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Bainbridge
06-12-2014, 03:28 PM
It's fair to say that Untappd (https://untappd.com/home) is a hugely popular resource for craft beer lovers and can be a great way to reach our customers. There's a whole lot to like about it!

It can also be frustrating as hell.

So I figure, we talk about what we as brewers and salestypes like and dislike about it, then maybe point Untappd this direction, and then everyone's lives get better. Hooray!

I'll start:

Things I like:

- Greater access to information to consumers about my beers. ABV, IBU, descriptions... Provided I add that for each and every new beer we make. Which I don't. Because ain't nobody got time for dat. But still. The More You Know...

- Interaction: It's nice to be able to Toast people who like your beers. I like you too, cheers mate!

- Lets me know when my accounts have tapped my kegs. The. Single. Best. Thing. About. Untappd. Period. That is, for small brewers irritated that a bar has been sitting on their keg for six months. I also like to know which of my accounts get the most Untappd activity, because I'm more likely to offer them some weird one-off if I know people will talk about it and appreciate it.

Things I don't like:

- The 1-5 rating system. Statistically, the vast bell curve of us will end up with a 3.6ish. It's meaningless. Unless:

- Astroturfing, thumbing the scale, releasing the Army of Internet Flying Monkeys, etc.. Goose Island's Bourbon County has a 4.79 avg across three thousand people. Three thousand people can barely reach 51% agreement during an election nowadays, let alone a near-unanimous vote on a beer. It's like Grandma always said "Three people can agree on a pizza, if two of them are dead." And seven Goose Island barrel beers on the Top Rated page? Is there some enormous Midwest Bourbon County Cult I am unaware of? In which case, by all means, "Bourbon for the Bourbon God!!!" (Please don't hurt me...)

- Feedback can be good but let's face it, this is the Internet. I like hearing that people like my beers, and I REALLY like hearing if people think something is wrong with any of them. One "Meh" I'll ignore, but a pattern starts developing and I take a look. Maybe one of my accounts needs a talkin' to. Maybe I've got a faulty keg stem out there. Or a batch went out with wonky carbonation or something. Thanks for the tip, Anonymous Stranger! Gold Star!

What I don't like is "This Belgian Wit is too black and roasty." or "Worst. Beer. Ever. Just like 95% of my other reviews." Which gets to the heart of the matter, and a fundamental rule of the online world: People are Terrible.

Just terrible. Don't get me wrong, individuals are great! In fact, some of my closest friends are individuals. But People...yikes!

Being a social media app, Untappd necessarily has to rely on People. And as we know, People are terrible. I had a check-in today, from two states away, of a Squid Ink IIPA, (Yes, it had real squid ink in it. Don't judge me.) that I brewed once, for Strange Brewfest two years ago. If you're still drinking it, it's because you lined your pockets with grocery bags and secreted it away, waiting, waiting, just waiting for the day two and a half years later you'd drink it in a bar in San Francisco. Or maybe you just confused it with some other brewery's beer. Or most likely, pudgy little drunken fingers:

I'll check in on the Untappd account and find about eight different entries for the same beers, because drunk fingers attached to drunk People seemingly can't be bothered to look up the beer list before misspelling in their own brand new entry for a beer that either doesn't exist, or is off by one letter from the real one. So the big problem is: why is it up to the breweries to clean up this mess? Because if I don't, my beers are still there for everyone to see, and if someone should wish to honestly rate a beer, and I do nothing, they must first weed through the World's Worst Spelling Bee in order to find the truthiest looking listing. Or worse still, from a marketing standpoint, they jump on one of the worst ones because it's first on the list, and the whole hateful cycle continues. It's like Oscar Wilde said, "there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." I have to believe that the larger breweries have wide-eyed and fresh-faced marketing interns out there spending their entire day fixing this sort of thing, but unfortunately all my interns are busy building our new Weather Dominator.

So here's my suggestions, and the rest of you Probrewers, please, add more:

If a brewery has claimed their account, start limiting the public's ability to add new beers. Not cut it off completely, we don't always make a new profile for each weird one-off beer. (See: Things I like #1) But perhaps a popup screen of "This sounds a lot like these beers: x, y, z" or "Have you checked the official beer list?" before a new one is added. Then give the brewery a reasonable timeframe in which to yay or nay it before it automatically is posted. Case in point.
(https://untappd.com/b/bainbridge-island-brewing-drunkle/711387)
If a beer is checked as "Not In Production", for the love of Bilious the Oh God of Hangovers, put in a popup "This beer is no longer in production, are you sure that's what you're drinking?" Sometimes it might be: "Why yes, Untappd, this can of Vintage 1977 Billy Beer tastes terrible. The World Must Know!" But more likely it's "Derp, my finger slipped. Sorry."

