How Would YOU Like To Be My Favorite Liquor Store?

No, see this isn’t some beer geek pipe dream….

eds-favorite-liquor-store

Over the last couple months as I have traveled my normal routes in life it has become apparent to me that while I frequent quite a few different liquor stores, no one store fits all my needs. It’s not that these stores are bad in anyway, it’s just that each one seems to be missing that one or two items that another store has that makes me stand in front of the cooler or counter and go, “awwww, you don’t have….”.

So, with that in mind I’ve been musing about what items or attributes a liquor store would have to have to be my all-time one-stop favorite liquor store.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “But Ed, you work 5-minutes from State Line! Surely no liquor store could ever top that!”

Well, yes and no. I mean, it is the store that I grab a shopping cart even if I’m just there to ‘pick up a few things’, spend the most time in (it’s easy to lose track of time in that place), and spend the most money. But even with its vast mind numbing selection, State Line is still missing a few things (unimportant to the rest of the beer buying world but hey, this is my list) that keeps it from being my absolute perfect liquor store.

No, see this isn’t some beer geek pipe dream along the lines of, “my favorite liquor store would sell growlers and Pliney the Younger, Hill Farmstead, Heady Topper, Wicked Weed and Westie 12 would always be on tap, and the coolers would be filled with Trillium –Trillium as far as the eye can see!”

No these are things that liquor stores in my area do actually carry but no one store has all of them but I wish one liquor store in my feeding pattern did.  So, do you want to be my favorite liquor store? Here’s what you need:

LOCAL BEERS – A killer selection of local beer is a must, Mispillion, 2SP, Blue Earl on the shelves, Bellefonte, Dew Point, Big Oyster on the growler station, and 3rd Wave on either. No room because of those two rows of Dogfish Head? Well, I guess that’s just the way it is. No room because of that row and a half of 16 Mile? Yeah, we’ll talk.

ARROGANT BASTARD – And I’m not talking about your counter guy who when I asked, “Hey, do you have Mispillion’s Holy Crap?”, responded with, “WHY? Who said that we did?” I’m talking about the beer. You know, my favorite beer? The one which comes in 6-packs of 16oz cans at a price point of about $2 a can? Please? OK, I’ll take the bombers if that’s all you can get. I’m easy. But seriously, you need this beer.

STEEL RESERVE 211 (Black can, seriously, not the silver one) – Sometimes all a dog wants is a beer to sip on while he’s making dinner, and not something that overpowers the already complex process of slapping together Hamburger Helper. This beer fits the bill – crisp, tolerable in flavor, and just the right ABV kick to dust off any acquired crappiness from the work day. Besides, I think occasionally going into a liquor store and buying one or two beers with nothing more than the change I could scrape out of my truck’s cup holder is great practice in case my company decides next year to pack everything up and move west without me. Any breweries out there in need of Media/Communications Manager whose only education/experience is writing a crappy blog and posting fuzzy pictures on Instagram? No? OK, just curious.

ANDRE BRUT CHAMPAGNE – Sunday mornings were made for champagne. I can’t state it any more truthfully than that, and Andre Brut is my go to. But listen, I know you’ll be tempted to, but don’t try to win any points here by up grading to a more expensive bottle. Andre is cheap and serviceable, which unless you’re having company or celebrating something, is all a peaceful Sunday morning requires. Just make sure it’s Brut, because daddy likes his champagne dry. Oh, and feel free to get rid of those 2 cases of Cold Duck if you need to make room because we both know that no one under 65 drinks that stuff.

PEANUTS – Sometimes I like to nibble on something on the drive home, and those little packs of Planter’s peanuts are the best thing going. Smooth, salty and tasty.  Should there be a joke here? If feel like there should be a joke here.

This is also a major convenience for those rare occasions when a bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum mysteriously falls into one of my bags. I’m not sure how this happens to me. Let me know if it’s ever happened to you.

1 LITER DIET COKES – Sometimes I like to nibble on something on the drive home, and those little packs of Planter’s peanuts are the best thing going. Smooth, salty and tasty.  But with or without a joke, the salt will eventually hit and I’ll need something to drink. Since Delaware frowns on me popping open one of my Steel Reserve 211’s on the ride home, a shot of Coke always does the trick. Diet, please. Caffeine free if you can. This is also a major convenience for those rare occasions when a bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum mysteriously falls into one of my bags. I’m not sure how this happens to me. Let me know if it’s ever happened to you.

