Untappd is Sexy (Drink Socially) [Update]

untappdFine, fine.  I’ll tell you why Untappd is super sexy.  First of all, if you have been leaving under the rock for the past year or so.  Untappd is new way to socially share and explore the world of beer with your friends and the world. Curious what your friends are drinking or where they’re hanging out? Just check their profile where you can toast and comment on their beers.  Untappd will offer you beer recommendations based on what you and your friends have been enjoying, so you’ll have no reason to not try something new.  As additional encouragement, Untappd allows you to earn a number of cool badges for completing a variety of different criteria.  If that doesn’t sell you, here are three reasons why Untappd rocks.

One, Greg Avola. I went to college with Greg.  Back in 2004, he was fondly referred to as “Peg Leg Greg” and was the go to guy when your laptop had to Blue Screen of Death.  Now he is apparently living in the craft beer haven of NYC.  He’s the backend developer for Untappd.  While other people are reading books or watching movies, Greg is coding.  His friend, Tim and him came up with Untappd and Greg started working on a protoype the next day.  His passion of development and craft beer allowed Untappd to be born.  Seriously, awesome-sauce.

Two, social media and beer. Greg managed to combine his two passions to create something that combined my two passions, social media and beer.  I love that I can share with my friends, where I am at, what I am currently drinking and what I think of it.  I like that I can put notes in to keep track of my thoughts on the beers and hashtags to remind myself of where I tried the beer.  I’ve turned Untappd into a game with my friends, since I’m the girl who is always on her phone, I have my friends tell me what they would rate the beer AND why.  Then save the note!  Definitely encourages people to explain why they love or hate something.

Three, BADGES! I’m obsessed with badges.  I’m competitive naturally.  So being rewarded to check in beers always inspires me to find and create MIA beers on Untappd, making it a better experience.  Plus, the badges are wicked funny.  Take it easy, Heffenista, Playing the field and I believe in IPA (Level 6).  How fun are those?  Using Untappd badges you can find friends that have similar tastes and talk about the beers you love.  Plus, you can send a “Cheers” to your friends that don’t live nearby.  It’s a great way to stay connected.

Have you tried Untappd?  What did you think?  Want to be friends?

Additional information.  Did you know, Untappd has merged with Next Glass?  See below.

Since we first released Untappd, over five years ago, it’s been a project of passion and it’s been our desire to bring our users the best possible beer based social platform available. From private beta to nearly 3,000,000 users worldwide, watching Untappd grow has been an amazing rollercoaster of ups, downs, late nights, and of course great beers.

We strive to build the best features with a great focus on our community and their desires. This has become increasingly difficult to accomplish due to time constraints. As you may not know, for the last five years we have been building Untappd on a part time basis, maintaining full time jobs outside of Untappd to support ourselves and our families. This has lead to slower than desired feature releases and as Untappd continues to grow in popularity, the variety of hats our two man team has to wear has become more difficult.

Over the years, we have explored a variety of options to allow us to transition to full time on Untappd, but there was never a viable solution. After many discussions and exploring many different directions, we are excited to announce a strategic merger between Untappd and Next Glass, a fellow alcohol based start up. It was evident very early on in our discussions that we shared similar goals and ideals for our respective apps and together we could achieve great things. Unlike other mergers happening in the beer world recently, this merger brings together two like-minded start ups set on disrupting the beer industry for the better.

So, the big question is, what does this mean for Untappd? It’s simple – nothing but good things. Untappd will remain an independent entity (albeit a subsidiary of Next Glass), with Tim Mather (CEO) and Greg Avola (CTO) continuing to steer the vision of the product. With the resources provided by Next Glass, we will be able to transition into full time roles within Untappd as well as hire on more staff to speed up our feature development and make the platform even better for the community. This means you will get new updates, cool features, and even more badges, faster. There will be no rebranding, name changing, or abrupt pivots. We will continue just as we have, building a world class social community for beer drinkers – only at a much quicker pace.

Being a community driven platform that has relied heavily on word of mouth to grow, we owe everything to you. Without the dedication of beer lovers around the world checking in as they enjoy a brew, we wouldn’t be where we are today. That said, it is our goal to continue to build the best possible products for you. Thank you for your support over the years and for your continued support as we take the next, exciting step into the future of Untappd.

Cheers,
Tim & Greg

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Here are some potential answers to some questions you may have. If you have quesions not listed below, please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

Will Untappd be rebranded under Next Glass?
No, Untappd will remain it’s own company with the brand you’ve come to know and love.

