– Ben Martens

1000 Beers

In early 2013, I signed up for Untappd and rated my first beer in the app: Fat Tire. Since then, I’ve rode the wave of the growing craft beer scene and continued to sample new beers whenever I have the chance. Recently, I tried my 1000th different beer, so I thought I’d share some thoughts and stats from my tour de beer.

Other than the first year when I was just getting into this, I average about one new beer every three days. 2019 was more like 2 every three days as I got closer and closer to the 1000 mark.

December is the month when I try the most new beers which makes sense because I have family members who enjoy craft beer too so we regularly bring new beer to family gatherings.

Dad jumped on the app early on and then Luke joined too. Logan joined later but he’s off to a good start. (Many other friends and family members have joined as well but this chart just shows the top users that I know.)

Ben (blue), Luke (purple), Dad (red), Logan (green)

Untappd has added more and more stops along their scoring slider but I stick to the whole numbers. I devote three values to fairly good beers and only two to the beers I don’t like as much.

5. Excellent beer. Search this out!
4. Great beer. Pick this anytime without regret.
3. Good beer. I would pay money to drink this.
2. Meh. If you hand me this, I’ll drink it but I won’t pay money for it.
1. If you had me this beer, I’ll decline.
0. Gross. I’ll pour this out.

Only a few beers have ever gotten a 0. One is Bud Light Lime and another is some disgusting jalapeno beer that I had at the beer festival. I couldn’t even get through my taster of it.

Overall my ratings follow a pretty normal distribution, skewed slightly toward the higher end which makes sense because I generally drink beers that I think I’ll like.

I started off enjoying mostly ambers and ESBs, but I’ve developed a strong taste for IPAs. Those dominate my fridge these days with New England style IPAs being my absolute favorite. Here is a breakdown of the different styles of beer (where I’ve had at least 10 of them) and the average rating for each one. Inside each category, I generally find both a 1 and a 5. It’s possible to make any style terrible or great.

StyleCountAverage Rating
Extra Special123.42
Blonde Ale173.29
Pale Ale1053.27
Pale Wheat Ale142.98
Red Ale482.78

My average ratings have increased slightly over the years as I hone in more on the types that I enjoy.

Some people seem a bit skeptical when I rate a beer but countless times I’ve rated a beer and then looked it up to find that I’ve already had the beer… and I gave it the same rating years earlier. The first 100 ratings might be a little wonky as I figured it out, but since then I think I’ve been very consistent.

Finally, let’s look at my favorite and least favorite breweries. For this list I filtered to places where I’ve tried at least 5 different beers. Kevin has the well-deserved top spot!

BreweryAverage RatingCount
GBC – The Good Brewing Company4.3437
Full Sail Brewing Company3.888
Sumerian Brewing Co.3.758
Firestone Walker Brewing Company3.7113
Hop Valley Brewing Company3.6411
Georgetown Brewing Company3.577
10 Barrel Brewing Company3.5019
Lagunitas Brewing Company3.5010
Founders Brewing Co.3.508
Fish Brewing Company3.506

And here are the breweries that consistently make beer that I don’t like:

BreweryAverage RatingCount
Pyramid Breweries2.4212
Elysian Brewing2.1811
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse2.147
Blue Moon Brewing Company2.086
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)2.0525

This has been an unexpectedly fun hobby. I keep saying that once I get to X different beers, I’m going to stop and just start ordering the ones I love. Maybe I’ll slow down a bit but I really enjoy trying new beers. Cheers!