Untappd LogoOh Untappd: it’s both great fun and a bit of a scourge.

Reading Beer is Your Friend’s views on Untappd for his 500th check in as well as his thinking in relation to Good Beer Week had me thinking on the subject.

I was a relatively late adopter of Untappd, and, in a little bit over a year, I’m at 226 beers.  It may sound like a lot to some, but that’s minor league play for others, especially considering the amount of beer I drink (and competing with other drinkers).  That being said, I don’t religiously check in every beer I have… but I’ll get to that later.

The Good Things About Untappd

It’s a bit of fun.  It’s nice to open the app and see what your friends are drinking and what they thought about it and offer comments either via the app or in person, if you’re inclined to actually speak to people any more.

For beer nerds, and nerds in general, tracking things is great.  It gives you a sense of accomplishment as you move through new brews, and also helps keep track of everything.  It’s also very interesting to rate a beer, drink it months later, and see how you looked at it differently.

Don’t get me wrong.  Untappd is great.

The Bad Things About Untappd

But here’s my ultimate point.  Untappd’s slogan is “drink socially,” but when everyone at the pub is concentrating more on their Untappd check in, a lot of socialising gets missed.

Inherently, Untappd becomes a little competitive as well: whether competing with yourself or others.  Beginning to go out of your way just to get that one more unique beer or that coveted badge can take away from the enjoyment of simply having beer.  I’d rather get excited about trying the new beer than get excited about getting another check in, but the whole thing puts a point system into your mind.

My opinion is that going out of your way to check in, whether that means finding an internet connection if there’s no reception, or mentally filing your check in for later, takes away from the fun a little bit as it becomes a chore.  Have I done this? Yes.

The Verdict

Ultimately, it’s each to their own.  People, including me, get enjoyment out of Untappd, and there’s no reason to criticise the hard core Untappd “checker innerer” if they enjoy it.

But that’s not me.  My best estimate has me at many more than 226 unique beers in the last year, and the number also depends on whether home brew counts (when I’m not reviewing, at home I usually drink home brew).  But here I am feeling a little competitive about the whole thing.

Anyway, I’m not going to stop using Untappd.  I’m going to continue to enjoy it and continue to complain about it.