Oh Untappd…

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m gonna say this right up front: I was once developing a site that was exactly like Untappd. It was gonna track all the beers you were drinking, where you were drinking them, and tell you what all your friends were drinking. It was going to be AWESOME.

Then I realized that web development just wasn’t for me. I let my co-developer know I was moving on to other projects that had nothing to do with making internet. Since then, a number of beer tracking sites have popped up, the most notable from my experience being Untappd.

Now again, for the interest of full disclosure I think that Untappd is a great site. I think there’s something to be said for a tool to help you keep track of all the beers you’ve been drinking. But boy am I glad I never followed through with my app, because there are some fatal flaws which have brought me to loathe Untappd. Here are a couple:

Thanks, You’ve Told Me That Three Times Already

I think that I can officially declare my twitter stream useless on any given weekend evening. The sheer number of people I follow on twitter that also use Untappd (and have enabled tweeting from Untappd) inundates my timeline with tweets about what people are drinking. I can’t see a single goddamned other thing (or at least it feels that way). Now to be honest, this problem is not just Untappd’s. Way too many people still cross-post from Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, etc… Thankfully there is a solution! TURN OFF TWEETING IN ALL OF YOUR APPS. Seriously, people! If we follow each other on Twitter, it reasons to stand that we are friends on [insert app here], which means I can check for that info in the app and not see it in six different places!

Gotta Catch ’em All

here is a picture of dark lord day

Dark Lord Day 2008

A gripe I have with today’s craft beer connoisseurs is the rare beer fetishism that is prevailing. Yes, it’s REALLY awesome when you can get that bottle of ’08 Dark Lord, a sample of Black Tuesday, a pour of some Pliny the Younger, or an elusive bottle of Westvleteren 12. But it should never be about proving something to someone else and trying to one-up that person. Let’s keep it civil, people.

Have You Ever Drank With Devil Under the Pale Backlight-LCD Light?

texting from the bar :P

You’re at a bar! With friends! Enjoying drinks! Put your fucking phone away! Close your eyes and envision the following with me:

You’re at a British Pub. Lots of dark wood everywhere. There are shelves of books on one of the walls, maybe a globe somewhere next to a comfy looking leather chair. The publican’s washing out a Nonic pint glass in between hand-pulling some bitters. You might see a guy sitting at the pub reading the paper in between quaffs. What don’t you see? Well you sure as hell don’t see a whole table of people all reading papers, that’s for damn sure! If there’s a group of people there, they are laughing, tellin’ lies, and actually hanging out together! Let’s revisit those times and keep the phones in our pockets and the pints in our hands.

The Alternative

The Stimularity

I’m not going to sit like an old man telling you damn kids to get off my lawn without offering up an alternative, so here it is:

I think one of the reasons Untappd is so unappealing to me is that it doesn’t open up any conversation. People are so used to their drinking buddies using their phones at the dinner table or bar that they just assume those people are checking twitter or email or whatever else we do when there’s a lull in the conversation. Were you to whip out a small notebook (or if you’re really fancy, a notebook from 33beers.com) the people you are drinking with might have more reason to ask what it is that you’re doing, and then you can get into the conversation of how you like to track what you’ve tried out in the beer world. BOOM! Conversation successfully started. Give it a shot next time, and maybe as a result I won’t have to dunk your phone in your beer.


About Nick Nunns

Nick loves two things above all others: Beer and heavy metal. He's the owner and brewer at the soon-to-open TRVE Brewing Company. If you get him drunk enough, he will probably raise a toast to a Norse god.

  • Scott S

    I’ve seen a number of people complain about the Twitters being inundated by Untappd feeds. I like Untappd, but maybe it is time to turn off the Twitter cross posting…

  • http://www.conkphotography.com CONK

    Great post, start conversations and stop one upping.

    It took me a long time to get on Untappd and did so only to really prove a point about how it inundates twitter feeds to the point of crashing the whole system. So far, my massive consumption of beer and posting to Untappd hasn’t crashed any energy grids, but it has proved my point of how it can truly be annoying and isolating. I will continue my experiment, but I raise a toast to putting your phone away and have a spirited conversation about the beers we love and the community that we are apart of. CHEERS!

  • Rossco

    Agreed. I second the 33 Beers book… Although I haven’t really used it yet. Maybe I’ll start tonight!

  • Pingback: Does Technology Make Drinking More Social? | Denver off the Wagon

  • Pingback: Drinking With Forkly | Denver off the Wagon