Untappd and “The Beer Fridge” feature on my blog

Thanks to the miracles of modern blogging, I can see that “The Beer Fridge” tab here on the blog still gets some traffic. That’s wonderful in that the Venn diagram of SF/F fans and beer lovers has good overlap, but less wonderful given that I’ve not updated the Beer Fridge since…January.

A lot of this has to do with my adoption of the Untappd app, which is pretty much everything I could hope for in a beer aficionado app. I can log, rate and track the beers I’ve had, as well as see what my friends on Untappd are drinking and enjoying. (You should totally hook this app up and friend me.)

Meanwhile, the more free-form (and logistically more difficult) Beer Fridge has languished. Yes, I could log in from anywhere and create a short blog post about whatever I’m having, but Untappd is several orders of magnitude easier. So I’m going to start parsing my posts from The Beer Fridge and creating Untappd entries for each of them — and then I’m going to shut down The Beer Fridge.

Well, the separate blog about beer, at any rate. I still have the real beer fridge down in my basement. I may yet keep the tab on this blog so I can keep a running list of what I have on hand and perhaps find an Untappd widget as well. As for beer-related musings, I’ll pepper them in this blog every so often.

Meanwhile, I’ve logged 169 unique beers on Untappd as of today, representing maybe half a year’s worth. Now, at least a third of these came from samplers at brewpubs and breweries — for about the price of a pint or two, you get anywhere from four to eight two-ounce samples of whatever’s on offer. It’s a great way to try beer, because you can identify the really great ones quickly, and avoid being faced with a full pint of something you dislike. (In other words, I’m not that big a lush.)

And if you’re interested, here’s how I rate beers on Untapped, and the rating breakdown as of this morning:

  • Five stars: The pinnacle of the brewing art. (1 beer)
  • 4.5 stars: The finest, world-class examples of their styles. (12 beers)
  • Four stars: I would seek these out repeatedly and proudly serve them to others. (62 beers)
  • 3.5 stars: I liked these beers and would be pleased to see them offered again. (60 beers)
  • Three stars: Decent examples of their styles, but nothing really outstanding. Good but meh. (23 beers)
  • 2.5 stars: Average beers, likely with a flaw or two. A bit “off” to me, but others may feel different. (7 beers)
  • Two stars: Below average, very “off” to my palate. Would caution others against them. (2 beers)
  • 1.5 stars: Really bad. Likely this is where Bud and other U.S. “macro” beers fit in. (2 beers)
  • 1 star or below: Utter train wrecks. Avoid at all costs! (none yet)

Long story short: Roughly a third were excellent, another third were good and worth having again, and a final third ranged from being just-not-for-me to yuck. That seems about right. Being a homebrewer myself, I’m probably more generous with my rankings than others. I know what it’s like to brew, and I admire the effort that’s put into making good beer. In general, I think most craft brewers today make pretty solid beers, ones worth seeking out in many cases.

So there you go. I’ll be adding Beer Fridge entries to Untappd, probably a few a day, over the coming weeks. And I’ll figure out how to widget this thing so I can at least keep the tab above intact.


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