Tuesday 13 June 2017

Go To Beers - Behind the headlines

Recently I shared my top 10 beers (number of check-ins on Untappd), here's the list (correct as of 15th May 2017) plus number of check-ins per beer.
1. Adnams Ghost Ship - Total: 71
2. Fullers London Pride - Total: 52
3. Guinness Draught - Total: 48
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.Pale Ale - Total: 47
5. Brewdog Punk IPA - Total: 43
6. Oakham Ales Citra - Total: 41
7. Adnams Jack Brand Dry Hopped Lager - Total: 40
8. Stella Artois - Total: 39
9. Adnams Jack Brand Mosaic Pale Ale - Total: 35
10. Peroni Nastro Azzurro - Total: 33
I received some interesting feedback/comments:

Irishbeersnob I don't ritually check in every beer on untappd but have been pondering this as I've been a bit of a tart in that I try everything. Need to settle on go to beer I think. Cos all is a bit broad.
s_maxfield I just love trying new beers, so don't have many go to beers and tend not to check in beers that often when I've already had them, as I generally use untapped to keep a log of the different beers I've had, but according to untapped the ones I've had most are Beavertown - Bloody 'Ell, Magic Rock - Cannonball and Cantillon Gueze 100% Lambic Bio. I'm pretty happy with those being go to beers!
Gammonbaron I don't check more than one per day unless I change venue (since Dec 2012). Punk IPA: 40
Cannonball: 26
Leeds Yorkshire Gold: 18
Centennial IPA: 18
Landlord: 12
Mccarthythomas Why do you keep entering beers you've already rated?
longm8 My most checked in beers on @untappd Member since December 2014 Cheers to @mjpo007 for the idea, apparently I'm more craft than you too
jonbainbridge1991 Big up the @adnams
trodat92 Not sure I’d admit to Ghost Ship....
longm8 @trodat92 why? It's excellent, and besides @mjpo007 has Stella and Guinness in his, which is pretty hilarious for a craft podcaster
trodat92 @longm8 Stella....that would make me blush. I enjoy your posts about beer generally though. :)
Boak and Bailey Interestingly uninteresting list -- the beers we drink most aren't necessarily the ones we blog/Tweet/Instagram.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback and/or passed comment (and yes, I did respond to the Ghost Ship and "craft podcaster" comments!)
Perhaps at this point, I should add a bit of context to the numbers above, my unique check-in count sits at 3,178 with total check-ins almost double that. So, what do these numbers tell us? Firstly, since I joined Untappd in May 2013, I have drunk a lot of beer and a lot of different beers, that much is obvious! But, it also tells me that my top 10 "go to" beers still make up a small percentage of my total beer intake which would seems to indicate that I echo Sarah Maxwell's "I just love trying new beers" sentiment. Also, none of the "go to" beers above would make the top 10 based on my Untappd rating (a post for another time).

So, how did some beers get in the top 10? Let's start with Adnams, firstly I am a massive fan of their beers and the vast majority of their pubs, secondly their beers are easy for me to get hold of - local pubs and Co-Ops, inter city trains to Norwich, and Adnams shops. Last but by no means least, Ghost Ship was my cask beer of 2016
(Golden Pints 2016) so when I see it on cask I go for it, ignoring other options on the bar. To my mind, a "go to" beer has to be one I like, but, also one I trust to deliver time and again.
Fuller's London Pride and Peroni aren't often paired (or is that blended?) in sentence, but, what these two offerings have in common is that they are the "house" beers at work. Whenever there is any sort of gathering and pre or post drinks are on offer, these two feature heavily. Do I like them? Yes. Are they great? No. Although in defence of Peroni it is as consistent in the bottle as it is on draft. London Pride in the bottle is not as good as the cask version, but, it serves a purpose and stops me necking the red wine!
Guinness - Once a year, on the 17th March, my parents, my brothers, and I visit North London, near where we grew up and where Mum and Dad got married, and drink copious amounts of Guinness. Those 4 days plus a few other times where Guinness is by far and away the best choice helps to explain its placing in my top ten.
I have a couple of good friends I meet up with regularly and they have a fondness for the All Bar One near Liverpool Street station and to be fair I don't mind it too much. There's usually some meal deal available and very handy for the train home. However, once I discovered they had Sierra Nevada on draft I was made up, one of my early craft beers (after the ubiquitous Jaipur) that I still enjoy supping, done might even call it a smashable beer!
BrewDog Punk IPA, not too much to say really. I enjoy it regardless of dispense method and I like their bars, and in London anyway I have started to see it on tap in some rather unexpected places and it ticks the two boxes of the "go to" beer for me - I enjoy it and it's consistently good.
The biggest surprise in my top ten is Stella Artois, I really wasn't sure how this had happened. Don't get me wrong, I like it, it's long been in my repotaire, pre pre pre craft days you understand. The last time I remember sinking a few of these was a friend's 40th (same evening after I had been to Indy Man for the first time, how's that for a contrast?), but other than then I can't recall.....so, I decided to look at some previous Untappd checkins. Some checkins from Butlins Bognor, some from The O2 when I saw the Premier League Darts Final and a few in establishments near the office that don't do cask or craft. Lo and behold, it's made the top 10!
Last, but by no means least is Oakham Citra. Not sure how much of an introduction this needs, but, for me it is simply one of the best cask beers around, it is also very nice from the bottle and I have always been a big fan of the version they produce for M&S (now in cans). It is also the first beer that I can recall that was produced using the one hop variety and putting that front and centre. 
So, there you have it, my top ten "go to" beers plus a bit of an insight as to how they made it there. 
I'd really like to hear what others think and what are your "go to" beers, whatever measure or standard you choose to use to decide that. I simply love personal stats (running for example, I have records of all my races since 1986 and I know all my personal bests across a range of distances). Guess that just reinforces the feeling that I am, at a heart, a bit of a geek! 
Cheers one and all.


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