If a brewery has a brewery account, why do I have to ask Untappd to merge all the drunkenly misspelled beer names for me? The merging process in general could be faster and cleaner. Why do I have to give you a reason? Just let me do it, or do it yourself somehow, but above all make it easy, and make it instant. I'm sure there's some fiendish way to game the system that you're trying to prevent, but surely you can back-check that if it ever becomes a problem?

So like I said, Untappd is a great, great app. But like so many, many new internet wonders, someone out there has made my life more complicated without asking me first. And every month it's a new one. "Hey why aren't you on Drunkle(tm) yet? Get with the times old man!"

And I'm like, "Yelp has recommended the following places for you to shove your smartphone..."

Git off my lawn you kids,
Russell

Junkyard
06-12-2014, 04:39 PM
yeah i agree untappd is nice for honest feedback from people, but you can get honest feedback on any beer rating website. Its also nice like you said to find out which bars your beer is still pouring at.

Things i dont like

the majority of the time people dont give any feedback, they will just rate something without even thinking about it. I'm a big proponent of requiring a few sentences to be typed in order to rate something. Ive noticed even with myself if i dont even think about what im tasting my ratings will be all over the place.

The other thing i absolutely despise about untappd is their curving of the ratings. Literally every beer we have on untappd is a 3.6 or 3.7 because they have too few ratings for the averages to be pulled any direction. I think they should just do a straight up average.

Thirsty_Monk
06-12-2014, 05:04 PM
It is popularity contest. Your feedback is provided by your sales numbers.

d_striker
06-15-2014, 06:15 AM
The thing I don't like about it is the people that don't know beer rate based on their personal preference rather than to style. A beer could be the world's best representation of a particular style but a person will give it 1 star if they don't like that style.

Bainbridge
06-15-2014, 03:19 PM
Hah, yeah. Got a review of our Kolsch this weekend:


It's a kolsch. (2.5 stars)

Indeed, good sir. Indeed.

AnthonyB
06-15-2014, 06:58 PM
I've gotten reviews like that before… a few weeks ago, our Kolsch was given 0.5 stars and the comment "Miller lite". I think a big issue with Untappd is that the users are kind of a self-selecting crowd of folks who like Leos said, represent a very, very insignificant snapshot of your sales typically.

Sheets22
06-15-2014, 07:28 PM
I would totally "cheers" this thread or give it 5 caps if i could. Untappd is a great app for seeing how well your beer is doing in the market or knowing where it's on tap, but there are far too many folks willing to bash a beer or brewery based solely on status or rarity. I absolutely agree that the rating system is flawed and hurts more than it helps too. Unfortunately (and i hope i'm wrong), the app seems to be more geared towards helping the beer-geeks figure out what's trending, what their friends are drinking, and what they're supposed to like/dislike than it is meant to help the brewers gain recognition. Real shame.

Bainbridge
06-15-2014, 10:13 PM
So the Washington Brewers Festival was this weekend.

All weekend long: walk up, peer at signage, peer at cell phone, peer at signage, "Is this THIS?" hand over cell phone open to Untappd... Multiple entries for "Summer Saison". 1) Suddenly it's my responsibility for Untappd being correct and 2) *crap crap crap* I need to update Untappd... :)

Really... Really?

Got tired of "Yeah, we called it that last year then arbitrarily renamed it because I do wha I want...."

And we used a kickass local distillery's peated single malt whisky barrels to barrel age a small amount of our scotch wee heavy and released it in the taproom and as a treat at the festival. The result is, as expect, Internet Chaos. Should have named it "Peat Beer" or "Thing 1" or something. One of the other local brewers next to me kept making fun of me for having to explain what it was. (Lesson = learned!) Finally wrote it down on a whiteboard hung from the tent. But it results in fun like this:


Petey! Almost has a chocalte most if you pull it back a bit. Nice Pete scotch flavor.

Pulled the words right out of my mouth! (It was a totally kickass beer though! And mispelled toast to that guy whoever he is!)

(Edit: Not to belittle folks whose spelling abilities are perhaps a bit fumbly due to them being super-psyched about the festival... PM me on Untappd or something, I like the cut of your jib!)

nateo
06-16-2014, 05:38 AM
Hah, yeah. Got a review of our Kolsch this weekend:



Indeed, good sir. Indeed.


To be fair, most of the Germans I know call Kölsch "sex in a canoe."

Inthelab
06-16-2014, 08:30 AM
I had a check-in today, from two states away, of a Squid Ink IIPA, (Yes, it had real squid ink in it. Don't judge me.) that I brewed once, for Strange Brewfest two years ago.

Ha, I remember drinking that beer, about as well as somebody can remember the absurdity that is Strange Brewfest. Too bad they closed.

