I like celebrating just about anything. Especially craft beer related happenings like: Untappd milestones, special beer releases, bottle shares or finding a whale or unicorn beer during beercations. So when my 1,000 check-in was imminent, I started to reflect on the brews I had over the past 2.5 years leading up until this point. Some of them big names: Hill Farmstead, Three Floyds, Mikkeller, Russian River, New England Brewing, Wicked Weed, etc. Some of them hidden gems blazing the path to beer stardom: Pizza Boy Brewing Co., Tired Hands, Draai Laag, Lost Nation.
Not to mention the experiences that went along with the check-ins. I try hard to take in the moment. The food paired with the beer. The places explored. The people I had met. The friendships made.
It had been a good 2.5 years in beer hunting.
I also started to plot and plan exactly what I would drink for my 1,000. All the choices. This was going to be hard to find the perfect selection. It was so exciting thinking about the possibilities and when it was going to happen. (See. I told you. I love to celebrate and plan the experience all out.)
What was unexpected was I kind of felt like I was farther behind in check-ins than some of my other craft beer friends. Yeah, I reached 1,000 but others are already at 1,500. Some even over 2,000. Geez, if only I had started using the app when it was first launched, then maybe I would have a more competitive number. Gosh. I have been drinking craft beer for 21 years. That’s got to count for something, right?!
HOLD UP! WAIT A MINUTE!
I get so competitive sometimes. I know that about myself. It’s certainly no secret. Folks who know me, know how it is. In the past two weeks, I’ve had a self-realization that Untappd is NOT a race. I mean, I certainly didn’t set out using the app with a competition in mind. It just kind of snuck up on me over the years check-in after check-in. “Did I try something really unique?”, “How many brews did I get to try during that beercation or this bottle share?” “Why didn’t I get that badge after this check-in?”
CHECK YOUR HEAD
And, it’s not just me. I find lots of fellow craft beer enthusiasts doing the same thing. Racing to get their check-in tally higher and higher.
Even taking it to the extent of bragging about a beer that they found and taking lots of photos with facial expressions of “envy me because you don’t have access to this beer.” Trying to one up the craft beer drinkers that follow them on Untappd and even on Twitter and Instagram.
Huh? It’s NOT a competition. Glad to see you have a really great beer in hand but don’t make me feel like lesser of a person.
Or even worse, I recently recommended a particular brewery and beers to some folks only for them to later basically tell me, “Meh.” I don’t remember the exact quote but it was something to the effect that they didn’t see what the big deal was and that everything they drank was mediocre. Ouch! That hurt.
Then there’s the Pliny vs Heady battle. Really? Do we really have to argue about beer? Some of these discussions get heated. Insulting one another’s taste in brew.
LOSING MY RELIGION
It got to me so bad that I had a snapping point and I took it to Twitter:
What ensued after that was a great discussion amongst the craft beer community. Ending with the single thought that ‘Beer is NOT a Status Symbol’ and is meant to be enjoyed even savored. They talked me off the ledge.
COME AS YOU ARE
Of course, I want to know what epic beer you’re drinking. And, I want to share my experiences with you, too. But from here on out… for me… I’m not putting much weight on the Untappd check-in tally you have, my friend. I DON’T care if you have 2,000 check-ins or 2 check-ins. I’m also not going to listen to a bunch of banter about how many beers you’ve had at the last bottle share.
What I DO want to hear is what you loved about each beer. Or what you would have liked to have seen in a brew that maybe didn’t tweak your palette. I mean. Do you even remember (really remember) what each tasted like? Probably not.
Better yet. Promise me that you’ll be present and take in the moment of your first sip. Put down your phones. Take note of what is going on around you. What music is playing? What is completely awesome about your surroundings? Who is with you? What do they think about the beer? How does it bring out the flavor of what you’re eating?
Yeah. DO check-in your beer. But don’t forget to enjoy the experience. DON’T simply race through it. And please, just please, DON’T take on a bragging tone when you SHARE with all.
I’m vowing to do the same. After all, I’m not completely innocent when it comes to this topic. I’m guilty of all of the above. But I’m making a conscious effort to be a better craft beer citizen. Will you do the same?
(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)