s a beer-based boy scouts or something hahaha

    • Scott says:

      I think it’s more beer-based boy scouts, as lame as that makes us sound … but I have noticed myself wanting to drink just one more solely to get a badge. I guess that could be construed as a bad thing. Oh well, I enjoy it.

  2. Ben says:

    whenever i earn a badge for logging things the night before, i have to go out and drink a beer that day that would make the badge not a forgery. i believe in the honor system. though i do not care for the fact that i check my “monthly average” and realize i’ve been drinking less this month, so i’m like, “oh crap! i need to drink more!”

    friend me: beerdevilsadvocate / Ben R., Sacramento, CA

    • Scott says:

      I have no idea why I didn’t choose the username beereinstein. Probably because I was out drinking when I signed up, and was not thinking clearly. I should probably create a new account and start over, but I don’t want to have to re-earn my badges. 🙁

  3. Greg says:

    Hey Scott,

    This is Greg from Untappd. Thanks for the post about Untappd!

    I just wanted to know that we have recently re-tooled the “10 Minute Cooldown” to allow for users to check-in their beers and their leisure. (more details here – http://untpd.it/cooldownchanges) We still promote responsible drinking – however we wanted to give users who were having Flights or Tasters the opportunity to track all these beers.

    Thanks again for the great post and you support of the platform!


    • Scott says:

      Always great to hear from the people I’m writing about. Thanks for reading and keep up the great work!

    • Concerned Parent says:

      Given that this app promotes and encourages drinking, and actually makes a competition of it with badges, etc. it is very disingenuous that the lower tagline reads “Always Drink Responsibly.” I have a family member who never drank much (maybe a beer a week), who is now in the beginning alcoholic category (3 beers a day and binge drinking one-to-two days per week) over the past 6 months SOLELY due to Untappd and his desire to earn badges, etc.

      With that said, I would like to see a feature in this App which does the following:
      1. Gives a “flag” to the member when they reach a threshold. My suggestion would be to give a flag or cut off allowing posts for a specific day/week if more than 3 beers are drunk within a 4-5 hour period…and/or more than 15 beers are drunk within a week. THAT WOULD BE PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS AND ENCOURAGING FOLKS TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY.
      2. Provides status on potential issues, BAC, etc., as they post what they are drinking.

      I am sure that a lot of folks would hate this, but hey, I would think that Untappd could be held somewhat liable/accountable if someone does bodily harm, becomes an alcoholic, loses a job, etc., if there are no limits. AND, it truly IS the responsible thing to do as a business.

  4. Probably too late says:

    Concerned Parent, hopefully your family member was able to get his drinking under control, but it’s dishonest to blame an app for his problem.

    Untapped didn’t sell the beer or put it in your family members’ hand. Legally, it’s no more responsible for alcoholism than a casino or the state lottery is for a gambling problem.

Leave A Comment