Junkyard
06-16-2014, 08:45 AM
To be fair, most of the Germans I know call Kölsch "sex in a canoe."


Why would germans diss kolsch and call it F'ing close to water when pilsners and german wheats are a very similar color and body?

nateo
06-16-2014, 12:28 PM
Why would germans diss kolsch and call it F'ing close to water when pilsners and german wheats are a very similar color and body?

Do you even drink, bro? Pilsners and Weizens are pretty different. Drink a Krombacher and then a Sion or Mühlen back to back, and the difference is obvious. I've tried every Kölsch except Peters (which is in the Radeberger group so I doubt it's any good) and none of them were anything like any of the Kölsch being brewed in America today.

Päffgen is my favorite, but that's the hoppiest, and it's still nowhere near the hop character of even Bitburger. The only people I've personally met who really like Kölsch are either from Köln, or women. That's a pretty small sample size, granted, but make of that what you will.

There really seems to be a weird disconnect between the fetishization of German beer in the US craft scene and the "facts on the ground," as it were. Sorry for the thread derail, but this has been bugging me for a while.

Honestly, I think I'd take a High Life, Budwesier or PBR over Früh any day.

Junkyard
06-16-2014, 02:35 PM
Do you even drink, bro? Pilsners and Weizens are pretty different. Drink a Krombacher and then a Sion or Mühlen back to back, and the difference is obvious. I've tried every Kölsch except Peters (which is in the Radeberger group so I doubt it's any good) and none of them were anything like any of the Kölsch being brewed in America today.

Päffgen is my favorite, but that's the hoppiest, and it's still nowhere near the hop character of even Bitburger. The only people I've personally met who really like Kölsch are either from Köln, or women. That's a pretty small sample size, granted, but make of that what you will.

There really seems to be a weird disconnect between the fetishization of German beer in the US craft scene and the "facts on the ground," as it were. Sorry for the thread derail, but this has been bugging me for a while.

Honestly, I think I'd take a High Life, Budwesier or PBR over Früh any day.

I was in Germany a couple years back and have drank a wide variety of the styles they have to offer over there. Yes kolsch and pilsners and wheat beers are very different beers overall but for someone to refer to kolsch as close to water when they normally drink pilsners seems pretty dumb to me.

I didn't get the same impression you did when I was over there, nobody really had anything against kolsch.

In my opinion, and many others I've talked to, Kolsch is definitely a hit or miss style for a lot of craft breweries in the US. Some examples are just nasty, and I agree kolsch is available over here in the US much more widely and extensively in proportion to German pilsners.

william.heinric
06-16-2014, 05:09 PM
As I was reading this thread and laughing my balls off, I came to a striking realization:

Untappd is not geared to breweries. Sheets22 nailed it. I think that we, as brewers, can occasionally get lucky with a good trend or post, but for the most part, it is entirely a response to people's demand to have other people see what the first people are drinking.

Which I get. The brewing industry has had a long, long tradition of conspicuous consumption. This is just the next phase, I suppose.

My strategy has been total disengagement. One of my favorites was a collab DIPA that we didn't brew, which was credited to us as a Belgian Quad. Up until that point, I was blissfully ignorant of the problem. The issue arose when somebody comes in and tells me how great my Chimay-clone is. Things went sideways at that point.

The moral is that nobody has a damn clue what the hell they're talking about, so you might as well just take it for what it's worth, and drink heavily.

Bainbridge
06-20-2014, 10:11 AM
The Madness Continues.

So last weekend our IPA took a Silver in the 2014 Washington Beer Awards®! Kinda something you'd think would be nice to see right there on Untappd? You know, so that someone might pause and reflect on themselves before rating it the "Worst. IPA. Evar."

But more than a week ago, in a fit of organization, I went through and tried to merge all the messed up entries. Like when your office finally gets so cluttered you're just like "RIGHT. That's it! Can't take it anymore..." and you start shoving things into drawers and trashbags like a cracked-out Tazmanian Devil. So here we are today, "I'll just go add that little feather to our cap..." when "Sorry, this entry has been locked for merging." From over a week ago.

WTF. Is there one person sitting there, going through thousands of entries, like "I know the registered brewery requested this, but shall I allow it... Mmmm no."

Le sigh.

Meanwhile: two ratings for a beer I brewed 10 gallons of for a Seattle Beer Week event more than a month ago, sited at another brewery.

populuxe
06-20-2014, 11:31 AM
What's wrong with a little Pete flavor?

I was told once that there's only 2 guys working on the app part-time which is why it never gets updates.

We brewed an IIPA specifically for our Founders Club event and it was entered as "Founders IPA" on Untappd by someone. I never bothered to correct it because, well, that's not my job. We get check-ins from the midwest all the time...

