Just the Sip

tierney hi-5 2000th beer

So, I hit 2000 unique Untappd check-ins. Above, you see me with my 2000th unique beer, Terrapin HI-5. That was about a month ago, so I’m actually closer to 2050 at this point, but at any rate it happened. With this exciting occasion, I received a few questions about how many of these were just sips vs samples vs pints. I had to think about it a bit, because early on in my Untappd career I do believe some of those were, well, just the sip. Now I’m at a point where I have to sample at least a 2 oz pour for it to count in my mind.

When I first got Untappd, it was just to brag about what I was drinking and to earn badges. Over time I have clearly started taking craft beer more seriously, and use Untappd for another purpose – to actually keep a log of what I’ve had and haven’t along with what I think of the ones that I did have. No more little pecks of beer counting as a check-in.

I even joked with a friend about it who said, “so you’ve had 2000 sips of beer? 2000 little tastes?” to which I replied something along the lines of “my favorite check-ins are when I drink the drip tray and check in all the beers that could be in it”. It’s a witty, and incredibly un-truthful reply, but the whole conversation really got me thinking.

While I love being able to tell you all that I’ve had all of these beers (because I have) and that this has truly helped me hone in on what beers should and shouldn’t be (because it has), but how much of this is truly to feed my own ego? Well, a little bit. I ain’t too proud to admit it. At the same time, a lot of good has come from this as well.

tierney beer sample

Using Untappd has forced me to want to try new things. It’s so easy to get into a beer slump: always ordering the same things, never straying from stouts or IPAs or whatever you love, and not caring about what’s new and exciting around you. I would’ve never known that I would grow to love IPAs and then sours if I hadn’t been trying these new beers. In some cases early on, I was trying them just to log a new check in. It feels good to get that off of my chest! While it is now entirely in my nature to want to try everything and treat my beers like Pokemon, #GottaDrinkEmAll, it wasn’t always like this.

I also like to use my check-ins to show locals what’s good right now. Not every bar and brewery around us is announcing their new beers and what’s on tap. By checking it in, at its location, others can see that ‘hey, that bar across town has something I’ve been looking for.’ It’s not always about me, you know?

I remember back when I hit 500 beers I couldn’t imagine getting to 1000, 1500, or even 2000. It seemed like such an ambitious task. I love craft beer, I love trying them all, I love sharing my experiences with all of you, I love advocating for something I adore, and I hope that you do too.

So, how many of you out there check in just the sip? How many of you make it to first base? How many of you rank and use Untappd as a location tool? Why do you use Untappd? Let’s start a discussion in the comments.

11 Comments on Just the Sip

  1. Increasingly I’ve been seeing people not rate beers and they give me shit for rating beers. I get taste is subjective and if you don’t like it that doesn’t mean others won’t but I have been getting into the habit of not rating beer styles I’m not keen on. Basically I use it for me, yes selfish but I got out of like with the whole social aspect of it. Its my beer diary if you will. cheers! I still have been known to be a badge whore though, allegedly!

    • Badge whore. I like it haha. I think I prefer fan girl myself 😉

      I used to not rate ones I hated, especially if I knew the brewery, but then realized that’s the OPPOSITE of what I need to be doing. If I give something a lower tanking I usually put in the comments why so it can be improved upon. Although, sometimes I’m just busy and want to log the beer so I don’t forget.

  2. Cheers, Irving! Please keep rating your beers, my friend. Ignore those haters. And better yet, keep noting what you like and don’t like in the beer comments. It really does help those that have never tried the brew before. And, like Tierney said, some breweries can benefit from the feedback from their customers. The good ones will listen to the feedback and strive to improve.

    Bottom line: Be honest. Be constructive (in a nice, friendly tone, of course). Be fair. Those are my 3 rules to commenting, anyway. So far, I haven’t gotten any haters. But now I’ve jinxed myself, I’m sure. lol

    High Five on your Untappd commenting and rating!!!