DOG TREATS – A lot of people say that dogs are dumb, but I refuse to believe that. Instead, I simply believe that they’re just picky about the things that are important to them (they’re kind of like nerds in that regard). It’s not that his lack of intelligence or thumbs makes it impossible for him to grasp the fundamental function of a torque wrench and therefore renders him useless in helping you change the head gasket in your truck – it’s just not important to him. But figuring out that when you walk into the house with one of those little black bags from the liquor store there is sometimes a dog treat in it, that’s important to him, and he’ll pick that shit up quicker than a dropped slice of bacon. Some liquor stores sell dog biscuits at the counter, and you should too. I recommend you carry biscuits from Baxter’s American Dog Bone Company. Buddy loves them, they’re 100% organic, and family made right up the road in West Chester PA.

AMERICAN SPIRIT YELLOW PACK – This one isn’t for me, heck it’s not even REALLY a requirement. This is Tracey’s smoke of choice and on rare occasions when she asks me as I’m walking out the door to pick her up a pack, it would be nice if I could buy them at the place I’m most likely going to rather than having to make a second stop. Granted, sometimes that second stop is only the grueling 35 foot walk to the Walgreens next to the liquor store, but it feels a lot farther when you’re muling two bags of booze. Plus, sometimes the wild dogs that run in packs around our town try to steal Buddy’s treat. And let’s not mention the hordes of Girl Scouts that sometimes block the doors while demanding in a Negan-like manner that you buy their cookies.  Yeah, it’s pretty apocalyptic over here.

negan-and-rick
“Well, well, well. Now YOU didn’t REALLY think that you were going to buy only TWO boxes of Tagalongs(R) and then just walk away, did you?

Is that it? Well, I think anything else would pretty much be covered under the banner “liquor store”, you know, ice, wine, port, the basic stock items. I would like to ban lottery machines and sports betting from my favorite liquor store, because those people hold up the line and are evil, but that probably would make me a dick, and as you all know, Tracey says I can’t be a dick anymore.

So yeah, that’s it. Short, easy list. And if you can pull it off, then YOU can be my favorite liquor store.

The Not So Local Tap : Avenue Pub, New Orleans

Down in the Big Easy for some vacation and fun. And of course it wouldn’t be either without checking out the local beer scene. Every time I did a search for anything beer related one place keep popping up – The Avenue Pub.

Located a bit outside the French Quarter, the Avenue Pub still has the outside appearance of what you’d expect from a French Quarter bar. The building has an old time rustic look with a second floor balcony reminiscent of those in the FQ. And for the most part the feel of the place is the same once you step inside – almost.

Avenue Pub sports 50 taps. Most of them downstairs with 9 or so up on the balcony. It’s one of those places that takes you a few minutes to figure out how things work, but once you do it’s all good.

The draft list is very good, with a balanced selection of local beers and craft beers from around the US. I couldn’t get a great sense for the norm in that area however, because the day we walked in a good portion of the taps were taken up by a Swedish beer tasting. Yeah, that’s right, we traveled to New Orleans and walked into a Swedish beer tasting. But that just confirms what I suspected, that the Avenue Pub is doing beer right.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, just look around and go to the big sign that reads “Order Food Here”. The menu is chalked full of southern classics and a few items with a twist to them. When your food is ready, they shout your name to come and get it. Napkins and cutlery? You didn’t see the two tubs and the roll of paper towels by the door when you walked in? Like I said, the place takes a minute to figure out.

As for the beers, you’ll have to check out my Untappd or Twitter feed for those long complicated Swedish ones. I’m currently typing this from a deck chair on a ship sailing for Jamaica, so I’m not taking the time to look them up. Of the NOLA brewing beers we tried, the Blonde was really good but I thought their 7th Street Wheat could have had a little more flavor, but was still good. But I really enjoyed their Channel Stout with its dry roasty finish, in a “to go” cup as we walked back to the hotel. Because after all, this is New Orleans!

I’d highly recommend a stop to the Avenue pub if you’re staying in New Orleans. If you’re staying near the French Quarter it’s a bit of a trip, but the St Charles Street Trolley car will take you down to it.

Time for amother beer.

The Bar at the Avenue Pub

The Bar at the Avenue Pub

To Die For Fries - Waffle Fries with a Cheddar Beshamel Sauce with Jalepenos.

To Die For Fries – Waffle Fries with a Cheddar Beshamel Sauce with Jalepenos.

