Knocking back a Mirror Pond Pale Ale at your friend’s, or sipping a Balmain Bock at your favorite local bar? Called the “Foursquare of beer,” Untappd is probably your best bet to let the world know. And as of June this year, inebriates the world over have done so more than a million times.
Eyeing those phones in barstool-ready jean pockets, the social network recently released native apps for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android smartphones, replacing its previous Web-only experience.
For some, Untappd has already become a useful way of locating friends while drinking out at bars and clubs.
“Sometimes I might spot a friend's post on Untappd and realize she's in the same bar as me, but I just didn't spot her,” Austin-based Untappd user and beer blogger Lee Nichols told the Daily Dot. “And during my birthday pub crawl this year, by cross-posting my Untappd check-ins to Twitter and Facebook, my friends were able to follow what bar I was at and join me along the way.”
On International IPA Day, a day for craft beer drinkers around the world to share their appreciation for India Pale Ale, the social network distributed special badges and saw 11,000 checkins across the globe. Its most popular venues were Austin, Atlanta, Houston, and New York.
Untappd has such a fervent fan base that even owners of more obscure smartphone models aren’t out of luck. Six months ago, developer Geoff Gauchet created a version of Untappd for HP’s WebOS devices.
Like Foursquare, Untapped has opened itself to partnering with businesses -- mostly bars and pubs -- to help increase their brand loyalty and reward customers with custom badges.
On the other side of the table, Nichols points out that upstart craft brewers in the beer industry, who can’t afford to advertise at a large scale, might find value of their own if their beer starts spreading on people’s Untappd feeds. To promote his blog, he himself makes it a point to "friend" every Texas user he comes across.
Untappd might not be the place to find entertaining drunk updates, but it seems to be turning into a vibrant hangout for drinkers to share their antics.
Our only worry? That the convenience of sharing beer binges on the go might encourage some to overindulge. Then Brewsquare might well turn into Alcoholics Anonymous.
Photo by bark