Who will be in charge of Untappd?
The original founders, Tim & Greg, will continue to lead the vision of Untappd, as well as continue to directly design and develop it.

Can I work for Untappd?
We will be hiring a couple new team members in the near future, but have no determined exactly what we will be hiring for. Once we do, we will be sure to let everyone know.

What happens to supporter accounts?
Untappd Supporter accounts will remain and function just as they have, but now that our team will be working full time on the product, we will be able to add even better features and benefits to the supporter accounts.

Will this affect 3rd party developers using the Untappd API?
There are currently no plans to changes, limit, or restrict access to the Untappd API.

Made Men: 14 Gateway IPAs for IPA Haters

I know I’ve got a few other IPA hater friends so I thought I would share this article I was featured in a few weeks back.  (Still playing catch up, can you tell?)  I get daily HARO (Help A Reporter Out) notifications and will respond to beer questions from time to time.

made men

This is one of those cases.  Check out Made Men, a men’s lifestyle website.  They recently wrote a blog post called 14 Gateway IPAs for IPA Haters and BiteSize Brew’s got a shout out:

Gigantic Pipe Wrench
Jenna Forstrom, Founder of BiteSizeBrews.com, and co-founder of HopHands.com, believes the piney taste of a Gin IPA such as Gigantic Brewing Company’s Pipe Wrench won’t just make gin-lovers IPA believers. One Beer Advocate reviewer notes its “great balance of hops and malts,” while another commends its “nice mix of piney and citrus hop flavors up front with an emphasis on tangerine, clean toasted malt undertone, followed by an earthy spicy finish.”

What is your favorite IPA for IPA haters?

Georgian Law and Beer #SB63 [Guest Post]

This is a guest blog post by my childhood bestie, Katie Kalk who runs No Keg to Stand On – go check out her blog!

One of the great simple pleasures in life is sitting outside on a hot day drinking a cold drink. In my case the drink is often a beer and outside is often a brewery patio. Moving from Vancouver to Atlanta, I was guaranteed better weather but what about a better beer drinking experience?  I was shocked to discover when I moved to the Peach State that I can’t get a local pint in a brewery. So how do you drink local in Georgia?

The swag table at Monday NIght

Anyone interested in Shirt?

Georgian breweries are not allowed to sell their beer on site. This means that I can get free drink tickets with my Westside 10 Registration, or can buy a “specialty glass” to fill with anything I please. What I can’t do is order a pint at the bar. To quote Wyatt Williams in his Creative Loafing article about sampling Georgia breweries:  “Owing to a bizarrely specific set of regulations set by the Georgia Department of Revenue, attending a brewery tour in Georgia is like performing a complicated mating ritual specific only to the indigenous beer drinkers and brewers of our region… Remember, the beer is the part they’re not allowed to sell.” Hence purchasing the specially glass. The strangeness doesn’t end there; local breweries can only pour for two hours a day. They also can’t “give away” more than thirty two ounces per person, although those ounces are often divided up into roughly measured samples. The entire experience is based on the free brewery tour which very few people tend to actually take part in. This results in an atmosphere which is crowded, rushed and nothing at all like the relaxed patio drinking of my fantasies. Everyone wants to get their “free samples worth” so you end up drinking in line while waiting for your next beer. I’ve been to three different two-hour “tours” at Red Brick, Monday Night and Sweetwater, which atmospheres I enjoyed in that order. I’ll be sure to write about Sweetwater in the future as that bro-ridden place deserves it’s own post.

Douche factory

A brewery tour at Sweet Water

Georgia is one of five states in the Union where you can’t buy brew at a brewery. If I want some local beer, I have to buy it from a third party distributor. The Peach State ranks 47th in breweries per capita. The only states that rank below us are Mississippi and Alabama, two states you never really want to be grouped too closely with. The Beer Jobs Bill, or Senate Bill 63 hopes to change all of this. The Beer Jobs Bill would allow breweries to sell 72 ounces per person onsite or 144 ounces in a to-go growler. The bill would also change the definition of “brewpub” to allow brewpubs to sell beer for limited offsite consumption. Finally the bill would change the ridiculous time limit currently placed on breweries, classifying them similarly to brewpubs. You can read the full text of the bill here.

After years of local activism, Senate Bill 63 was introduced this January by Georgia State Senator Hunter Hill.  Beer activists in the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild say that the bill “will help drive jobs, tourism and economic growth”. The bill seems like it should be an automatic home run. Who stands against Bill 63? Our mustachioed villain is the Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association.

