In a world where thorough, thoughtful beer rating apps like Beer Advocate and RateBeer have been left behind for instantaneous, impulsive review sites, Untappd is king. This is true for both beer drinkers and brewers, the latter of whom may not admit they’re on there, but trust us, they’re watching. (Incidentally, don’t be an ass when you’re reviewing beers. We all love our juicy juice, but some IPAs are supposed to have bitterness.)
We digress. The point is, when Untappd divulges the beers that were checked in the most on their app over the course of a year, it means something. What does it mean? It means a lot of people are drinking your beer, and that evokes a certain credibility, to be sure. However, this doesn’t mean these are the most drank beers; those are still domestic pilsners like Bud Light. It also doesn’t mean the beers that are the “best,” or highest rated. What the most checked-in list does communicate is a nuanced combination of a beer’s availability as well as its popularity, or in short, what craft consumers who use Untappd are drinking the most.
Here’s what we know for sure from the list: Untappd users are still drinking mostly IPAs. Six out of top 10 checked-in beers for 2017 fall into America’s most popular craft beer category (numbers one, two, four, six, seven, eight, and 10). Other than those, there’s one American pale ale (which, from Stone, is basically an IPA), a couple of amber lagers (one a bit controversial), and a single big breakfast stout.
Nine out of the 10 come from mid-sized regional brewers, almost all of which are independent. One, interestingly enough, is an international brewer that just planted a brewery in U.S. soil last year. All of them are solid beers that deserve a place on any beer drinker’s bucket list, so if there’s one thing you take away from the list, let it be that.
Here Are Untappd’s ‘Top 10 Most Checked-in Craft Beers of 2017’
1. Founders All Day IPA
The most checked-in beer of the year was Founders All Day IPA. This is not surprising: according to a recent report on nationwide beer sales for 2017, Founders showed the most growth among the top 25 brewers. This is due in large part to All Day IPA, the original session IPA, which alone grew 50.3 percent from 2016 to 2017. All Day IPA has not only set the trend for sessionable, hoppy beers, it has also popularized 15-packs, a packaging choice that significantly contributed to the growth of the brewery’s business overall.
2. Bell’s Two Hearted IPA
This balanced, malt-forward, piney and grapefruit-bitter IPA stands strong as one of the most loved IPAs in the country. This is a curiously cool bit of info, considering how untrendy it is to hop a beer with 100 percent Centennial hops–and on the hot side, to impart balance and bitterness, no less–so we’re glad to see it sticking around. (Two Hearted also knocked Pliny the Elder out of its spot as the best commercial beer in the country, according to the annual American Homebrewer’s Association poll).
3. Yuengling Traditional Lager
Next up was Yuengling, which, much to beer geek nation’s chagrin, is still considered a craft beer.
4. New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPANew Belgium hit us at number four with its Voodoo Ranger IPA, a very well advertised, medium-bodied balanced IPA…
5. New Belgium Fat Tire
…and at number five with Fat Tire, its OG amber ale that’s claimed a favorite by lots of ’90s dads. Are those dads on Untappd?
6. BrewDog Punk IPA
BrewDog snuck in as the only non-American brewery with a top 10 most checked-in beer, Punk IPA. This is somewhat surprising considering it just launched in the U.S. late last year, but also not at all because BrewDog has a huge international following and is well known for its marketing stunts (like that time they tried to gamble $50 million in investor cash).
7. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
An “off-centered” ale turned American classic, Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA ticks away at number seven of the top 10 check-ins.
8. Cigar City Jai Alai
We’re pleased to see lots of people are checking in Jai Alai—123,327 people, to be exact–because this beer is a great example of a tropical, fruity, fun-to-drink IPA that’s also achieved a level of quality control that’s difficult to accomplish for such a hop-forward, aromatic brew.
9. Founders Brewing Kentucky Breakfast Stout
KBS, everyone’s favorite liquid alcoholic breakfast, comes in at number nine as the only stout on the top 10 list.
10. Stone Brewing Stone Ripper
And finally, Stone Ripper concludes the most check-ins with 118,794 statistically relevant sips.
Untappd also released the “Top 10 Most Checked-in Breweries of 2017,” which were Founders, Stone, Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer, Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Bells, BrewDog, Trillium, and Firestone Walker.
Interestingly, the top 10 rated beers right now (at press time, Jan. 19, 2018) are as follows:
- Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014)
- Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2010)
- Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout Vanilla Rye (2014)
- Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015)
- Tree House King Jjjuliasss
- Tree House King Julius
- Bottle Logic Fundamental Observation (2016)
- Cigar City Double Barrel Hunahpu’s
- Tree House Very Hazy
- Tree House Very Green
Looks like a certain Chicago-based brewery has really ramped up its sales force and bottle production…