Recently I overheard part of a conversation about Untappd. The non-user didn't ask the usual, "Why would I want to log my beers?" but instead, "Why would I want to know what other people are drinking?" At the time the answer that readily came to my beer geek mind was, "Why wouldn't you want to know what your friends are drinking?" Clearly that's one aspect of others' lives not everyone finds as important as I do.
A couple days ago, I found a different and possibly more important answer to that question. The answer I discovered was, "so I know what to drink." Not that I can't make my own decisions about what to drink, but by knowing what others are drinking, I might become aware of other beers I might like to try. Here's how it played out.
I was going to be in the vicinity of Bailey's Taproom with just enough time for one beer. A couple hours before my arrival, through a tweet, I learned they had just tapped a firkin of Laurelwood Ink Heart. While a firkin will always peak my interest, this announcement was particularly intriguing due to a recent logging of this beer by one of my friends. It was getting good ratings and I made a mental note that if I found it somewhere I should probably give it a try. That turned out to be a good decision. The beer was delicious as I had anticipated.
So beyond having an interest in keeping track of what I'm drinking (which I've referred back to more times than I can remember) and knowing what my friends are drinking, I can now add that it clues me into beers that I may well want to seek out. If you use Untappd, or something similar, why? If you don't, why not?