ICYMI: Last week, Untappd launched Next Exit, a new beer travel show that showcases the best bars, breweries, and restaurants in cities across the world. In the premier, Untappd Creative Director Kenny Gould takes viewers on a trip to a couple of hidden gem food and drink destinations in his hometown: Pittsburgh, PA.
But Kenny's opinion isn't the only one that matters (sorry, Kenny)! To celebrate the launch of our first episode, our friends at Hop Culture tapped a Pittsburgh beer expert to share his favorite places to drink in the 'Burgh.
With that in mind, here are 5 awesome places to drink in Pittsburgh:
In recognition of Veterans Day 2021 on Nov. 11th, 2021, let's toast to all those around the world who have served both past and present. We thank you and appreciate your service.
Those like BeerAdvocate Founder Todd Alström, who during the end of the Cold War and Gulf War in the late 1980s and early 1990s served in the United States Air Force within the Security Forces as a GLCM Ranger under the 501st Tactical Missile Wing at RAF Greenham Common in Newbury, England.
When he wasn't guarding BGM-109G Gryphons (ground launched cruise missiles equipped with W84 thermonuclear warheads) or establishing launch sites at undisclosed locations to protect the west from ballistic nuclear strikes from the Soviet Union (aka "camping"), Alström was discovering beer and unknowingly building the foundation for BeerAdvocate.
"If I didn't enlist, there'd be no BeerAdvocate today," says Alström. "Back then, it seemed like every block had a pub. Sometimes more. [It's at these] "beer schools" where I'd learn about British beer and pub culture. Visiting thousands of times ingrained a deep respect for beer that not only remains today, but inspired me to homebrew, write my first beer review, create a community platform for beer geeks, travel the world, host over seventy beer festivals, go to brewing school, publish a monthly print beer magazine for over a decade, and meet some amazing people along the way."
To show support, BeerAdvocate will be donating five Extreme Beer Boxes to veterans in the community. You can find all the information on this giveaway here.
Additionally, be sure to check-in any one (1) of your favorite beers this Veterans Day on November 11, 2021, to unlock this year's "Veterans Day (2021)" badge.
On this episode of the Drinking Socially podcast, hosts Harrison Hickok and Jon Dispenza take on all things wheat (good thing they're not celiacs) as they unlock the new core "Wit, Weiss, and Weizen" badge. They'll start off on the dark side with Andechser Weissbier Dunkel from a brewery in Bayern, Germany, that features the best wheat and barley malts from Bavarian malthouses.
HOW TO EARN THIS BADGE: If your mash uses more than fifty percent wheat, you've got yourself a wheat beer. This diverse family includes goses, hefeweizens, American wheat ales, and more! Check-in any five (5) beers with the "Wheat" parent category. Try 5 more for Level 2!
Interesting places, cool people, and cold beer. Do you love all three of these things? Of course you do! For the past eleven years, the world's largest social networking app for beer has helped craft beer fans find the best places to drink, explore what their friends are drinking, and discover new beers. Now for the first time, you'll be able to follow along as the Untappd team uncovers the best in beer.
Today, we're proud to announce the premier of Next Exit, a new show from Untappd that showcases the best bars, breweries, and restaurants in cities across the world.
In our pilot episode, Hop Culture Founder and Untappd Creative Director Kenny Gould explores his hometown: Pittsburgh, PA.
Join Kenny as he uncovers plans for Pittsburgh Brewing Company, once one of the largest breweries in the world, and eats authentic Szechuan cuisine with Day Bracey, founder of the nation's first black beer festival. He also visits renowned dive bar Kelly's Bar and Lounge, which played host to the late Anthony Bourdain during his visit to Pittsburgh and serves some of the best macaroni and cheese in the 'Burgh.
If you love Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" or Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," you'll love this show. Tune in for an inside look at what makes a blue-collar steel town one of the most exciting beer cities to visit in the world!
Of course, this wouldn't be an Untappd show if we didn't showcase a special new badge. The "Next Exit" badge celebrates all the local beer we could drink if we got off at the exit to your hometown. Celebrate by unlocking now!
How to unlock: Drink any one (1) beer between Nov. 4th and Nov. 10th, 2021.
We feel it's only appropriate to celebrate the stout in all its wondrous forms. With that in mind we ran the numbers on the overall top-rated stouts of 2021 on Untappd.
