Because of the handy nature of my Untappd account, I’m able to either look up or export a report on all of the beers that I have recorded. I typically report about 99% of the new beers that I have.
I usually don’t record a beer I have already had unless there’s an interesting setting I want to record and remember, a fancy new label design change I want to capture, or perhaps to tag a friend I am with in the beer check-in. And, admittedly, there are the rare times (perhaps 1 or 2% of the time) when I don’t record a new beer, either because I’m in a spot where I don’t have WiFi or an internet connection without exorbitant charges on my mobile device, I’m in a particular setting where pulling out my phone would be considered rude (although when I do pick up the phone at other times, I pause to explain to the people I am with that I am recording and rating my beer so they don’t think that I’m choosing the mobile device over their company), or in some of those moments where pausing to record the beer selection just doesn’t happen to work out.
So here is a look at the last year (2017) in beers that I have had. Admittedly, the visible charts were run a few days into January, so the timeline might be slightly off, and some of the figures I pulled from the exported full beer info that I exported and can extrapolate info from. But it’s a relatively accurate representative.
Unique Check-ins: 829
Unique Beers: 776
New Beer Ratio: 94% (again, this is because I will check in a beer I have already had if I want to record other factors, such as unique locale, unique company, setting, circumstances, etc)
Unique Breweries: 407
Unique Countries: 7
Total Venues: 157
Unique Venues: 118
The day with the highest number of beer check-ins was on my birthday when Liz and I were in Atlanta. We visited 5 different breweries that day and I ended up checking in 22 different beers. Hmm, it’s no wonder that we were in bed and fast asleep by 9 PM that evening. The second highest day was 21 beers at the annual Because Beer festival in Hamilton. (I should note that the serving sizes we had those days were mostly not full pints, but usually four ounce pours)
As you can see on the maps below, we covered a lot of territory across North America. I had also visited Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, where I enjoyed a few beers during my brief visits (the Netherlands was merely a quick layover, but a traveling beer advocate must make time for exploring as many unique local beers as he can on his journeys)
The top beers include ones that I ended up checking in more than once. Not surprising, since I lived in Hamilton, that Collective Arts would be among the most popularly enjoyed beers. And, given the unique labels on their various beer projects, I tend to check in more of their beers in order to capture the funky unique artwork they use.
Given the overwhelming popularity of IPA and Pale Ale style beers, it’s no wonder they account for more than 200 check-ins. However, this past year, sours became quite a bit more popular; and with Liz passionately pursing sour style beers, I ended up trying quite a few more of those.
It’s not surprising that the top venues would include The Winking Judge from Hamilton or Arabella Park Beer Bar in Kitchener, since those are two of our favourite places to enjoy beers. (From 2014 to the end of 2017 I lived in a condo in a building called The Chateau Royale that was basically next door to The Winking Judge so I actually visited The Judge a couple of times a week) When I was working in Toronto’s Liberty Village I also used The Craft just down the street from our office as a place for business meetings with authors and publishers. And Bayview Park gets a huge number of check-ins for the summer-time Because Beer festival.
I do not check in from our home in Waterloo, Ontario since it is a personal residence and I don’t like putting that on the map (it was one thing when the residence is a large condo building with a security entrance – quite another when it is a personal home)
Untappd allows ratings between 0 and 5. I actually neglected to rate 8 of the beers I had last year. (Which means I’ll need to make sure that I have them again so I can update those ratings) This was likely either the equivalent of a typo or due to a quick check-in in the midst of a fast-moving moment in time. For example, when I checked in the Road 2 Ruin Double IPA from Two Roads Brewing Company last summer, I wrote the comment “Amazing” but somehow neglected to give it a rating.. That likely means it would be between a 4.5 and 5 (Let’s blame the heat or the high number of beers consumed that day, shall we?)
I have always said that I have yet to meet a beer I didn’t like in some way, so my ratings tend to be more on the positive side. I only rated one beer a 2. Two rec’d a 2.25 and five rec’d a 2.75. The overall average rating I gave was 3.75 (or, more accurately, 3.73629 – I just rounded up to the nearest actual rating score on Untappd)
The two beers I rated at 5 were the Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter from Caldera Brewing Company and the Peanut Butter Jelly Time from Catawba Brewing Company.
Interestingly, the night I had enjoyed the delicious Peanut Butter Jelly Time at The Casual Pint Vista in Columbia, SC, was the same night I got food poisoning from a stop in earlier that evening at a brewery where we had raw oysters. It didn’t hit me until about 3 in the morning, but that morning and for the next several days, the combined food poisoning, travel and heat (we were driving south towards Orlando where I was attending a writer’s conference) was a significant challenge. Yet, despite the intense heat and the feverish haze I was under the next morning, Liz and I pushed ourselves onward and made sure to return to The Casual Pint (Vista) to take a selfie under the “Where Beer Lovers Meet” sign on the front window. We are, after all, professionals. (Of course, despite my long arm, we could barely get the “Beer Lovers” part in – but that was appropriate enough)
In 2017, I rated 274 beers at 4 or higher, and the top 37 beers I had (arbitrarily cutting off at the rating of 4.5) are listed below.
In all, 2017 was a year with some great beers. And, as I look back on the year, I realize all of the amazing beers and restaurants and breweries that we visited that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet. I’ll work to rectify that over the next couple of months, pulling out the many photos and stories from those visits. Because, just like a beer you haven’t had before is a NEW beer, a beer related story you haven’t heard before is a NEW story.
Cheers to your own 2017 and to the year ahead!