It happened on the second day of June, year 2013. A Sunday that started like any other. I was meeting some friends for lunch at Archive, and it would be at this beer fueled meeting that my life would be changed forever. Where I would ascend to the next level in my beer journey. Where I would achieve legendary status.
OK, so I’m being a little dramatic here, but that’s what happens when you’ve been officially badged as ‘Legendary’ by everyone’s favourite beer app, Untappd.
For those who don’t know what Untappd is, it’s a social app (technically a website with an accompanying app, but whatever) that works similar to FourSquare and other ‘Check In’ apps. You drink a beer, you ‘check in’ to that beer, give it a rating, add comments if you want, and this is shared with the greater Untappd community.
What’s the reason for doing this I hear you ask? Well there’s a few reasons. It helps you keep track of the beers you’ve tried, and what you thought of them at the time. It let’s you give the beer a rating, or you can check out a beers average rating before you try it. It also lets your friends know when you’ve tried a beer, or are drinking at a certain venue (you can even link it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts if you want to be extra annoying). But the main reason everyone has it is to earn BADGES! If someone tells you different, they’re lying through their teeth.
You get badges for doing all sorts of things; checking into a certain number of beers of a single style, or a number of beers from a certain country. There’s also random event badges, and others that are more obscure to get (like the All American badge…but I’ll discuss that another day). But the badges that people get excited about are the ones relating to how many ‘unique beers’ you’ve checked into.
You get the first one, the ‘Newbie‘ badge, after your first beer. The next is the ‘Apprentice‘ badge at 25, then the ‘Journeyman‘ badge at 50. Any real beer geek will knock these over pretty quickly. 100 unique check-ins earns you the ‘Artisan‘ badge, and you receive a ‘Master‘ badge at 200. Then it’s a long wait for the next badge, since you need to more than double your previous unique check-ins. To become ‘Legendary‘ you need to check in to 500 unique brews.
And that’s what happened to me on Sunday. At 4:20pm I checked into my 500th unique beer since getting the app just over 2 years ago. The beer that got me there was the Moylander Double IPA by Moylan’s brewery in California, USA. Why this beer? I had a $25 birthday voucher to spend, and I told the bartender I wanted something hoppy. This is what he gave me. It was appropriate; this beer is pretty much just hop juice, which is just what I like. It has a chewy bitterness that doesn’t really let any other flavors in. I let the other guys in my drinking party taste it, and they didn’t get it. I must admit, it even pushed me to my boundaries, something that no beer has achieved in quite some time. But it was damn tasty, and quite an experience….fitting for the beer that ascended me to legendary status.
Overall, I think this was a solid effort. I earned the ‘Master‘ badge for checking into 200 unique beers on 20/05/2012. So in just over a year I’ve tried 300 unique beers. Admittedly this was helped by my trip to North America, my short Good Beer Week trip, and my day at Archives own Armakegon. But I’m happy to agree with Untappd and call it a Legendary achievement!
Now I just need to double my total again to achieve the ‘Extraordinary‘ Badge for 1000 check-ins. The way I’m going, I’ll only need another 18 months…