Peter
Populuxe Brewing

Bainbridge
06-20-2014, 12:59 PM
Hah, I think all your beers have that certain Pete flavor...

Seems to me there could be trademark fights about this. If I was Founders, I wouldn't be pleased at the confusion. Meanwhile it's not your fault someone entered the name wrong.

Congrats on the Gold last weekend BTW!

JDrum
06-28-2014, 06:51 AM
I've gotten reviews like that before… a few weeks ago, our Kolsch was given 0.5 stars and the comment "Miller lite". I think a big issue with Untappd is that the users are kind of a self-selecting crowd of folks who like Leos said, represent a very, very insignificant snapshot of your sales typically.I'm glad it's not just me... my Kolsch got the comment "Coors Light... bleh"... and I think he still gave it 3 stars...

I actually took the review as a compliment, considering what I'm trying to accomplish by offering that beer in my lineup... my bartenders are aware enough to offer tastes of my Kolsch when someone orders a light lager (yes, we have at least one on tap - among 45 other beers). It's amazing how many folks will change their order once they try it.

Junkyard
06-28-2014, 12:17 PM
If you get an unusually low rating for one of your beers just look through the persons recent history. Chances are their highest rating they've ever given out is a 3.5 stars.... And it was for bud light. Chances are they will rate beers like Rebel IPA or surly Furious 2 stars.

Some people should just stop drinking beer if it tastes that bad to them.

FiveMile
07-08-2014, 07:43 AM
Just caught this on Untappd from a local brewery. This guest simply copied his friend's check-in.

17777

yap
07-08-2014, 07:58 AM
At least he earned a new badge for his efforts!

mikeyrb1
07-11-2014, 12:18 PM
I'll throw a few out there, from the same guy:

Our Wheat beer, one star: "Served with a lemon. Actually not too bad, but not my style either. " Our Hefeweizen "and I still don't care for Hefe's" Rated 1/2 star.

So you don't like the style? Cool. Then why did you order and rate these beers?


It's like me buying a boat then saying that I don't like the water so I don't like the boat.

BogWater
07-12-2014, 03:32 PM
I'm still trying to find the 2 star Blonde in my brewery a few people had over the 4th.

nateo
07-13-2014, 03:44 AM
For those of you complaining about poor reviews of your Kölsch, maybe you just need to brew better versions?

Maybe you should try an Ehrenfelder Kölsch:
http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/braustelle-helios/42474/

It's unfiltered, hazy, I think from dry- or whirlpool-hopping.

Brandjes
07-13-2014, 08:00 PM
My customers like my beer, I keep growing with new " regulars" , my accounts keep buying kegs. I've never looked at untapped to guide my brewing and I probably won't. I also thought the Internet was a waste of time back in 1997.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

porter
07-13-2014, 11:06 PM
Just went to the website untappd.com...

Not only is the app's name spelled wrong (or are they just clever?) but there are multiple spelling and grammar mistakes in the descriptions of what one could do with the app. Way to go untapp(e)d!

Honestly, most people I know who use it are only checking in beers so they can check in more beers than their friends. They're not loyal customers, they're tickers who only care about trying beer so they can put another notch on their belt.

indigo_k
07-15-2014, 03:56 PM
Howdy, all!

My solution to the 'fumble-thumbs' problem of folks looking for my beers on Untappd has been to leverage the technology they've already got in their hands. Generating QR codes for each of my beers, and then placing them prominently where folks will be drinking them, helps take the guesswork out. Scanning the code with their phone takes the patron directly to the Untappd page for that beer, where they can simply check in with their review.

I also (so far, at least) have kept my untappd listings fairly simple. My pillar beers are simply named for their style, with no fancy branding variations. I realize as I begin adding more seasonal varietals and one-off experiments this will become more cluttered, but that's where the QR codes simplify things.

This doesn't address the 'bell curve' of middling reviews for beers, but I don't think anything ever will. As long as the craft beer market is dominated by beer tourists, the likelihood of finding fans of your beers is just as high as the likelihood of finding haters. It'll all balance out, until we all start growing more regular patrons who are willing to check-in repeatedly on the same brews.

-indy

mikeyrb1
11-12-2018, 08:20 AM
Just want to bump this important thread. Maybe we could just use it as a repository for funny/weird/obnoxious reviews from Untappd.

The other day (Nov 6th 2018) I got this: "10-22-08.GABF 2008. One of the few proprieters to be pouring his own stuff. Lightish brown, light toffee malt, medium fruit hop finish." Three stars.

Really? Three stars man? You drank the beer a decade ago and still remember it and it gets three stars? Haha. I really don't care at all about my Untappd ratings, but this just makes me laugh and thought I'd share.

BTW the beer won a Gold that year ;)