I recently celebrated a momentous occasion in my life: my 4th Untappd anniversary! I have yet to get married or have a child, but I can only hope that those experiences are as memorable as spending 4 years meticulously documenting my beer addiction. To honor such a huge accomplishment in my life, I thought I’d combine one nerdy passion of mine (my love of beer) with another (my love of data). Untappd is the perfect marriage of these two loves, capturing myriad points of information about the many beers I drink. I readily admit that I’m not a data scientist and don’t have any official qualifications or experience in data analysis, but I’ve done what I can to give you a glimpse into my beer drinking habits. Using my modest SQL abilities, I ran various queries hoping to bring out some interesting insights. All of the data I used was made possible by me being an Untappd Supporter and having the ability to download all of my check in data. Feel free to look at the data yourself. The only thing I changed was adding the column combined_name which made running queries easier.
Let’s start with the raw numbers. I joined Untappd on May 30, 2013, and all the data presented here was through May 29, 2017. In this time period, I checked in 9188 beers (6548 of which were unique beers), working out to 6.27 beers per day (4.55 uniques per day). In 4 years, I checked in at least 1 beer on 96.7% of days meaning that there were only 48 days where I had 0 check ins. Taken with no context, it would seem that I have quite the drinking problem. While I won’t deny that I drink a lot of beer, keep in mind that a lot of these check ins are tasters (1-3 oz of beer). At a beer festival or bottle share, it’s not unreasonable to quickly make your way through 10, 20 or even 69 (!!!!!! / giggity) check ins in a single day. That magical 69 number occurred on October 18, 2015 at the Shelton Brothers Beer Fest in Tampa, FL. I had also checked in 56 beers the day before. Seeing as I was able to amass 125 check ins in 2 days, you can hopefully begin to understand how I have been able to check in nearly 10,000 beers in 1460 days. If I had kept up the frantic pace of my Shelton Fest drinking, A) I would probably be dead and B) I would have 9188 check ins in only 147 days which is roughly 10 times faster than my actual rate. Thankfully my entire life does not consist of going to beer fests.
Now let’s take a look at some specific trends amongst my beer chronicling. Unsurprisingly the beer style I checked in most was American IPA (690) followed by Saison / Farmhouse Ale (438) and Imperial / Double IPA (417). The profile of the average beer I drank in the past 4 years is an American IPA clocking in at 7.2%. There were too many blank IBU data points to give an accurate bitterness average. Looking at the ratings I gave to different styles, the top of my list is dominated by sours and big, boozy beers. Lambic – Framboise (4.48), Barleywine – Other (4.25), and Stout – American Imperial / Double (4.23) were my highest rated styles. Looking at individual beers, I’ve drank the most of Lone Star (90), Yellow Rose (73), and Hopadillo (51, mostly pre-sell out so don’t judge too hard). I have given 47 beers a 5 Star rating, and all of them are either a sour, stout, or IPA variant. I’m proud to say the 5 Star beer I’ve drank the most is Jester King Funk Metal (Blend 6) with 9 tastings. Speaking of pride and Jester King, I’m also happy to say that they are the brewery from which I’ve drank the most unique beers (161 including various vintages). I assigned those beers an average rating of 4.21 putting them near the top of my list for highest average brewery rating. The honor of highest brewery average goes to Tree House. I’ve only had 4 of their beers, and they received a 4.69 average rating. Cantillon is my 2nd highest with a 4.63 average across 38 unique ratings. The Alchemist rounds out the top 3 with a 4.62 average across 6 unique ratings. That’s some serious heavy hitter competition at the top of my list.
How do I describe all these beers that I’m checking in? The word I use most often on my check ins is flavor (765) followed by beer (708) and good (455). Sour, nice, nose, and IPA are the next most popular words, and I’m glad that delicious is not far behind. Placed into a word cloud my top vocabulary looks like such:
Enough with what I drink and how I describe it. The next burning question you undoubtedly have is where do I drink this prodigious quantity of beer? I’m glad you asked. The top venues for my check ins are my old house in Houston, the House Of Payne, with 1348 check ins. Next is Valhalla with 1001. I’m proud to say that I’m currently the most loyal Valhalla patron. Some more of my old Houston haunts round out the top 5: Flying Saucer (233), Hughie’s (219), and The Hay Merchant (171). The first brewery to pop up on my list is Jester King (162) at #6, and it’s also the first place outside Houston. I think that speaks to how much I love that brewery and how many times I’ve made the trip out there. On multiple occasions I’ve done the 6+ hour round trip in one day. The next non-Houston establishment is Avenue Pub in 15th place with 58 check ins at the 4 year mark. I’ve certainly added to that in the past month and will continue to do so for the next couple years that I’m living here.
As anyone who uses Untappd knows, the app allows you to earn badges for all types of activities: what style of beer you drink, what its ABV is, where you check in a beer, etc. While badges make for a fun gamification of beer drinking, most of them are silly and somewhat arbitrary. One badge I am proud of is Find the Source. This badge is awarded for checking into 5 different venues categorized as breweries. Each additional 5 breweries levels you up on the badge. As of May 29th, I had visited 243 different breweries! Since then I’ve surpassed the maximum of 250 achieved by reaching Level 50. I travel a lot for fun and revolve a lot of my trips around beer, so it’s cool to say that I’ve visited over 250 different breweries in the past 4+ years.
I have drank beer from 45 different countries. Eritrea and Turkey are probably the 2 most obscure countries on that list. I have checked in a beer in 23 different US states, including Washington, D.C., and 14 different countries. I’ll be adding at least Mexico to that list of countries by the end of the year.
And that’s all folks! I had ideas about creating some cool visualizations and charts / maps with the data, but I’ve already put this off for 2 months as is. If anyone else wants to give it a go, feel free to have fun with the data! If I get bored one of these days, I may do some more fancy analysis, but hopefully for the moment you’ve enjoyed this look at the obsessive tracking of my beer drinking habits. Cheers!