The GBWA has a three-tired system of selling beer within the state. The three tiers are the producers, distributors, and retailers. This means that the distributors are the only ones who can buy from the breweries as well as the only ones who can sell the product to large and small scale retailers. Why is only beer affected while Monday Night Brewing can sell T-shirts to it’s hearts content? The entire system is a Prohibition style rootbeer hangover. While the majority of states have a tiered system, which control taxes and the ilk. Georgia’s system is particularity rigid. This rigidity extends beyond distributors for example, happy hours are illegal in the state. No beverage can be sold at a reduced price during a particular time of day (daily drink specials are allowed).

Big whoop, you say. No happy hour and relying on distributors isn’t that unusual. Why can’t I buy a pint at a brewery, what is the big deal with this bill away?  The deal is this: right now a brewery has to sign a contract with a distributor to sell their beers offsite. Once a contract has been signed, a brewer can not decide to change distributors. These contracts are why Atlanta brewpubs can sell their own beer but are unable to sell any beer outside of their establishment (including festivals). Breweries are a different story as they are designed with the intent to sell offsite.Once a brewery signs a contract with a distributor, they rely on them nearly exclusively for sales income. If breweries could sell their own product onsite, it would give them a little more power in their relationships with distributors. On a personal selfish note, if the Beer Jobs Bill passes, I’ll be able to split a pitcher with friends on the patio even if it takes longer than two hours.

A lot has changed since this 2008 article when only five Georgia breweries where distributing offsite but the outdated contracts still exist. Need anymore proof that Georgia is living in the Prohibition past? Check out this photo tweeted by the GBWA  meeting with Governor Deal. Woof.


How can I help?

Whether or not you live in Georgia, it’s important to encourage local craft brewing culture. Please sign the petition at gabeerjobs.com and keep the conversation buzzing with #SB63 on Twitter. Thank you for reading and keep drinking local!

Brewvana Brand Ambassador [Discount Code]

Super excited to announce that I’m the newest Brand Ambassador for BREWVANA here in Portland!Brewvana-Logo

What is BREWVANA?

It’s a beer touring experience here in Portland, either on a BEER BUS or walking.  If you’re looking for a fun, laid back touring experience with fellow beer lovers to sample the best beer in Portland, BREWVANA is how you want to do it!  BREWVANA is the Ultimate Craft Beer Tour Experience.

The Team.

BREWVANA is led by a TEAM of beer passionate individuals that live, love and drink craft beer in Portland Oregon. The tour guides are very knowledgable about beer, but they won’t overwhelm you with info you aren’t interested in hearing. They are facilitators of fun and SUPER great to hang out with. They will introduce you to beer and the different styles that each brewery has to offer, teach you the nuances of tasting and the different ingredients used to make beer. Beer is both their passion AND their job! They are there to make sure you have a damn good time and your experience with BREWVANA is the best ever!  Did I mentioned that BREWVANA is owned by a female entrepreneur?  How badass is that?

The BEER BUS:  Angel, Rosie and Lil Johnny

Who ever said riding short buses isn’t cool has never been on one of the BREWVANA BEER BUSES!  They have a fleet of three short buses, each equipped with party lights, cup holders, beer murals on the ceiling, beeriodic tables in the front and a mini fridge to keep beer fresh and cold.  The outside of each bus represents the landscape of the NW Craft beer scene- culture, environment and BREWVANA spirit. Bring your favorite tunes, too- they’ve each got an iPod dock!

The Beer City:  Portland, Oregon

According to the Oregon Public Broadcasting Documentary, Oregon Experience: Beervana, “Portland is the beer capital of the world.” With humble northwest roots as a refreshing drink for miners and lumberjacks, Portland’s affinity for a good brew has evolved into a burgeoning craft beer movement since the early 1980s. Now, everyone and their Mother here seem to have a tended palate and are brewing their own in the basement. New beer businesses pop up every day – allowing for practically unlimited new heady experiences. Visit a local brewery and you’re sure to find a group of cyclists meeting for a pint after a long ride, a family out for dinner anticipating a taste of the most current seasonal, or simply some sweethearts warming their cheeks with a good brew! Cheers to BEER CITY USA!

My first BREWVANA Tour!

Is happening this Friday (tomorrow).  I’m checking out the Friday Old School Tour.  Want to join me?

