The New Beer Geek’s Guide To Using Untappd

How to use Untappd

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 Untapped.
  • Download the app.
  • Sign up for an account.
  • Make a profile.
  • Start searching for the beer you’re drinking.
  • Find friends and add them.
  • 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 those haters!

Don’t Rate Beer 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.”

This is why brewers hate Untappd.

And don’t think they don’t read your check-ins because they do, even the ones that say they don’t. I think a lot of brewers also hate Untappd because sometimes they have to face the harsh reality that their beer is not as good as they think it is.

Beer geeks are a tough bunch to please and I love them for it.

Start a “Looking Out For”, or an “ISO”, list

It will be on your profile so people can see what you are wanting to trade for. You can also have a list of beers you can get so traders can see what they can get from ya. On the Perfect Pour, we like to use the term Looking Out For (LOF) and that is what one of my folders are named. But it seems a greater part of the trading community uses In Search Of (ISO).

Create a LIST in Untappd

Really you can make your list about anything. Brag about the beers you have in your cellar. Make a WHALZE BRO list. Make a list of Russian River beers you’ve had or ones you still need to check off or the best Haze Bro beers you’ve had. Go nuts.

Make Comments. Get Involved.

Once you have a good base of beer friends, it’s time to make fun of them for the beer they are drinking. “Nice beer, lameass! I already had it a month ago when it was fresh. Enjoy your old beer.” It is also time to rub it in their face you are drinking a Pliny “Yep. Having a Pliny. Typical Tuesday night around the house.”

Before you get more involved, you need more friends. Here is how to find people’s user names you know BUT are not friends on Untappd with yet:

Use Untappd’s Direct Message Feature For Trades

Yes, I know you might want to use Untappd’s direct messaging for something other than beer trading, you naughty person, but we are here for beer, right? RIGHT!? Hell, who cares what you use it for. But it is nice that it is there, you can make trade deals and never have to leave Untappd.

Send A Message To Your Future Self

This is one of the most useful things in Untappd, in my humble beer opinion. There are many times I do not remember drinking a beer, but it feels like maybe I have drank said beer. Searching Untappd and seeing what I thought of a beer before I buy it is super helpful and can save me from wasting my time.

Hey future Mikey! This beer sucks. Never buy it again!

Leaving a ‘personally accurate’ rating is key. This is your personal beer database. You don’t need to impress your friends with your ratting style. Be you, sucka! (I think I’m more talking to myself than to you, here)

Don’t Abuse Tagging A Friend

When you check-in a beer you can tag an Untappd friend.

Not a bad thing to do when it is a beer you really want a friend of yours to see. But a lot of people simply tag every time they check into a beer. After a while, the person you tag starts ignoring your tags. Do targeted tagging, not blanket tagging.

Untappd Secret Badges – Not A Thing

Badges. There is enough there for its own post. I am kinda indifferent about badges. I like them but at the same time, I don’t care.

Some think there are secret ones. I have not found evidence of this but it sounds cool. Please let me know in the comments if you know of secret Untappd badges and how to get them.

How do I find my Year In Beer stats on Untappd?

Untapped did a pretty cool thing with their Year In Beer (your major stats for your year of drinking) that went kinda viral to start 2019 and they have continued it into 2020.

Last year you couldn’t look at your Year In Beer stats through the App but now you can.

  • Once you have your app pulled up, click on the notifications button near the bottom right.
  • Click “News” in the top right of your notifications screen.
  • Scroll down until you see the “Year In Beer 2019” and click it. (It’s right above the “Core Badges” announcement.
  • That will take you to the page with all the stats.
  • The actual url is

Sign in and see how many IPAs you had. I had a lot. A lot. This was 2018’s but not much has changed:

How Do I Get Rid Of Badges?

You don’t. There is not a way to turn off badges. But there is a way to get rid of them quickly, that you might not know. You can swipe left when they pop up and that will get them off your screen quicker than scrolling down and x-ing out.

Use The Barcode Scanner To Find Your Beer

Sometimes I am lazy or I simply can not find the beer in my hand through traditional search. Use the barcode scanner and if you’re lucky enough, somebody has checked in the beer already and it will be right there for you.

To do this, at the bottom center of the screen there is an icon with two beer bottles and a spyglass. Click it. Now, on the right almost at the top there is a blue box. Click it. Now find the UPC label on your beer, get it in focus and the APP should scan it.

If you’re one of the first people checking into a beer it can be tough to find it. If you’re a brewery, it is important that you be the first to check a new beer in and set it up as the style and description you want it displayed. Otherwise, you’re handing over this power to the first nerd that wants to put your beer on Untappd and that might not be what ya want.

Become A Supporter On Untappd

This feels less necessary since they got bought-out by Big App, but you can actually pay for the app if you choose to do so. That is why you see some profiles with the gold rim “Supporter Flag” around their picture with the denotation “supporter”.

What do you get for being a Supporter? You get the flag, personalized stats, a special badge and 255 more characters for your reviews and they recently added the ability to rate beers using a .01 system.

It’s $5 a month but it’s cheaper if you want to pay for the whole year or a six month period.

Create A Group

Maybe you have a lot of friends on Untappd, but you kinda don’t care about all of them. Niche down and make a specific group for stalking following your cool beer friends more closely.

Add a new group to your Untappd feed for focused following.
See What Is Trending Locally

This is my favorite new thing to do. You can judge your local beer community on how up on the latest beers it is. Plus find out what is the hot beer in town that you’re missing out on.

  1. Once you’re signed in, hit the beer bottles & magnifying glass icon (aka search) at the bottom center of the screen.
  2. Look for the Trending Beers tab and click it.
  3. There are two tabs near the top “Local & Global”, click the local.
  4. Boom. Now you’re looking at the top trending checked in beers in your town.
  5. If you see a beer you want but are not sure where people are getting it from, first click the beer. Scroll down a bit until you see the FIND IT section. There you should see the location peeps have been buying this beer.

Here is some video help, if you prefer, from my YouTube Channel:

Have Notifications Turned On

I don’t have notifications on for many apps, but I often do for Untappd. I guess because I know any notifications I get coming from Untappd will be fun ones.

When verified venues get something new on tap, you are the first to know. Plus you can stalk have fun watching your favorite friend’s drunk check-ins in real time.

Create A Dark Untappd Account

Some weirdos still drink Big Beer. Coors Light, Corona, Lagunitas, I see people check into these things and they are not being ironic. Call me a snob but I just think “Why!?”

Why not create a second “dark” account for these or for brewers that are afraid to rate another brewer’s beer out of Industry respect. One profile for the public and one for your dark beer secrets.

If I could give you a badge for reading a blog post about Untappd, I would.

While Untappd may be imperfect, it’s still a fun way to have a virtual friend to drink with. You really don’t get that from Instagram, as great as it is for beer pics.

Hope these Untappd tips help. I am going to continuously update this post with more tips and maybe write a second post in the future. If you have a favorite, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

By the way, I’d love to be your friend on Untappd. Search for “Dorktown” or Mikey Top Pour and be my beer friend.

Oh and if you think this kinda Untappd beer content is cool, I would like to also GUIDE you to my newsletter:

2 thoughts on “The New Beer Geek’s Guide To Using Untappd

  1. I have seen people rate beers in fractions that are not part of the .25 increments. Example 4.10
    How can one do this?
    Often I have wanted to write something 4.35 but good night and had to choose between a 4.25 and a 4.5

    1. They are “Untappd Insiders” – they pay monthly or yearly for a premium version of Untappd. In your profile settings click account and look for the Insiders tab, if you are interested in it.

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