I know that Untappd has its own FAQ but how about some Untappd advice from a hardcore user, like me? A beer nerd that is not very good at giving detailed reviews but knows that they are not good at it. That makes it cool, yeah?
Untappd gets a lot of flack, but I think it is the best beer app for journalling and tracking your beer. I have a physical beer journal (shout out to Moleskin) and I have Untappd. I use Untappd a lot more, even though I love notebooks.
Let’s look at some basics and some of the beer app’s features you might not have thought of or have forgotten about.
How to use Untappd
You have the basics down, right?:
Figure out it’s spelled Untappd, not Untaped.
Download the app.
Sign up for an account.
Make a profile.
Start searching for the beer you’re drinking.
Look for friends.
Be annoyed by badges.
Forget to check-in to beers.
Build A Profile Worth Seeing
A normal picture is all you really need. Don’t shy away from making a good, complete profile. You are amongst fellow beer lovers, it’s okay to shout it to the global beer garden that is Untappd “I love beer and I don’t care who knows about it!” There is very little judgment about how much beer you drink, less than you probably think. Have fun and screw that haters.
Don’t Rate Styles You Know Nothing About
Nothing pisses off a brewer more than to go on Untappd, see somebody check into one of their beers, give the beer a shitty rating and then say “I have never had this style, I didn’t like it, 2 stars.”
Beer Questions: Can A Gas Card Be Used To Buy Craft Beer?
Pay day is several days away and all you really want is a 6-pack of good beer to get you through the week.
The only way you have to pay for anything is a credit card from a gas station.
So this begs the question: Can I buy beer with my, say, Shell Credit Card?
Yes! The answer is yes.
Desperate times call for desperate beer purchases.
Look, man, you should not be doing this. A lot of gas credit cards have high interest rates. Like 23% rates.
I’m no math wiz but you are paying a lot more for that beer when you use a card.
That said, when you need to have some beer and you have no other means and you have space on your gas card, it’s there for you. It’s been days since you’ve been able to check-in a beer on Untappd. You NEED THIS, MAN!
I may have done it, once or twice myself so no judgement here.
This may or may not be cool across all the States.
As far as I can tell you can do this with most cards. From Shell cards, Chevron, 76, Texaco, or whatever weird gas company you have in your town.
Every state’s rules have the possibility of being different.
It might be smart to do a quick call-ahead to the gas station to make sure you can use your card to buy that tasty beer. Just don’t let on it’s for you when you call…
“Yeah so my friend wanted me to call and ask if you take your gas card for payment if one wanted to purchase an alcoholic beverage? Also, do you have any hazy beer right now?… asking for a friend still.”
Of note: You may have a “fuel only” restriction placed on your card if it is a business account. So be warned. Have a really rad excuse lined up when your boss asks about that $16.99 charge for a 4-pack of “How’s It Hazing, Bro?!”
Can you buy alcohol with a GIFT card?
No. This is different from a gas CREDIT card. Not really sure why.
To me it makes more sense to restrict a gas credit card from buying alcohol than a gift card.
A gift card normally works like cash.
Somebody paid cash for the gift card. You can buy beer with cash. Why can’t you buy beer at a gas station with a gas gift card!?
I guess it’s fine for gas companies to make that credit card rate money with beer.
Do you already know about rolling your beer or is this the first time you’re hearing about it?
I recently was listening to Three B Zine podcast and heard a guy from Stone Brewing talk about rolling a can of Hazy IPA or NE style (whatever term you prefer) beer before opening it.
Oh, yes, I have seen hazebros do this beer rolling on Instagram but did not think there was a point to it other than it makes for a slightly fun and quick video.
There is actually a point to it.
Why? What does rolling a beer do?
It breaks up the sediment. If a beer has been sitting around a bit or is excessive in its hazy New England nature, there will be lots of chunky goodness to mix in with the rest of the beer.
Rolling it brings out the all the flavors.
So, when you roll it, it’s like shaking it up without shaking it up because actually shaking a beer is bad – unless you just won the World Series and you’re pouring beer over your teammate in the locker room.
Rolling it mixes all the things. The sediment. The haze. The juicy.
Is it okay to drink beer with sediment?
Yeah, dude. Totally. That’s full of protein probably.
Actually, it’s the yeast. It is heavy and likes to rest at the bottom of your can or bottle. Yeast gets worn out and lazy.
Good news though, that sediment apparently has plenty of B-vitamins so you’re going to be super healthy after drinking it. “No honey, I don’t need to take my multivitamin today, I have my juicy beer here, I’m good.”
What is the best way to roll your beer?
Be nice to your beer. Take your favorite can or crowler of hazy, or bottle of old beer. Playfully roll it across the table a few times. Open. Pour. Enjoy your haze…bro.
If you do it right and don’t get too crazy with your roll, it won’t explode on you, it’ll just be ready to enjoy.
Enough talking about it. Let’s try it because I am getting thirsty and I need something chunky and juicy:
If you can’t seem to pour from a crowler without making a mess, like me, I have the solution. No, I don’t know how to pour from a crowler… YET. Today we are going to figure out, once and for all, how to pour from a crowler, properly.
It’s not like pouring from a crowler is hard…right?