Halloween – A Craftbeer Lover’s Night of Trick-or-Treating.

Not a bad Trick-or-Treat haul. We have awesome neighbors!

Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you, “Halloween is Ed’s favorite holiday.”  Yeah I know, some people don’t see it as a holiday but there’s a lot of historical data to back me up.  It’s steeped in Celtic traditions as well as borrowing heavily from cultures all around the world.

Of course the great thing about Halloween when we were young was trick-or-treating.  Walking around the neighborhood in a scary outfit looking for the house that was giving out the best candy.  Fun wasn’t it.  Well just because we’re a little older now doesn’t mean we can’t relive the fun of trick-or-treats.  And of course there’s no reason why we can’t look for something a little more enticing than candy, right?   Let’s walk around the neighborhood.

The first part of our development that we’re going to go to is USA street. No discussion on Halloween beers would be without  Dead Guy ale.  This Maibock style beer is brewed with Harrington and Klages malts and hopped with Perle and Saaz.  Rogue uses their Pacman yeast to ferment.  Dead Guy is a fine malty glass of beer, even if you don’t like Halloween you should seek it out.  Luckily, the Rogue house we stop at first is giving it out.  Hey! Where did you get that  Halloween ale?  Oh, over there at the Gritty McDuff’s while I was looking through my bag.  Nice.  Maybe I’ll come back and hit them later.

Next door is Appalachian Brewing with their 666 ale.  I recently had this and really enjoyed it.  I’m happy to see it dropped into my bag.  Next door is the  DuClaw family.  You get Hellrazer and I get Mysterium – Charlie Brown gets a rock.  Will that kid never catch a break?  We find out later that they were also giving out Devil’s Milk.  Oh well, maybe next year.  Passing by a house that’s obviously giving out Bud we arrive at the Weyerbacher residence.  What would Halloween be without a little Insanity?  Pretty boring really.  The final house on the street is the New Holland house.  They’re giving out Ichabod.  We might have to go back later for seconds.  Maybe they won’t remember we were here earlier.

Some Halloween time favorites.

Next we go over to England lane where the first house is the Young’s  giving out Old Nick, a barlywine that I have to admit at the time of this writing I’m not sure they still make.  Consider it a ghost.  Moorhouse is the house on the left.  Their trio Black Cat, Blonde Witch and Pendle Witch’s Brew make a fine addition to our treat bag.  We walk across the street to the finely decorated  Wytchwood house.   And with names like Scarecrow, Hobgoblin, Wychcraft and King Goblin they really add to the Halloween spirit.

What?  Stop at the house giving out candy apples?  Sure why not.  I could use a snack.

Turning left we walk down the side street of  Belgium place.  The first house is giving out brouwerij riva s.a’s Lucifer, nice!  The lady in the next house gives us Duvel – which she tells us translates into Devil from several local dialects.  Two houses down are the Fantome’s where we each get a bottle of Black Ghost.  Our treat bag is getting heavy – we might have to go back home to drop off some stuff.

Belgium place tees into France Rue.  Where we get a bottle of Belzebuth from the Brasserie Grain d’Org house.  And down the road we get a Les Brasseurs de Gayant. from the La Biere du Demon family.  Nice folks!

Not sure why this guy died, but we suspect it was from lack of craft beer!

 

At this point we realize that our bags are full.  Not only have hit the best houses in the neighborhood, but in between we picked up some nice Pumpkin beers as well.  It’s getting late, better get home.  After all, the best part about  Halloween is going through your bag and drinking some of  your treats!  One last house as we turn back on to USA street are our neighbors the  Brooklyn’s .  Since they know us they pull out the special stuff :Monster Ale – different vintages!  Looks like the makings of a vertical!

Hope your treat bag was filled with your favorite beers, Halloween or otherwise.  Time for another beer.

It’s the Great (and not so great) Pumpkin Beers, Charlie Brown!

My pumpking beer round up. Except for ST's PumKing. I don't know what happened to that bottle.

A short time ago one of the people I follow on Twitter challenged us to admit a beer confession.  You know, that deep dark secret about beer you don’t want your other beer geek friends to know about.  Something along the lines of “I think all Victory beers taste bad”.  I thought for a minute and I tweeted back, “I don’t get all this revelry about pumpkin beers.  I’m sorry, I just don’t.”

