Comfort Beers, Part II – There Should Be an App for That!

I’m usually not much of a “series” guy.  A lot of my posts are stand-alone musings due in part because I don’t try to tackle anything with that much depth to it, but mainly because my brain won’t focus on any one thing long enough to pump out a four-part series.

So the other day when I asked the question about beers that craft-beer lovers had tried making their way to being a regular libation (which after a grueling internet search that I did not perform, I found that the term “comfort beer” isn’t plastered all over the internet yet, so….”, I though I was pretty much done with the topic.  But once I got home I realized that in listing some of my comfort beers, a list I admit I formed off the top of my head, I had missed an opportunity to form the list based on some actual numerical data that was literally at my fingertips.  I’m of course talking about the social media app Untappd.

I shouldn’t really need to go deeply into what Untappd is or does, I think if you’re reading a beer blog chances are you’ve heard of it. One of the many pieces of information you can get from it about your beer drinking is a list of your most checked in beers and how many times you’ve checked each one in.

With that little light bulb illuminating over my head, I decided to log into Untappd and see if it agreed with me about my beliefs about which beers I drink most often, with full awareness going in, that in general, the data it reported wouldn’t be entirely accurate. Why?  Well mainly the age old gremlin that sabotages any well meaning system – garbage in, garbage out.  I don’t check in every one of my comfort beers I drink, because I don’t see the need to track every single beer that touches my lips.

So with that fact firmly in mind, lets look at the top 10 beers I’ve checked-in on Untappd and see if there are any surprises.  The number of check-ins is in parenthesis after each beer.

#10 – Delirium Tremens (5).  I’m actually surprised how far down the list this one is, expect a couple of future check-ins to bump it up the list a bit.  My last check-in? Halloween night of last year.  No surprise there.  However…

#9 – Old Chub (7).  Interesting, as I wouldn’t actually consider this a regular.  Every year we attend the Scottish Highland games, and every year Old Chub is one of the beers that State Line Liquors brings.  I have a running joke that I have been given the power to “declare” the beer “Old Chub”, so every year I raise a plastic cup and say, “by the power invested to me by these games and State Line Liquors, I declare this beer Old Chub!”  I even tweet it out via an Untappd check-in which probably explains why it made my top 10.  But there’s no way this one should be above Delirium, or even only one check-in behind..

#8 – Arrogant Bastard (8).  Hmmm, the fact that two of the three examples I used for comfort beers are gone before we get to #7 worries me.  I think there’s going to be some things on this list I wasn’t expecting, and maybe some things that I wish weren’t on it.  Speaking of the former…

#7 – Victory Headwaters Pale Ale (8).  A pleasant surprise, as I do like this beer, but a regular?  Not really, but with 8 check-ins spread out over a three year period (my last being in April), Untappd would certainly seem to be suggesting that it is.  If there’s a beer out there that’s “on the bubble”, this one would probably be it.  Adding more weight to that conclusion is that it has the same number of check-ins as…

#6 – Raging Bitch (8).  Curiouser and Curiouser.  That ‘bitch’ is not in the top five was a shocking find.  More shocking still is the fact that I haven’t check one in since August of 2012!  For as much as this is a “first beer” at Two Stones, I would have thought I’d be checking-in at least one or two in a year for shits and grins alone.  But the app don’t lie.  Although I wish it was…

#5 – Sixpoint Brewery Resin (9).  Blasphemy.  I’ll be honest, I’m not even a huge fan of Sixpoint.  While I’ve had some good beers from them now that their available here in Delaware (Resin is really not a bad beer), Sixpoint built up a not so good standing with us when Chuck and I had it on draft in NYC on several occasions.  I was never overly impressed.  However, this is an important find for me because it speaks to an issue that Phirx over at Beer in Nashville wrote about a couple weeks ago on how Untappd can effect the drinking habits of its users.  Sixpoint sponsored a Resin badge that was mult-leveled.  Drinking one beer got you the first level then several more got you the next, and since I was “badge happy” during my first years on Untappd, well I had to have it.  The compelling clue that this beer is a badge artifact is that every check-in for it was between Feb 23 and Mar 2 of 2012, and I can promise you that I haven’t had another Resin since.  When I have that many check-ins of a single beer in a short amount of time, you know I’m badging.

#4 – Sorachi Ace (11).  No surprise there.  Although I’m a little shocked that it’s been over a year since I checked one in.  But 11 isn’t a bad number, all though this one is a little better…

#3 – Blithering Idiot (15).  Same as Sorachi Ace pretty much.  Over a year since my last check-in, but with 15 already recorded, I probably just got it in my mind that I didn’t need to do it anymore.  Well, maybe just THREE more…

#2 – Milwaukee’s Best Ice (17).  Spare me your poisonous barbs, Major! (And if you don’t get that reference, I shun you)  This is another badge artifact.  When I started on Untappd, I realized that, because of the very nature of the way I tend to drink, there were a lot of badges I just simply would never get – like “The Usual”, 15 of the same beer in one month.  Who does that?  There’s only a handful of beers I have more than 15 of in a whole year!  So I devised a plan.  On a nice July night in 2011, I decided to do an all night brisket smoke and knock off as many of these pesky badges as possible that require a lot of the same beers.  Why Beast Ice?  It’s harmless, goes down like soda, it’s pretty inexpensive and really doesn’t do much to me except make me want to pee. Over the night I picked up six badges (Drinking Your Paycheck, Sixpack, Brewery Loyalist, The Usual, Power Month and Take it Easy), and that was the last time I ever checked any in. Irritated that my #2 beer is an American adjunct lager? I suppose I should be, but I did it, so I own it, but if I’d been patient, I could have gotten all these badges in March by checking-in all the Guinness I drink.  Which brings us to…

#1 – Guinness Draught (20).  My only surprise here is that it is only 20. I drink 20+ Guinnesses during a seven day period around St Paddy’s every year – easily. GRR Martin may have popularized “The Wall”, but I was building mine long before he wrote about his.  I was surprised to see however, that I have not checked one in for over two years.  That’s two Saint Patrick’s days with nary a Guinness check-in. That’s borderline criminal.

And that’s the list. While many were givens, there were a few surprises on it.  But like I said, this ranking is skewed by so many factors that I wouldn’t call it definitive by any means.

Any surprises in your top 10?

"All in all you're just another can in the wall..."
“All in all you’re just a ‘nother can in the wall…”


Author: Ed (The Dogs of Beer)

Beer Blog focused on Delaware & surrounding area. Drinker of beer. Writer of stuff. Over user of commas. Dangler of prepositions.

7 thoughts on “Comfort Beers, Part II – There Should Be an App for That!”

  1. Oh Boy! Um, I like Hops. And local brews. Could be why I am contemplating a hop bine tattoo…
    Mad Elf (8)
    Great Lakes Christmas (8)
    Golden Monkey (8)
    Victory Hop Ranch (9)
    Dogfish Head 60 Minute (9)
    Victory Festbier (9)
    Hop Devil (10)
    Victory Ranch (12)
    Fat Tire (13)
    Dirtwolf (16)
    Nugget Nectar (19)

  2. I like Untappd, but I have the same issue, I often forget to log a beer, or I drink a series of them and don’t log all of them. I’ll have to hunt down my top 10. . .

    Nice work.

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