Yes, that means this is a list that takes into account all of the stout categories on Untappd including: Stout - Oatmeal Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, Other Stout, Imperial / Double Oatmeal Stout, Irish Dry Stout, American Stout, Oyster Stout, Foreign / Export Stout, Milk / Sweet Stout, Imperial / Double Stout, Imperial / Double Milk Stout, Coffee Stout, White Stout, Imperial / Double White Stout, English Stout, Pastry Stout, Imperial / Double Coffee Stout, and Imperial / Double Pastry.
But you'll obviously find that most of the beers here come from several of the more popular categories such as Imperial / Double Stout and Imperial / Double Pastry. If you're looking for more specific ratings we highly encourage you to check out these other top-rated stout lists:
Drinking any stout today will honor the holiday. And will unlock the "International Stout Day" badge going live this Thursday, Nov. 4th, 2021. (To earn this badge just check-in any one (1) beer in the beer style / category: Stout).
But if you're looking to recognize true stout royalty, we rounded up Untappd's Top 12 Highest-Rated Stouts of 2021.
Over the last decade or so we've seen an intensification of many beer styles. Sour beers have added pucker, IPAs have become hazier, juicier, and milkshakier, and stouts have become boozier, darker, and more indulgent.
But do you know where stouts come from? Originating from porters in 18th century London, stouts were considered a premium version of its roasty, toasty cousin. In early English brewing culture, premium beers were equated with a higher ABV. For instance, a brewery would have brewed a lower-ABV pale ale alongside an "extreme" pale clocking in at 8% or 9% ABV. Brewers did the same with darker beers, with the higher-ABV version eventually becoming known as a "stout porter." What's important is that English brewers often marketed "stout porter" as their best product.
Eventually, the beer style grew beyond England to the Baltic countries and Russia. These exported versions earned the name "extra stout" porter. As the story goes, Czarina Catherine the Great, the empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796 (and the country's longest-ruling female leader!), thoroughly enjoyed these brownest and strongest of English beers and helped them gain popularity.
More recently, in America, Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall elevated the style when he had the brilliant idea to age Goose Island's one-thousandth batch of beer in a bourbon barrel in 1992. As the country's first bourbon barrel-aged beer, Bourbon County Brand Stout changed beer forever.
On Nov. 4th, 2021, stouts in all of their wondrous forms are set to be celebrated around the world. Happy International Stout Day!
At Untappd, we're celebrating the annual holiday by releasing a new badge. The "International Stout Day" badge encourages you to drink your own favorite stout. For instance, you could follow Drinking Socially podcast hosts Harrison Hickok and Jon Dispenza as they drink Perennial's Abraxas and Alewerks' York River Oyster Stout on this week's episode.
Every month is great for Bend beerventure, but only one earns the right to be the official Bend Ale Trail Champion. In November, when you swap flip-flops for winter boots and stalk the Mt. Bachelor snow cams, it's time to earn some serious schwag on your Bend Ale Trail quest. You'll still earn prizes for each territory, plus a special prize for knocking out the whole thing. But when you complete any territory, anytime in November, you earn a bonus prize. This year we've connived a way to bring you glassware straight from the home of Oktoberfest, the land of beer and pretzels, a German tankard rimmed with gold and decorated with a badge declaring your status as a Bend Ale Trail Champion.
About The Bend Ale Trail Participant Badge
During the month of November, if you check in a beer from at least three breweries on the Bend Ale Trail you'll receive a Bend Ale Trail Champion (2021) participant badge!
Each Bend Ale Trail Champion badge recipient will be entered to win a Bend vacation! One winner will be randomly selected to win: two nights lodging, a $500 Visa gift card, $100 in brewery gift cards, two Bend Ale Trail passports, and swag.
Great beer has been at the heart of everything Yard House has done for over twenty years. To say they're passionate about beer would be an understatement. They share that passion by collaborating with world-renowned breweries to make their own distinct beers.
With their House Beers, they wanted to take what's best about the classics and make them even better. It's their spin on the styles you know and love, made with their menu in mind.
To celebrate these House Beers, we have a brand new badge for you to earn!
Check-in any of of the House Beers, including their NEW House Light Lager, at Yard House between Nov. 1st – Nov. 28th, 2021, and you'll unlock the exclusive House Beers badge.