And I don’t.  My Twitter and Untappd feeds have been swamped with people drinking and espousing upon the greatness of this yearly seasonal beer style. Coming from Delaware, to me, pumpkins only have three uses: Jack O’Lanterns, pumpkin pie, and being shot from an air cannon (yes, Delaware gave you Pumpkin Chunkin but we also gave you Valerie Bertinelli, George Thorogood, VP Joe Biden and nylon –  so I’m willing to call it even if you are).  But pumpkin beer?

This black hole in my beer world probably stems from my early days of beer discovery.  Except for Buffalo Bill’s brewing, there just weren’t a lot of pumpkin beers out there.  And as their numbers slowly grew, I guess I just never notice, or cared.

Soon after my tweet I found myself at Stateline Liquors deciding what to drink over the weekend.  My tastes were leading me one way when a voice whispered, “Revisit pumpkin beers, and see if your attitude towards them is still warranted.”  I found myself inspired, after all one of these many pumpkin beers that was getting mega-twitted must be worth a taste shouldn’t it?  Craft brewing has evolved by leaps and bounds since the 80s, surely pumpkin beers must have evolved along with it. And aren’t I the one who always tells people, “If you don’t like something try it again every once in awhile.  Sometimes your palate changes”?  So I left Stateline with a pumpkin patch full of beers to try and a mission.  Find a pumpkin beer I could look forward to every year.

First, let me say that I was happy to see that every beer I tried did indeed list pumpkin as an ingredient – no cheating with just spices here!  And in most of the beers I tried, the pumpkin was quite evident.  They also included a blend of spices normally found in pumpkin pie.  In some beers the blend was very balanced, while in others one spice or another was a little more forward than the rest.  In the interest of time, I won’t review every beer I tried.  Most of them were pretty solid beers with notes of pumpkin and spices.  Let’s look at a handful of stand out beers (both good and bad) from my tasting.

Two I didn’t like :

Heavy Seas “The Greater Pumpkin” – If I’d have read the label on this before I bought it I wouldn’t have.  Bourbon barrels are my arch-nemesis in the brewing world because I hate the taste of bourbon.  And this Imperial Pumpkin Ale (9% ABV) just reeked of it.  I couldn’t get past the bourbon taste enough to even figure out where the pumpkin began.  Not my type of beer by a long shot, but if you’re not like me and enjoy the bourbon thing, try it – you’ll probably like it.

Fisherman’s (Cape Ann Brewing) “Pumpkin Stout” – I really liked the sound of this when I bought it, a stout with pumpkin and spices.  I could just imagine how nicely the spices and the stout would play together being brought together nicely by the pumpkin.  That however, didn’t happen.  While the pumpkin was nice, I found the spices and the roasted tones of the stout in conflict with each other.  Instead of working together, they seemed to be battling each other for supremacy on my palate, and I’m still not sure who won.

Two I liked :

Uinta’s “Pumpkin Ale” – This brew benefits from the fact that the spices are subtle.  The pumpkin comes through nicely and after that, you’re not bludgeoned by an onslaught of heavy spices.  This is no doubt a pumpkin beer from top to bottom and delivers it in a very enjoyable way.  I would have no problem buying this one again.

Schalfly’s “Pumpkin Ale” – Sooner or later I figured I’d find a pumpkin beer that spoke to me on a nostalgic level.  The pumpkin is evident as you would expect, but the spice blend is nutmeg forward and thus made it the beer that reminded most of my mom’s pumpkin pie. Because of that I thoroughly enjoyed every sip.  This is the pumpkin beer I’d serve at Thanksgiving while trying hard to fight the urge to put a scoop of whipped cream on the top of it.

One I loved :

Southern Tier’s “Pumking” – This was one of the beers that had been blowing up my twitter feed, and with very good reason.  It is simply amazing.  First, the beer has a solid tone of vanilla to it which just ties all the other flavors together.  The spices are very subtle, and because of this Pumking doesn’t hit you over the head and scream “pumpkin pie!”  Instead, it engages your palate as each sip brings something different to  your nose and tongue.  Several times I got the distinct impression of the flavor of pie crust (or the smell of pie crust as it comes out of the oven).  Other times, the spices peaked through, all dancing in a background of pumpkin and vanilla.

The rest of the line up were all nice beers and if you like pumpkin beers, I encourage you to seek them out.  The other ones that were part of my tasting were : Smuttynose, Dogfish Head, South Hampton, Weyerbacher, Heavy Sea’s regular pumpkin ale, and Elysian.