I’ll be doing a review after the tour.  But this is what I’m expecting: A good mix of learning about beer, the brewing process and having a great time.

The tour visits three Portland breweries – Old Town Brewing (never been), Ecliptic Brewing (love them) and McMenamins Kennedy School / Concordia Brewery (going to get a Passport stamp too!). Beginning at Old Town for Beer 101, where we’ll learn about the ingredients in beer, get tasting tips and take a behind the scenes tour along with delicious beer to sample. Next we’ll head to classic Portland brewer John Harris’s new and HOT Ecliptic Brewing for a food and beer pairing and a behind the scenes tour. Lastly, we will kick back and experience Kennedy School, our favorite McMenamins location where an old school was converted into a hotel that has a brewery, restaurant, several bars and even a movie theater!

What does this all mean for you?

Since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4” when you check out!

Ever heard of BREWVANA? Have you taken a tour before?  What did you think of it?

Mobile Lab Needed! [Please help!]

Sorry guys, this blog post has nothing to do with beer, but it’s still totally worth the read.  I talk a lot about my froommates on this blog and one of them needs our help.  Crystaly, my roommate, has an amazing heart for those in need and owns a non-profit teaching low income kids how to code websites as a way to break out of the poverty cycle called {Log} Camp.  How badass is that?!  Yesterday, I got an email from her business partner, Bobby.  These two work out of my kitchen, how could I not try to help them out?  Kids, from the most depressed parts of Portland won’t get summer school this summer if we can’t come up with some computers for them to study on.  Below is an email asking for help.  

yesterday the log camp staff received some truly alarming news.

now 16 scott school youth may not be able to participate in log camp this summer.

At 10:00 AM yesterday morning Crystal and I were on our final walk through with Hector, the SUN Community Schools Site Director of Scott K-8 School. While walking with Hector we discovered all 25 computers from the computer lab at this Portland Public School had been unexpectedly removed.

Hector informed us that the Scott School technology teacher had also been let go two years ago due to budget cuts, and the lab had been left unused. If sixteen computers are not provided by Monday, June 23, Scott School students already enrolled in Log Camp’s summer program will be unable to participate.

Log Camp has three teachers, and six learning assistants who are trained, and ready to deliver programs at Scott school. Today we are asking you to make a one-time tax-deductible in-kind donation of a Samsung Google Chromebook. You can also donate any new or slightly used laptops you or your company might have on hand.

Your donation today will help Log Camp create a mobile computer lab ensuring that youth enrolled in Log Camp’s summer programs like the one at Scott School will never face a crisis like this again. Since May 2013, Log Camp, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit has taught 100 youth, providing more the 160 hours of programming education to 4th – 7th grade students living in the Portland Metropolitan area.

Log Camp has financial support from the United Way and the Black United Fund. This summer Log Camp is expanding our technical programs to 5 high needs middle schools across Portland.

Donate a modern laptop or a Samsung Google Chromebook today, and you will receive a handwritten thank you note from the youth you have helped. Enclosed will be a photo, and a link to the student’s website, built on the computer you have donated. You will also receive public recognition of your donation on the Log Camp website, and social media channels. A tax-deductible receipt for your in-kind donation will be provided.

Today’s unexpected events highlight the importance of supporting this emergency request to help Log Camp build a mobile computer lab. Assembling this lab will ensure Log Camp’s ability to avoid future crises while continuing to deliver our after-school enrichment programs. Help us save the #Bridges camp at Scott Elementary. Donate now to #SaveScott.

Donation Options

  • Option 1: Purchase a Samsung Google Chromebook online, and ship to: Log Camp Vocational Schools c/o Robert Raleigh 909 SW 12th #502 Portland OR 97205
  • Option 2: Donate a new or slightly used laptop with a Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system. You can also donate any Apple OSX laptop purchased in 2011 or later.
  • Option 3: Purchase an Amazon or Best Buy digital gift card, and email the details to Robert Raleigh, at robert@logcamp.org, or Crystal Wiese, at crystal@logcamp.org

thank you for your help

  • Robert Raleigh,
  • President
  • Mobile: (503) 502-6125
  • Email: robert@logcamp.org
  • Twitter: @RobertGRaleigh, @LogCamp
  • Web: http://logcamp.org
  • {LOG} CAMP: Bridging Oregon’s technology education divide

Logo_(2)

If you can help Crystal and Bobby out that would be huge!  I would buy you a beer, or pending location send you all my blessings and praises.  Thank you so much!