You see, I have been having problems pouring from a crowler. Usually, the beer runs down the side of the crowler as I am pouring or my pour is mostly foam or both.
Maybe you have no problems pouring from a crowler and are wondering why I am so stupid. That’s fine.
I have figured out three ways that work for people. Two of the ways worked for me and one did not. I made a video trying out all three you can watch or read on and I’ll lay them out.
For reals. All those beer releases. Limited cans. Haze craze releases. Only so many cases per person. Only so many 4-packs per nerd. One bottle. Two bottles. You can get paid to wait for those beers. Yes, line sitter jobs are a real thing for iPhones, but they are a real thing for beer too.
But do you want to? SHOULD you want to?
They don’t get paid a lot. It seems like it runs around $25 per gig. But if you are one of those people that can mentally handle waiting in line for things, why not wait in a line with a bunch of (usually) cool people drinking beer all night?
Just hope there is a McDonald’s restroom nearby and the person behind you is willing to save your spot. Actually, there is a way around that I will explain in a minute, but I digress…
Looking For A Line Sitter Job?
Your city, if it’s big enough, might have one of these services line services you can work for. New York certainly does. There is one called Same Ole Line Dudes. They are set-up to wait in line for anything, beer seems to be low on their list.
But yes, you can be somebody’s “task rabbit” for the latest can release.
Try searching out your local area. Talk to some other beer geeks around or get into a local craft beer Facebook group and start asking. You could get a little flack for it. Beer geek related Facebook groups are know to be…passionate, at times, so tred lightly.
You can also go on boards like Beer Advocate and see if anyone will “donate” money or beer to you in exchange for you waiting in line for them. I feel like this is not exactly legal but … it’s a free country or whatever. On the record I say not to be doing this, but if you’re reasonable about it, who cares?
Is A Line Sitter The Same As A Beer Mule?
Not exactly. If you’re new to craft beer geekdom, you might have heard the term “beer mule” associated with this. A beer mule can be different from a line sitter or a task rabbit. A mule is simply somebody that brings beer to another person, usually a long distance.
So, you could be a line sitter and a beer mule or just be one of those things. A line sitty beer mule.
Know This Before You Line Sit
Some of the people in line are not liking what you are doing. Beer geeks that live in the area, as you can imagine, don’t like not being able to get the amount of beer they wanted because somebody that is not a beer geek is buying beer for somebody that doesn’t even live there.
Having somebody from the brewery come out, walk the line, and tell the person in front of you that they are the last one that will be getting any beer and that last person to get beer is you, the line sitter, might not go over well.
Maybe don’t make eye contact with the person behind you.
I have not heard or seen anyone get physical or even get into an argument, but know this is something that could happen if you start opening your yap about what you’re doing there.
Luckily craft beer nerds are a cool bunch of people. If you’re cool, they are cool.
Breweries You Might Run Into A Profesional Line Sitter
It seems that Other Half is a big line stander/sitter brewery. Being in New York helps plus they have can releases happening all the time. There is a lot of line work to be had. I don’t imagine every release calls for an epic line, but it all depends.
I have also heard of Monkish in Los Angeles (Torrence) is a big can release/line place. Ya might find some work there.
Hell, really, any small to big craft brewer that bottles or cans has the potential to have a freak show line situation. And that is what’s fun about indie breweries.
What Triggers An Epic Beer Release Line?
I think it starts with the reputation of the brewery and the reputation of the beer. Add in a hot style (haze me bro), proper hype from the brewery and the local beer community, and you have the makings of a LINE FEST!
And now. The most epic line in the history of lines. I think I have watched this video four or five times and I am still amazed every time:
It’s the most jaw-dropping beer release line I have ever seen. I challenge you to find one bigger.
Even the epic lines during the two-week event know as the Pliny The Younger release at Russian River, can’t compare. I know I know, Younger release and limited package beer releases are not the same things, but I’m just sayin’.
What You Need To Be A Line Sitter
If you’re a paid line professional or actually a beer geek with no plans to sell the beer (you know, you actually want to enjoy the beer), study up on how to drink all day and stay upright, first. Then buy the right gear to help your overnight sidewalk stay be more comfortable.
I put together a list of items you might find useful for your next rare beer release line.
A CHAIR. This is a must. Use the one that you yell at your kid’s soccer coach from. Or buy a new one. This one has a cooler and that seems relevant.
A BACKPACK COOLER. You will need beer for your overnight line wait. Then once you have emptied the cooler from your line-fest, you have a plenty of room for all the cans you’re buying everyone. This one holds 36 12oz cans!
Alright, maybe that is excessive…but not really.
COOLER TUBE: I have only moments ago discovered these were a thing. I want one. Take a look at the Mountainsmith:
BRIEF RELIEF: Yep. It is what you think it is. Because not every brewery has a Wendy’s bathroom next to it. When ya think about it, it’s better than going in the street. Once you do your business in there, the gel inside hardens and you just toss it in the trash.
For a comprehensive story on ‘line life’ at Other Half Brewery, check out this post from VinePair.com.
If you have any stories from a beer release line, don’t be afraid to leave them in the comment section or email me mikeytoppour [@] gmail.com.