Untapping the World

Last week I had the opportunity to try my first beer from Hungary. It sadly wasn’t that great, but time, travel and storage have a huge effect on beer quality.  I’m sure the person sharing it did everything they could to keep it in good condition but there’s only so much you can do.

That said, the check-in brought up my Beer Connoisseur badge, which measures how many different countries I have drank a beer from.  What was interesting is that it gave me a list of the countries I’ve checked in and the number of beers I’ve had from that country. Since I’ve only traveled to Mexico and Canada (and live in the USA) most of these beers are commercially available in one of those countries.  A very slight few will be beers shared by friends who brought them back from that country.  I thought it was an interesting list to look at and it reminded me of some cool check ins.

USA – 2575 beers: Not surprising since I live in the US, this is the grand majority of my list.  About 92% in fact.
Canada – 52 beers: A good number of these were from my trip to Montreal earlier this year, but a decent number of Canadian beers are available “down south” in the States.
Belgium – 49 beers: I really like Belgian beers, and thankfully a lot of them are available in the States, particularly the beers from Trappist monasteries.
Germany – 28 beers: Again, not shocking, a lot of German beers are available in the States. Several of these are from my BJCP classes and the Mt Angel Oktoberfest.
England – 15 beers: A lot of Fullers and Samuel Smith beers that are available in the US as well as ciders like Strongbow.
Mexico – 12 beers: Almost all of these are from my Mexico trip.
Scotland – 8 beers: Shares from friends who travel to Scotland frequently, and the Scottish pub we went to in Seattle.
Denmark – 8 beers: Mikkeller and To Øl, probably the only two available in the US. 4 of each interestingly enough.
Poland – 6 beers: A handful of Polish beers are available in the US. My wife has traveled to Poland and someday I hope to go as well.
Netherlands – 6 beers: Almost all of these are from the International Tent at the Oregon Beer Festival.  They bring over some interesting stuff.
Ireland – 4 beers: Guinness and Murphy’s Irish Stout. Pub beer.
Japan – 4 beers: One random craft beer I found here in Portland (Yo-Ho Brewing) the others Kirin and Sapporo.
The Bahamas – 2 beers: Pirate Republic beers from our honeymoon cruise. At the time these were the only two they had.  Only brewery in the Bahamas.
Colombia – 2 beers: Interesting story with these Bogatá Brewing beers.  They got sent up to the Best of Craft Beer competition, but otherwise I don’t think they are sold in the States.
China – 2 beers: Tsingtao and Lucky Buddha, both from restaurants.
France – 1 beer: France isn’t really known for it’s beer scene.  3 Monts Biere de Garde is really good though.
Australia – 1 beer: Coopers Pale Ale. Probably from a BJCP class.
Czech Republic – 1 beer: Pilsner Urquell. Classic style, from a BJCP class.
Switzerland – 1 beer: Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien, a Swiss Trappist brewery.
Italy – 1 beer: Brewfist Grappa barrel aged RIS.  From Festival of Dark Arts.
India – 1 beer: Haywards 5000 Super Strong.  From a Greek Restaurant ironically.
Vietnam – 1 beer: 33 Export.  From a Thai restaurant.
Phillippines – 1 beer: Red Horse Beer.  Had this on the Portland Spirit (Christmas party).
Lithuania – 1 beer: Dragon Lady Doppelbock. From a BJCP exam.
Jamaica – 1 beer: Red Stripe mon…
Hungary – 1 beer: Feher Nyul Oatmeal Stout.

So there we have it, a very interesting list and a neat trip down memory lane looking up where I had some of these beers.


Untappd – 2500 Unique Beers!

I finally hit the next big milestone and got the badge for 2500 Unique Beers on Untappd!

According to my 2400 update, I should have hit 2500 on May 2nd.  Turns out I hit it a couple days early, but still not a bad prediction.  The trip to Canada certainly helped, with 43 check-ins.  That was nearly half of the 100 I needed.  Sunday, the day I hit the milestone, was the Nano Beerfest.  A local festival that highlights very small scale breweries (1 barrel or less per batch). There were a couple of places pouring that I hadn’t even heard of, so those are always fun to try.  My wife and I both got our glass and 10 tokens and knowing how close I was, made sure to not overlap so I’d be able to get 20 unique check-ins.  In honesty, we would do this anyway so we get to try as much as possible.  We only double up if something is really good and we both want more than just a sip of it.

