Since its launch in 2010, Untappd has been the smartphone-owning beer nerd's best friend—apart from happy hour and a reliable ride back home.
Boasting over seven million downloads and nearly four million active accounts, Untappd is a free social network focused entirely on craft beer. The basic idea couldn't be simpler: Download the app, drink a beer, check it in, add a photo and rating and so on and share it with friends. It serves as a database of past beers tried, as well as offers achievement badges (how many beers have you checked in at airports?) and other fun little gamifications.
This is great and all, but Untappd is a lot more than just another social network. Over the past couple years, thanks in part to the launch of Untappd for Business, the app's become a powerful way for breweries and pubs to analyze sales—and for drinkers to make better use of their limited time and liver resources. Here are a few of the things that users can do within the Untappd app these days:
Call an Uber. This one should be self-explanatory. Simply put, there's no excuse for anyone to receive a DUII—at least within the city—any longer. Sure, $25 or so may be a lot to spend for 15 minutes of driving—but Bend Police can introduce beer fans to a much more expensive alternative instead, if they prefer.
View top-rated beers locally. Since Untappd keeps track of the zip codes where users check in beers, it's easy to find out what the beers with the highest average ratings are for almost any point in the U.S. (For Bend, that's RPM IPA—wholly expected. Fresh hop ales from Sunriver Brewing currently occupy spots three and four, which is perhaps less so.)
Find out what's on tap at home. Bars that subscribe to Untappd for Business are listed on the app as "Verified Venues," and this allows them to maintain online tap lists. Not sure if someplace is worth going to? Check out the list before wasting the gas money. (This can also provide suggestions for venues off Bend's beaten path beer-wise—Duda's Billiards Bar, for example, a place with a surprising selection.)
Play with stats. Becoming a premium user for $5 a month offers a few OK perks, the best of which is the ability to export a user's entire account history into Excel or database format. Itching to find out how many beers you've described as "dank" over the past five years? Easy as pie.