Saturday, April 23, 2011

Untappd - Social Drinking Site

Last year, Lug Wrench documented a neat craft beer recommendation site called Pintley.  Pintley drew its list of beers from a database maintained by the company, and would use a user's past ratings to recommend new beers for the user to try.  The site is pretty neat, and allows the user to see what others think about specific beers, but the user cannot enter beers of their own.  Enter - Untappd.

Untappd is a social media drinking site.  It allows the user to develop a network of friends and see what they are currently drinking.  Untappd provides this information to the user in a giant list, much like Twitter's main feed.  It also rewards users with a variety of badges to help keep their interest and expand their craft beer drinking habits (I received the National Beer Day 2011 badge on April 7 for recording a beer on the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition).  Untappd is configured to work with a variety of mobile devices, which makes it easy to record beers.

Probably my favorite feature of Untappd, though, is that the user can enter beer and brewing companies themselves.  One of the frustrating issues with Pintley is trying a new craft beer that was not listed in the service, so it could not be recorded.  Untappd solves that problem by providing the tools to enter the new beer or brewing company on the fly.  This even extends to homebrew, which is what I use Untappd most for.  When entering a new beer, the user can indicate that the beer is a homebrew, and it is kept separate from the other craft beers (though others can still check in drinking one of your homebrews).  The only downside of allowing user-entered data like this is that the data can be inaccurate (misspellings, multiple entries for the same brewing company, etc.).  But if this issue can be accepted at face value, for what the service is trying to provide, using Untappd is a whole lot of fun.  Drinking sessions can be be relayed directly to Facebook and Twitter.

Give Untappd a try!



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