I was 21 away, so we knew the 20 from the festival would leave me one short, therefore we made the plan to stop for lunch on the way home.  We were close to one of the McMenamins’ locations we needed to hit for passport stamps anyway.  Turns out a couple of the beers I had at Nano were repeats (I didn’t log them until later) so I still ended up one or two short.  We pulled out a few cans from Best of Craft Beer when we got home, knowing those would be unique.  Had to work for it, but once I was that close I had to make it happen.  In fact, my wife was cheering me on as well, saying we would make sure it happened that day.

So, overall 2500 beers in 1368 days is 1.83 beers a day.  In the time since the last milestone (1000 beers on May 31, 2016) I’ve logged 1500 beers in 698 days.  This is a rate of 2.15 beers a day.  This uptick explains hitting the milestone early.  In the time since my last blog post (2400 beers on March 9, 2018) there have been 100 beers in 51 days.  Still pretty much dead on to 2 a day.  At a rate of 2 per day, the next 2500 beers for the next milestone badge (5000) would take 1250 days, which will be August 10, 2021.  At the overall rate at 1.83 beers a day that stretches slightly to 1366 days, or December 4, 2021.

That’s a long time to hang on, but I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Untappd Update – 2400

One year, to the day, after my original Rate of Discovery post I hit 2400 unique check ins on Untappd.  Still a ways to go until the next badge milestone of 2500, but close enough to stoke my curiosity to see how close I was getting to my June 6, 2018 prediction from the Untappd Update post which was based on my “beer per day” check in rate.

On June 14, 2017 I was at 1864 unique check ins.  2400 from 1864 is 536 beers (wow!).  June 14th was 269 days ago, so that’s a rate of 1.9925 beers a day.  Nearly exactly 2 beers a day.  That’s a tick up from the 1.70/day from the previous post.  What’s interesting about this is I feel like I’ve had less opportunities in the last year to get big numbers, but I guess they must be coming from somewhere.  We actually didn’t make it to too many festivals last year.  Most of the big ones have been from the beginning of the year, with Best of Craft Beer in January, Festival of Dark Arts in February and SheBrew in March.  Those were each 20-30 samples, which is a lot in one weekend, but still doesn’t add up to 500+.  A trip to Seattle in October contributed as well.

Based on this increase, the overall rate (2400 beers in 1318 days) is now 1.82 beers per day.  That actually bumped it up a decent amount.  According to the new rate, I should hit 2500 in 55 days.  That would be May 2, 2018.  Shaved off a whole month.  Something tells me that won’t actually happen.  There aren’t too many big beer events between now and May.  I will be travelling to Montréal, Quebec, Canada in April for a brewing microbiology course and I’ll surely hit some breweries, but 100 beers in two weeks would be a whole lot. We’re going camping with the homebrew club Memorial Day weekend and I’d imagine that one of the beers from that weekend will end up being #2500, which will be appropriate since #1000 was from the Memorial Day weekend Sour Beer Camp two years ago.  Slightly earlier than the June 6 prediction, but not by much.

We’ll see!

Untappd Update

So, I’ve still yet to hit the next milestone of 2500, but I’m getting pretty close to 1900.  The summer festival season is upon us, so I’m expecting the number to climb quickly in the next couple of months.  Case in point, I added 14 beers in one day this past weekend at the Portland Fruit Beer Fest.  4 ounce tasters are a great way to try a bunch of stuff and not stumble away (still have to be responsible though.)

Looking back at my previous post Rate of Discovery, we see that on March 8, 2017 I was sitting at 1695 beers.  As of today (June 14, 2017) I am at 1864 unique beers.  An addition of 169 beers in 99 days. (Should have waited till tomorrow I guess!).  This is a rate of 1.70(70repeating) beers per day.  Going back to day one, this is 1864 beers in 1050 days, or a rate of 1.775 beers per day.  So it looks like the rate of discovery is starting to level off, which is not a surprise.  Any statistic will be more stable over a longer time period.

So… that said.. at this rate, it will take me 358 days to reach 2500.  Almost another YEAR.  So be sure to come back and check on June 6, 2018 to see if I got there.  The next milestone after that is 5000.  That will take 1408 days. Almost 4 years! The next (and final) milestone after that is 10,000 and I don’t even want to think about that. Seems unobtainable, although knowing dedicated Untapper’s like I do, eventually they will tack one on beyond that, say 25,000. I feel confident that will happen.

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!