Untappd, Beer Advocate, and Beer Menus

Maurice Amon beer techTechnology has reached into every part of modern life, it seems, and the world of beer is no exception.  There are countless apps, sites, and online communities surrounding the craft beer scene.  Some are great, practically essential to me – others, not so much.  There are three that are very popular, at least here in the northeast – Untappd, Beer Advocate, and Beer Menus.  Each has a specific purpose, something that sets it apart from the rest of the herd.  This is a quick rundown for the initiated.  Get ready to create some accounts!

Untappd

I use Untappd all the time.  This app and website has a list of every beer ever produced.  You use the app to ‘check in’ beers that you drink.  You can rate them, take a picture, and write a description.  It serves as a catalogue of the beers you’ve tried, what you thought of them, and beers you want to try.  What’s more, you can become friends with other beer enthusiasts and see what they’re drinking.  I often find myself commenting and liking the check-ins of friends.  The app is very, very well built, and has a lot of functionality – too much to go into in full.  If you use no other technology for your beer hobby, make it Untappd.

Beer Advocate

Beer Advocate is a magazine and website devoted to beer.  Where it really shines is it’s online community of beer nerds.  And these are beer nerds.  People come here for a higher quality and more in-depth discussion about beer.  They have an advanced rating algorithm, with users expected to rate beers on a variety of factors individually, adding up to an overall rating.  The forums are very active, and full of great info and advice…as well as some of the negativity so often found on the internet.  I use Beer Advocate as a casual resource when I want to know more about a beer or see what the real beer nerds are talking about, but I don’t get too involved in the forum.

Beer Menus

This website is very simply about delivering listings of what beers are being sold where.  Users can edit beer lists, or owners of bars & beer stores can update their own lists.  There is check-in functionality, but the site is relatively shoddy.  Here in Long Island, however, most establishments maintain accounts.  The best feature of the site is being able to search for a specific beer in the area.  I hope that one day this feature will be available on Untappd – one less login to worry about.