  3. When I first started UnTappd I was guilty of the “sip it to check it” syndrome, but I found that my desire to “check in something new” was over-riding actually drinking beer I like, so I’ve definitely toned it down. I also am trying to leave ratings — less for other people and more as a record for myself so I can remember what I liked and didn’t, and base my future beer orders off of that.

    That said, like you, you know I love to try everything. But for now at least when I’m out just to have a simple beer, I’m happy to sometimes just enjoy something I know I love rather than feed Untappd and leave disappointed.

  4. I’ll rate every beer 2oz or more. And in the past month I’ve had three breweries comment or tweet back to me. So now I feel like my opinion does matter.

    And yes, I will drink beers just to get a badge.

  5. Good article and good discussion.

    I use Untappd to keep track of the beers I’ve had and what I thought about them. I could do without the badges but that’s my opinion and I know app makers have to have something to keep people interested in the app.

    The rule that I use, and most people I know that use untappd, is 6oz or more to check in. 4oz, 2oz, sips….hard to pick up nuances in flavor profiles with pours that small especially brews that change as they warm up. The aromas are also more difficult to distinguish. Just my opinion and to each their own.


  6. I first started using untapped when I did a search how to keep track of beers on an app. See, I work at a craft beer store, where I try beers. I also had many questions from customers about how to keep track of beers. And that is how I found it.

    I first, strictly used it only to track my own beers and write a small comment of my own. I never once thought I would use it socially. And honestly, I was embarrassed to let anyone know how many beers I have tried. That was two years ago.

    Currently, I use the app for various reasons. I absolutely love it! Socially, I love seeing what other people drink. I have met people from all over the world. Locally, I love promoting local craft beer. I will give shout outs to breweries. I check in to places that are serving craft beers. And especially give shout-outs to small local business that carry local brews along with the staples of tradtional adjunct lagers. The push is necessary. Personally, I absolutely love the game. It is a game I simply try more, get badges, it gives me recommendations. I mean this app is awesome. As far as sips go! Yes…i do count sips…but really the amount of sips i take are so small. See I do not care for sours. I will continue to try them. Like just the other day, I sipped a friend’s Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose. I could tell from that sip, I liked it. And yes..i commented that. Will i get that beer out again even though I counted it? Yes!!! Are there beers out there that I have sipped and will never get again? Yup.

    I have worked with so many people in my journey of craft beers. Some are stuck drinking only ipas…that is their palate. Some believe they hold the beer knowledge of 10,000 men or better known as beer snobs. Some just love the craft. So the journey is up to the individual. I love my journey so far. And I cannot wait to reach 1000 unique beers.

  7. I use Untappd to, well, keep track of the day I surpass Tierney on beers (I’m only some 1,200+ uniques behind!).

    I don’t understand the criticism or the self-concious policing. I rate to record my own tastes. Quantity isn’t a prerequisite of a check-in per the app, so who cares? Is drinking while drunk (and while taste is inhibited a disqualification?). Perhaps we beer drinkers should start spitting like winos.

  8. I once had a guy tell me that my rating was wrong for a beer. I had given it a 3/5 and he proceeded to try and shame me, telling me it was “one of the best IPAs ever made” and that he couldn’t understand WHY I rated it so “low”. I explained that I love IPAs and drink those a lot. A 3 rating is a decent rating in my opinion. I reserve 5s for the truly exceptional beer and 4 is solidly above average. Then, I told him that taste is subjective and my palate is my own and that this is my record of beers. If he doesn’t like my rating, then he should not follow me on untappd. I refuse to rate a beer high simply because of reputation or to fit into a crowd.

    • Good for you! What a weirdo. I will never understand people who argue with others about their tastes/palates. They’re all different and so subjective! Also … it’s not that serious! Sheesh.

  9. I love Untappd, and that’s an interesting question. Mostly I untapp the full beers I drink, or the full flight glasses. If it’s just a sip or a taste I don’t bother UNLESS I either really loved it or really hated it. If I really loved it, I obviously want to remember it so I can get a full glass next time or whatever. If I hated it, I WANT THE BEER WORLD TO KNOW DAMMIT. 😛

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