Yard House House Beers: •NEW House Light Lager - A full-flavored, craft light beer unlike any other, and only 125 calories per pint! Dry-hopped for more flavor with citrusy complexity, and a tropical, juicy finish. • House Honey Blonde- Subtle and refreshing, light-bodied Blonde Ale with a kiss of sweetness. The addition of real honey to the brewing process provides notes of orange blossom and a smooth finish. •House IPA- A blend of different hop varieties provides a big hop aroma and distinct bitterness with layers of pine, cedar and citrus flavors. • House Belgian Golden - Big ripe fruit flavors and an aged hop aroma. With a perfect golden hue, slight caramel notes, and a world-class Golden Ale lingering finish. • House Belgian White - Distinct floral and spice notes provided by bitter orange peel and coriander combine the best of both worlds, giving this White Ale complexity and approachability. • House Golden Pilsner- Deeply refreshing Pilsner that offers a clean and classic aroma paired with the taste of malty sweetness moving into light bitterness. • House Amber Tripel- A more flavorful approach to the Tripel style, this complex Ale uses caramel malts and noble hops for added body and character. •House Cuvée- A complex blend of three Belgian beers: Wit, Tripel, and Golden. Medium-bodied with pronounced notes of fresh coriander, apple and stone fruit. • House Southern Pass Texas Lager- A full-bodied Vienna style Lager with bold, complex flavors and slight smoke on the finish. It ends refreshingly with citrus hops. •House Noble Pursuit IPA- A margarita-inspired IPA with the essence of lime, agave, and a pinch of salt with aromas of tangerine and stone fruit. • House Liquid Compass - A double IPA brewed with gin botanicals featuring a malty finish. Sweet orange peel, whole juniper berries, and coriander seeds are added to the beer post-fermentation.
At Yard House each of the House Beer logos pay homage to their classic rock roots and are inspired by different sub--genres of classic rock. Check out their Spotify profile for eleven new House Beer playlists – featuring the music from the classic rock sub-genre that inspired each logo!
As the nation's craft beer industry grows exponentially, so has the local Charleston craft beer scene. Charleston, SC now boasts 30+ breweries and brewpubs, as well as numerous craft beer-focused pubs, restaurants, retail stores, and a population ever-warming to the idea that beer should not only taste like something... but taste like something delicious.
Join us for the 8th Annual Charleston Beer Week, taking place October 29, 2021 through November 6, 2021. During this special week, we will highlight the wide variety of craft beer brands enjoyed in the area today with a number of unique events you wouldn't normally find on your calendar. Cheers to drinking local craft beers in Charleston, SC!
How to earn this Badge
Check-in any beer at one (1) of the participating venues listed in the Untappd app between 10/29/2021 and 11/7/2021
Did you know there are more than 16,000 different kinds of bees? These often yellow-and-black insects have been on this planet for 30 million years and can be found on every continent on Earth except Antarctica. Moreover, bees are integral to life. More than seventy-five percent of the crops in the world depend on pollination. Which we all know: Bees love to pollinate. All in all, bees are pretty much one of the most important living things on the planet. So much so that Albert Einstein once said, "If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live." 🤯
In addition to all these life-sustaining acts, bees also make honey. This sweet, natural product has trickled its way into craft beer. Beyond that, honey is the base for its own fermented beverage called mead.
On this episode of the Drinking Socially podcast, hosts Harrison Hickok and Jon Dispenza drink the once mysterious but now extremely popular elixir that is mead while unlocking the "Hey Honey" badge. They'll start off with an orange blossom honey mead with blueberries and lemon called New Wave Lemonade from B. Nektar Meadery. In Harrison's own words, "I could not BEE more excited."
HOW TO EARN THIS BADGE: Check-in five (5) different beers that are categorized as a Mead or Honey Beer.
Considered one of the most approachable, drinkable beers in the world, wheat beers are typically hazy, light gold in appearance, utilize either ale or lager yeast, and most importantly are brewed with a substantial portion of wheat. Although, that exact amount of wheat depends upon the beer. American wheat beers usually have at least thirty percent malted wheat in the bill. For example, one of the most classic American versions such as Bell's Oberon has anywhere from ten percent to thirty-five percent. Whereas German "weissbiers" require at least fifty percent wheat malt. And iconic versions of witbiers such as Allagash White are generally made with around twenty percent unmalted wheat.