With great respect and apologies to Mr Schultz

Was my mission a success?  I’d say so.  First, I confirmed that today’s brewers have indeed brought pumpkin beers to a high level.  Real pumpkin.  Fresh spices.  Good stuff.  And considering the level of quality demanded by today’s craft beer lovers, I’m not surprised.

And finally, I’m happy to say that next year I can join the multitudes of beer geeks when the next season of pumpkin beers begins to appear on the shelves with a simple question,  “When are you getting Pumking in?”  Mission accomplished.

What’s your favorite pumpkin beer?

Pentence and the Cooler of Surpises….

Forgive me father for I have sinned.   It’s been over a month since my last blog post.  I have to admit that I have a new found appreciation for all the bloggers out there.  Even if it’s a labor of love, although they make it look easy – it’s not!  I find that finding time is my biggest issue.  There always seems to be something that I should be doing more than typing away at a keyboard.  Anyway, with a new found appreciation and some retooled goals let’s get this going again….

A couple of years back I did something that’s slowly becoming a tradition, the “cooler of surprises”.  I first did it for a fourth of July party a friend of mine was throwing.  The usual “bring side dishes” requests were nixed and it was simply a BYOB event.  Well, being one of those people who hate to come empty handed and like to do a little something-something to aid the party, I came up with the cooler of surprises.

Assembling the cooler is easy.  Take your standard “goes to parties” cooler and fill it with whatever odd assortment of beers you can find.  Having a local beer store with an awesome selection makes this process easy.  I like to fill mine with 22oz (bomber) bottles, you’ll see why in a moment.  Add lots of ice.  And party.

Once at the party I always inform those interested of the rules for the cooler of surprises.  They’re only two, and easy to follow:

Rule 1 : No rummaging in the cooler of surprises.  Open lid, reach in, pull out.

Rule 2 : You must share (this is where the 22oz bottles come in handy).

I recently did this for a work buddy’s Labor Day BBQ.  He enjoys trying different beers and he was tossing down some seriously great food, so I felt obligated to bring something I knew he’d enjoy and have fun with.  The great thing about doing this is that you always make new friends.  Once a bottle or two has been cracked and passed around, craft beer lovers will catch wind quickly, and come over to see what’s going on.  Once you have beer lovers standing around talking about beer, well that’s a party right there.

When picking beer for the cooler I generally try to zen it.  I might pick one or two things I’ve tried that I think people will enjoy, but for the most part I try to stock it with things I haven’t had as well.  I also try to keep the party situation in mind.  My buddy’s BBQ was in the middle of August, so I passed on beers like heavy stouts.

According to my Untappd log, this was the content of the Labor day cooler:

S.O.B Special Old Bitter Ale by Atlantic Brewing Company
Coney Island Sword Swallower by Shmaltz Brewing Company (He’Brew)
Fish Paralyzer by RJ Rockers Brewing Co.
Ozzy by The Brewer’s Art
Bete Blanche by Elysian Brewing Company
Lord Wimsey’s by Baying Hound Aleworks
Super Cru (Lips of Faith) by New Belgium Brewing Company
Dogma by BrewDog
Fat Tire by New Belgium Brewing Company
Black Lightning by DuClaw Brewing Company
Life and Limb by Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada

The Cooler of Surprises ready to go. The large space is to accomidate my girlfriend's Hoegaarten. Gotta keep her happy!

Once things got rolling, one bottle, then another got selected, open and pass around.  Like I said, you can always find craft beer lovers at a party.  The Fish Paralyzer got raves from the small crowd we had.  The Bete Blanche was the first thing I’ve ever had from Elysian Brewing before and I really liked it so I’ll be looking for more stuff from them.  And one drinker said of the Fat Tire, “DAMN!”

So next time you’re invited to a party, put together your own “cooler of surprises” and make some new friends!

Do you have any beer traditions for parties or get togethers?

Social Drinking in a Social Media Age

Let’s be honest, drinking is a social event.  Oh I won’t lie, I enjoy drinking a nice beer in quiet solitude (well as much solitude as you can have with a girlfriend, two kids and two dogs) but if you look through history, drinking has been an activity that brings people together.  Whether it’s a bottle of wine at dinner, some mead shared by vikings around the campfire, or guys at the local bar cheering on their favorite baseball team. Whatever the occasion, people enjoy drinking together.

So it’s no small wonder in this age of social media that a few people have taken up the task to broaden the scope of social drinking, and to my thinking it was inevitable.

