Rate of Discovery

I use the app Untappd to log and track the beers I’ve tried over the last three years.  So far it’s a shockingly large number (1695).  I’ve mentioned the check-ins in several blog posts such as the East Coast Trip and Denver Brewery Tour.  Because Untappd tells me when I started and you get badges for certain number milestones, it’s easy to go back and look to see how many beers I had within a certain number of days and overall how many beers I’ve had total per day over the entire length of my time on the app.  This is a totally meaningless statistic, but just one of the ways I enjoy crunching numbers.

July 31, 2014 – This is the day I logged my first sample and earned the “newbie” badge with one log in.  For the record it was Fat Chance by Redhook. Interesting.

August 6, 2014 – 6 days later I get the badge for 25 unique beers.  At this point the discovery rate is very quick.  Not only am I seeking out new beers to try, but also at this point every single beer I try is “unique”.  Averaging a little over 4 beers a day. Beer 25 was a Golden Ale from McMenamins at Edgefield, so something tells me there was a taster tray involved somewhere.

August 18, 2014 –  12 days later I hit 50.  Still really fast growth but already starting to slow.  This time period is averaging 2 beers a day, which drags the total average down to just under 3 a day (2.777777)

October 6, 2014 – 51 days to add another 50 beers and hit 100.  Probably at this point starting to hit some duplicates that don’t get counted as unique, and also there was no way I could sustain that growth rate anyway (4 beers a day!). #100 was Blue Dot from Hair of the Dog and judging by the date I’m sure it was at the OBC Hair of the Dog out meeting.

March 17, 2015 –  Now the milestones start getting further apart.  162 days to add another 100 beers and hit 200.  0.67 beers a day now at this rate.  Still not a bad overall rate of 0.8 beers a day.  200 beers in 231 days.

October 22, 2015 –  A little over a year after hitting 100 I finally make it to 500.  Must have had a couple good festivals and events during this period to add 300 more beers in only 219 days. The National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego was also in this time period.  1.36 beers a day during this stretch.  #500 was Oskar Blues Ten Fidy which I got from a beer ordering service I used for a while.  It’s not available around here.

May 30, 2016 – Apparently I kicked it into high gear again adding 500 more beers in just 221 days, a rate of over 2 beers a day.  The East Coast trip happened during this time period as well as the Inaugural Pacific Northwest Homebrewers Conference, so lots of small samples getting logged in a short period of time. #1000 was 2008 Russian River Consecration (Batch 008) which was from the OBC Sour and Wild Camping Trip, so another event with 50+ samples in 3 days, most of which I only took a sip of.  Total from this point to day 1, 1000 beers in 669 days, an overall rate of 1.49 beers a day.

March 8, 2017 – 1695 beers and counting…. the next milestone isn’t until 2500, which will take quite a while to get too, but in the slightly less than a year since I hit 1000, I’ve added almost 700 beers in 291 days.  A rate of almost 2.5 beers a day.  All of the summer festivals, another trip to the East Coast, and a trip to Denver are included in this time period.

The overall rate is 1695 beers in 951 days, or 1.78 beers a day.  I don’t drink a beer every day, so obviously the 20 in a day at a festival bumps that average up, but it does still kind of make sense to average about 2 a day, since when my wife and I go out, if we both order a beer and I get to taste and log them both, that will be two beers each time I log.

I have changed the way I order beers at some point in this timeline.  I used to get taster flights everywhere I went to make sure I could taste as many beers as possible.  Whether it was my judging experience or just real life that taught me about palate fatigue, I realized halfway through the flight I couldn’t taste much anymore.  So now I’ll mostly just find what looks best on the menu and order a pint, knowing for the local places, that we can always go back some other time.  For travelling, like to Denver, we will still get flights since we’ll be less likely to get back any time soon.  But I also picked up the trick at some point of taking a sip of my wife’s beer (or a friend, if they are willing) and logging that as well, so at a dinner where I may only have one beer, I get to log two (or more).

So there you have it, just some fun with numbers.  I’ve still got almost 1000 to go till 2500 and at this rate it will take almost another year.  The milestones left after that are 5000 and 10,000.  Who knows how long those will take, but we’ll find out!

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