Additionally, it's a style that spans the globe from witbiers in Belgium and hefeweizens in Germany all the way to wheat beers in America, which find roots from its European cousins. Inspired by the unfiltered wheat beers of Bavaria, American craft brewers wanted to replicate this fruity, slightly spicy style. But they didn't have access to that speciality Belgian yeast or Bavarian weizen yeast. Instead they turned to clean fermenting American ale and lager yeast. Today, the American wheat ale isn't the most popular style by any stretch of the imagination, but it deserves its due.
Mainly, because this is not an easy style to brew.
Traditionally, wheat beers can be very finicky because the proteins and starches in the high amount of grain make it trickier to extract those essential yeast-loving sugars. So you know whether you're drinking an American wheat beer, a German weizen, or a Belgian witbier that it has been brewed with intention and dedication to a craft. (And a significant portion of wheat or malted barley!)
Regardless of the origin of wheat beers, one thing remains the same: Generally, this style has a fair amount of haze, creamy texture, and citrusy, bready notes. They're delicious, light, and perfect for really anytime of the year. So, we're guessing this is one of the reasons you all just voted for the "Wit, Weiss, and Weizen" badge to be added to our core lineup. If you're looking to unlock this badge, this list might be a good place to start: Here are Untappd's 10 highest-rated wheat beers of 2021.
Hop on over to your favorite breakfast spot. Pack up the tents and roll up the sleeping bags for your next camping trip. And grab your favorite wit, weiss, or weizen to bring along because we have a new round of Untappd Core Badges ready to roll out.
Recently, we asked our community to help us decide our next round of core badges. And you answered! Here are the next three core badges that are now ready to be unlocked:
Wit, Weiss, and Weizen - check-in a beer with "Wheat" parent category
Breakfast of Champions - check-in a beer at a breakfast venue
S'more Beer, Please - check-in a beer at a campground venue
What are badges?
Badges are digital awards that you unlock for completing certain actions within the Untappd app. Our newest additions offer three more awards to unlock, whether it's by visiting your breakfast venue or campground or drinking a wit, weiss, or weizen beer.
Want to learn more about beer and Untappd badges?
Tune into the Drinking Socially podcast for a wild ride into the world of beer, complete with hoppy humor (see what we did there?). Hosts Harrison Hickok (@HarryBeerBeard) and Jon Dispenza (@DrinkingwithJon) drink new beers and explore deep thoughts about the universe, like What beer goes well with sawdust? Join the world of Drinking Socially on Untappd!
Unpack your supplies and find your favorite blind. It's time for some Beer Hunting. Stop by Lowes Foods and pick up a limited edition Wilmington Beer Hunting Box. And then join us on October 23rd when we hear from the Wilmington breweries – Flying Machine & New Anthem Beer Project!
So make sure you get your box, learn some things, and then earn your Virtual Beer Hunting Badge.
How to earn this badge
Check-in any of the beers in the Lowes Hunt Club Box (featuring Flying Machine and New Anthem Beer Project) AND add either the Lowes location that you purchased from or the Lowe's Virtual Beer Hunting venue to your check-in between October 23, 2021 - October 24, 2021.
Back in the summer of 2010, Untappd Founder Greg Avola first talked with his business partner, Tim Mather, about an idea to create a social space for those who loved craft beer. At the time, Foursquare dominated with people checking in places where they traveled. And BeerAdvocate had become a top publication with craft beer fans for rating beer.
So Avola and Mather thought: What industries are inherently social but have no current real-time component to their experience? Well, craft beer. And how can we elevate how people collect and rate the beers they drink? Well...
Avola and Mather literally worked straight for twenty-four hours on their vision to create an app that provided a social space for lovers of craft beer. That first prototype of Untappd launched as a private beta in September of 2010.
Without features like photo uploads, ratings, or even a moderation platform, that first version was kind of like wort—just a raw base of bubbling potential ready to be brewed into something magical.
Here we are eleven years later and, oh my, how things have changed.
"It's incredible how much the app and community has grown since I joined," says Kyle Roderick, Untappd's Executive VP of Product who joined the team in 2016. Although, he's been on the Untappd app since its infancy in 2011. "I'll never tire of hearing stories from the community on how Untappd kickstarted their journey into craft beer. I've heard how Untappd keeps friends and family connected through their check-ins and discovery of new beers they want to share."