One such group are the guys from Untappd, the designers of a social media application that allows you to enjoy beers with your friends, even if they’re seven states away.  The concept is easy enough (if you do Facebook or Twitter you’re 3/4 of the way there) and in my mind the execution is flawless.

To start, point the browser of you computer to the Untappd website.  I always recommend registering and setting up new accounts on a computer – it just seems easier.  Once you’ve answered a few easy questions and roamed around the site you’re ready to go.  Now here comes the easy part, go drink a beer.  See?  Fun isn’t it?  While you’re sipping, point the browser on you phone to return to the Untappd web application. Yes, I hear you “what? no app?”  No, at the moment Untapped runs off of a web browser based app so you’ll need a  phone with internet capability to get the most at out it, but don’t panic!  The app is tight and straight forward and you’ll have no problems running it.

Once you’ve logged onto the Untappd web app, the fun begins.  By clicking a button at the upper right of the screen that says “drink up” you’ll be taken to the check in screen.  Checking in is easy.  First, in the field for your beer, type the name or a few key words of your beer and hit the search button.  Untappd will then search through it’s extensive beer database and find the beer it thinks you’re drinking.  Didn’t find it?  Don’t worry, Untappd gives you the ability to add it – but to be honest, I think you’ll rarely have to do this.  Once you’ve entered your beer next is the location where you are enjoying it.  Untappd gives you the ability (you can opt not to do this if you wish) to use your phone’s built in GPS to find your location and give you options in the surrounding area as to where you might be enjoying your beer.  Again, not there?  Add it!  It’s easy.

After location you have the ability to leave a comment.  Untappd gives you plenty of space to do this.  If you don’t leave a  comment  your check in will have some little notation like : TheDogsOfBeer are sipping a Summer Love from @Victorybeers at @2stonespub.  However, bear in mind that if you do add a comment, that comment will be displayed in your Twitter feed (more below) and since you have only so many letters on Twitter, the above message will be displayed as a link back to Untappd.  So if you want to comment make sure you include the name of your beer (at the very least) and the location so people can easily see them.

Now that the basics are in the next part is one of my favorite things about this app.  You can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to Untappd so that your activity is uploaded from Untappd (do this when  you register) when you check in. However every time you check in, Untappd gives you the option of whether or not you want to upload your activity to these accounts.  A few clicks on some radio buttons and you’re all set.  Now is the big moment.  Click the “Confirm Your Brew” button and POW! you’ve checked in your first beer.

While the check in process is the spine of Untappd, it offers a lot of other fun features as well.  First, Untappd will recommend new beers for you to try based on the ones you have input.  Also, like facebook (friends) or twitter (follow) Untappd allows you to “friend” others in the Untappd community.  A screen in the app will show you what your friends have been drinking

One of the coolest things about Untappd is that it rewards you for  your beers in the way of badges.  Badges can be earned based on the beers you enter, and there are some cool ones.  Badges are separated into three categories, the first, BEERS is pretty straight forward.  You get badges at certain numbers of unique beers (1, 25, 50…500) you check in.  You can also get badges for drinking beers in a certain style like mexican, IPAs or irish.  Drink 5 beers in a sitting and earn your “Drinking Your Paycheck” badge.

The next catagory is venue. Interesting badges like Ahoy Matey!, The Layover, Hitting The Slopes and Bowl-a-Rama wait for you beer lovers that tend to enjoy your brews in interesting places.

Finally, the really cool ones, the “Special” badges.  Some of these are limited to within a certain time frame.  For instance, you needed to check in during American Craft Beer Week to earn that badge.  Now you’ll have to wait till next year.  Some of the badges however are a collaboration between Untappd and other beer minded people.  Dogfish Head Brewery has a badge for anyone that drinks three beers in their Ancient Ales category.  The guys from Hop Cast have just jumped on, drinking beers that they feature on their webcast  show will get you a badge. And don’t over look one of my favorites, “New Beer Thursday”.  Check in with a new beer three Thursdays in a row and get your badge.  Got it?  Well keep going!  The badge has levels.

There are other apps out there for connecting to your beer friends.  I encourage you to seek them out, find one that works for you and start checking in.  After all, drinking is a social event.  And it no longer matters if the person you’re drinking with is 4 time zones away!  Time for a beer, I want that July 4th badge!

What’s your favorite app for beer?  Have you used Untappd?  How do you like it?