A Handheld Obsession

Most of us do it occasionally, but some of us are addicted. We just can't stop ourselves. We get it out when we're at home, in pubs and wherever else.

This is not a blog about wanking.

Well, it's about Craft Wanking.

Yes, I'm talking about Untappd, the social network for beer. Basically, it's an app that allows us to log and share what we're drinking with our friends. You even get badges which are like achievements, for various things, like "Drink 10 American beers" or "Drink in 5 different bars in a night".

I first downloaded it in May 2012 and didn't use it much. The first ever beer I checked in was Beck's Vier, quite hilariously.

I used it a few times after and didn't really see the point, but then in August 2012 on a drunken night out I convinced Alec to download it and it went downhill from there.

From that point on, I started checking into every beer I had. Even ones I'd had before, and managed to rack up 114 Carlings. Y'all know that number won't rise as I don't drink it anymore!

Since I started using it I've had 1628 different beers, well, that I've checked in to. That's a massive amount really, in under 2 years.

So my top 5 most drunk beers are:

1) Carling (114)
2) Brewdog Punk IPA (55) - this number surprises me actually
3) Camden Hells (38)
4) Adnams Ghost Ship
5) Oakham Citra

So mostly good beers. I did go through the Carling thing though, but we'll try ignore that!

The highest ABV beer I had was Brewdog Sink The Bismarck (41%) and to be honest, it was pretty nasty.

But the beers are irrelevant when you think about it. It's the obsession, the addiction, the need to tap and log a beer. The feeling you get when you drink something in a pub that's not a beer and are like "MY HANDS, WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO WITH MY HANDS? I CAN'T CHECK INTO A G&T".

See, that's what I was like. The need to post about each beer I drank got pretty absurd... I just couldn't have a beer without doing it and if my battery was low, I just couldn't even deal with it. No, I don't need battery to call the police if I got mugged or beaten up on my way home. I needed battery to log beers. It was pretty bad.

Don't get me wrong, it's a really handy tool to have, especially as a blogger. I can look back to when I was at a beer festival or event and find what I had so I can write about it. It's much more convenient than finding a spot to write some notes down without obstructing people.

But recently I've realised that not checking in isn't such a bad thing. Recently when I was at Craft Beer Rising, I obviously had a lot of beers but logged very little. I came to realise that even though my fellow craft wankers were pulling their phones out while having a conversation and thinking nothing of it, but I wasn't bothered. I started to realise how rude I was when checking in, especially when I was with people who don't do that kind of thing.

These days, I largely can't be bothered. I've had several beers today, all of which I've had previously but I didn't once feel the urge to check in. I'm wondering what's the point. I'm not going to stop using untappd, oh no, I'm just going to log beers I've not had before.

Checking out.



  1. Hah, I went to a cocktail bar last night, and had exactly the problem you describe ;)

    I will tap beers I've had before in new venues, but very rarely tap multiple pints of the same thing in a row (unless there's a badge for it!!!)

    1. Ha, it's a bit odd isn't it? Just how natural checking in to a beer is these days!

      Aye, I'll no longer tap multiples in a row because I'm sure people get annoyed with seeing 7 pints of Oakham Citra in a row!

  2. Why does the number of Punk IPA's surprise you?

    1. Because I really didn't think I'd drunk quite that much of it until fairly recently.

    2. Surely though, what with Untappd telling you how many you've had every time you check in it can't reeeally be that much of a surpise, surely? ;)

    3. I don't really notice it to be honest!

  3. This post sums up exactly the situation I am finding with Untappd - I am addicted to checking in! But likewise I decided some time ago to only check in new beers, so I had a record of what I thought of them, or to check in something I wanted to share with others - such as to let people know a partiuclar beer is on somewhere, or to show what the range is like when I'm checking out a new pub. I think it's useful for that info-sharing aspect just as much as keeping a personal record or tally of beers - I regularly use it to find out what other people thought of a beer; if I'm faced with a choice of 10 new-to-me beers and I don't want to waste my money, I'll see what other esteemed beery chums thought of it. If lots of them think it was kak then I'll look for something more likely to give me a satisfactory return for my money! I do also use it to see what has been checked in at different bars, if deciding where to go to - or if I see something ace like Jarl has just come on somewhere via Untappd, I may well arrange my bar visits to accommodate that. So it's a useful tool for that kind of thing as well as just handier than scribbling in notebooks which I was doing for years anyway!

    1. Aye, the nearby function is actually pretty good although we have so few untappd users in Norwich that it doesn't work too well here!

      It is definitely handy as a reference point though. Just skim through.

  4. I love using the untappd app. I think it's a great way to keep track of beers I've tried. I especially like the nearby feature to see what interesting beers people are trying in the area, and spotting when something good comes on at a nearby pub.

    I have started noticing though how unsociable/rude it makes me in a pub though when I first get a beer and I half ignore a drinking buddy while I check in to a beer. Maybe I need to work on avoiding that, or just drink alone more :-)

    Also, how annoying when you get to a pub with no phone reception and you can't check in aghhhh

    1. Yup, see above for comment on referencing!

      hahaha yes! I've actually stepped outside of pubs just to check in before! It's awful!

  5. I'm just going to log beers I've not had before...
    That's my philosophy unless a beer which is normally cask is on keg or vice versa


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