It's fitting that an app that has changed so many craft beer fans' drinking experience has itself seen many iterations. Summing up the past eleven years is tough. But if you had to boil it down to one word? "Adaptation," says Roderick. "Beer, and other related beverages, are at an all time high for new styles. There are more breweries now than ever. We're constantly watching emerging trends, adding new styles, and trying to keep Untappd as up to date with community preferences and industry changes as possible. We've also worked to keep our app up to date with the latest features our community expects of a search, discovery, and social networking app."
Almost ironically, 2021 has been a year of firsts for Untappd…
… And the first time we're releasing the Untappd 11th Anniversary badge.
With the official anniversary happening on Oct. 22nd, 2021, we wanted to do something special. So we're doing what we do best: Offering up a brand new badge!
The "Untappd 11th Anniversary" badge celebrates 4,015 days, 96,360 hours, 5,781,600 minutes, and 346,896,000 seconds of checking in fantastic beers, rating your favorite pints, taking photos of your all-time top drinks, and unlocking your best badges.
Earning this new badge is pretty simple: Just check-in any one (1) beer from Oct. 22nd - Oct. 24th, 2021. That's it!
In addition to a brand new badge, we're also celebrating with a fresh new look in our store and a fresh new discount code. Take 11% off of the redesigned Untappd store with the code "11CANDLES" through the month of October.
All in all, "the future is bright!," says Roderick. "We're looking forward to more excitement, more growth, and even more folks making their way through their beer journey through Untappd from beer drinkers to badge seekers."
So we hope you'll join us in raising a can, bottle, growler, crowler, glass, mug, stein, or teku: Here's to another decade-plus of uniting a global community of Untappd users and beer lovers.
With its signature rich, malty flavor, medium bitterness, and impressive ABV, the Belgian quad is a beer which has stood the test of time – literally. A subcategory of Belgian strong ale, the quad or "quadrupel" has a fascinating history and delectable flavor profile. The Belgian quad has roots dating back to the sixth century in Europe when monks brewed beer. Both make learning about this storied European style worthwhile. And of course great reasons to try a few.
Technically considered a Trappist style of brewing, Belgian quads are traditionally brewed by Trappist monks in abbeys across Belgium and Europe. The actual term "Trappist" comes from a Cistercian monastery in Normandy, France called La Grande Trappe Abbey. Here, during the seventeenth century, a movement started to return to an austere way of life and religious practice. Those involved earned the nickname, "Trappists."
Historically, Trappists began brewing in monasteries as a way to create potable water. But it was also a means to generate income for the monastery and local community.
Over time the tradition of brewing within monasteries grew.
However, the quadrupel wouldn't make an appearance until 1991 when Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven Brewery, a Dutch Trappist Brewery in the Netherlands, brewed the first quad called La Trappe Quadrupel.
Today, this still remains one of the top Belgian quads in the world. But the style has gained popularity in America and beyond, influencing a generation of brewers. Inspired by the complex flavors from the unique Belgian ingredients in quadrupels, brewers across the United States have dabbled in creating delicious offerings of their own.
It's important to note that this style isn't technically defined by where it's brewed today. In other words, modern world brewers do make Belgian quads without having to brew them in a monastery (although only beers brewed in abbeys recognized by the International Trappist Association can be considered "Trappist"). What really defines this style are the ingredients. Belgian malt, Belgian yeast, and oftentimes Belgian candi sugar are some of the crucial components to a Belgian quad.
We have that magical combination to thank for the rich roasted malt character, spicy dark fruit notes such as figs, raisins, dates, and plums, and the warming booziness of Belgian quads. From one of the rarest beers in the world from a traditional Belgian abbey to an iconic American version from a brewery in upstate New York here are Untappd's 6 Highest-Rated Belgian Quads of 2021:
Powered by Untappd Data (minimum of 1,000 check-ins)
If you're looking for beers that are a little more unusual, tune in to the Drinking Socially podcast for a wild ride into the world of beer, complete with hoppy humor (see what we did there?) and lots of badge talk. Hosts Harrison Hickok and Jon Dispenza drink new beers and explore deep thoughts about the universe, like What beer goes well with sawdust? Join the world of Drinking Socially on Untappd!