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How does Washington stack up on Untappd?

 

What do Floodlands Brewing, Holy Mountain Brewing, and Fremont Brewing have in common? Well, besides the obvious, those are the three top-rated breweries in Washington according to Untappd. But how do Washington’s breweries and beers stack up against the rest of the nation? I wondered that, and then someone came along and handed me an analysis of the data. If you are a skimmer and not a reader, I’ve emboldened some text for you.

As promised in a previous post, below I share some data analysis of beer ratings on Untappd as related to Washington breweries and Washington beer. This info was provided by Derek Gaughan of Brewfuse and he has his own methodology, which seems pretty legit to me. He originally contacted me with some overall analysis of data from Untappd, but I was more interested in how it applied to Washington since that tends to be the focus here on the Washington Beer Blog. More specifically, I was curious about how Washington breweries and beers ranked against those from all the other states. Also, how do they stack up against each other?

“Overall I looked at ~1,800 US breweries that had a beer listed as one of Untappd’s top 50 beers in any category (that dataset had over 9,000 beers),” said Gaughan. “So overall the sample used could be considered a sample of the top rated breweries, definitely not a complete list.”

Do you understand? Read it again slowly.

“Breweries that had a beer listed as one of Untappd’s top 50 in any category.” Not every brewery in the nation, but breweries with some kind of beer in the top 50 of some category. In a nation with over 7,000 breweries, I guess you could say these are notable breweries. Gaughan filtered out states with less than 20 breweries because many of them had so few that it didn’t make sense to compare with other states. Obviously, these criteria exclude some great breweries, but lines must be drawn.

The first chart shows the average brewery rating grouped by state. As you can see, our Washington’s breweries rate right about in the middle. Note that the range of scores is very tight. Just .16 difference between top and bottom. Vermont leads the way at 3.87, down to Wisconsin at 3.71, suggesting that there is good beer everywhere according to Untappd ratings.

rating_by_state

The next chart shows how many breweries from each state appeared in Gaughan’s sample of ~1,800 breweries (Washington had 62, tied with Minnesota). It’s not surprising that California had so many breweries appear here: that state has the most breweries overall, by a long shot.

count_by_state

The bar chart below shows the number of breweries in each city for Washington. That is, Washington has 62 breweries in the dataset and this is where they’re located.  As expected, Seattle led the way with 17 breweries. Woodinville, Vancouver, and Bellingham followed, respectively.

count_by_city

I want to make it clear that we are talking about a select group of breweries: only those breweries with beers rated on Untappd and a beer in the top 50 of some category. Below, the list of Washington’s 62 breweries, including the brewery name, city, and Untappd rating. Note that there are some anomalies. The list includes cider producers, for instance. Also, the list includes at least one brewery that no longer exists.

Washington’s top breweries on Untappd, according to data analysis performed by Brewfuse (not me) and according to the criteria explained above.

Floodland Brewing, Seattle – 4.38
Holy Mountain Brewing, Seattle – 4.11
Fremont Brewing, Seattle – 4.02
D’s Wicked Cider, Kennewick – 3.99
One Tree Hard Cider, Spokane – 3.98
Skookum Brewery, Arlington – 3.97
Cloudburst Brewing, Seattle – 3.97
Ravenna Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.93
Trap Door Brewing, Vancouver – 3.92
Urban Family Brewing, Seattle – 3.9
Brothers Cascadia Brewing, Vancouver – 3.89
Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Yakima – 3.89
Propolis Brewing, Port Townsend – 3.87
Reuben’s Brews, Seattle – 3.86
Three Magnets Brewing Company, Olympia – 3.85
Matchless Brewing, Tumwater – 3.84
Wander Brewing, Bellingham – 3.84
Elemental Hard Cider, Woodinville – 3.82
Heathen Brewing, Vancouver – 3.82
Crucible Brewing Company, Everett – 3.82
Big Block Brewing, Sammamish – 3.81
Winsome Ciderworks, Woodinville – 3.8
Black Raven Brewing Company, Redmond – 3.8
Georgetown Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.8
Rainy Daze Brewing Company, Poulsbo – 3.79
Well 80, Olympia – 3.78
Snowdrift Cider Co., East Wenatchee – 3.78
Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Chimacum – 3.78
Alpenfire Cider, Port Townsend – 3.78
Aslan Brewing Company, Bellingham – 3.77
Elysian Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.76
Silver City Brewery, Bremerton – 3.75
Icicle Brewing Company, Leavenworth – 3.74
20 Corners Brewing Company, Woodinville – 3.73
North Jetty Brewing, Seaview – 3.73
Sound Brewery, Poulsbo – 3.73
Loowit Brewing Company, Vancouver – 3.73
Chainline Brewing Company, Kirkland – 3.72
Triplehorn Brewing, Woodinville – 3.71
Four Generals Brewing, Renton – 3.7
Locust Cider, Woodinville – 3.69
Backwoods Brewing Company, Carson – 3.69
Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham – 3.68
Mac & Jack’s Brewing Company, Redmond – 3.68
Mollusk Brewing, Seattle – 3.66
Dru Bru, Snoqualmie Pass – 3.66
Figurehead Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.66
Beardslee Public House, Bothell – 3.65
Odin Brewing Company, Tukwila – 3.65
No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane – 3.65
Chuckanut Brewery, Bellingham – 3.64
Spire Mountain, Olympia – 3.61
Schilling Cider, Seattle – 3.6
Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company, Snoqualmie – 3.6
Tieton Cider Works, Yakima – 3.6
Optimism Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.58
Diamond Knot Brewing Company, Mukilteo – 3.57
Foggy Noggin Brewing, Bothell – 3.56
Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.55
Big Al Brewing, Seattle – 3.54
Ghostfish Brewing Company, Seattle – 3.45
Pyramid Brewing Co, Seattle – 3.43

 

5 comments

  1. I’m personally not convinced Untappd has anyone that understands statistics on their staff. Based on my observations, ratings rarely change more than .01-.02 over the course of years, whether or not the brewery is getting better or worse. The first few dozen ratings drive the scores. I’ve tried and never been able to back into their methodology.

    Not that it matters, since Untappd is based on whether or not people like a beer, not whether it’s a good representation of the style. Didn’t Matchless just release a “1 kap Kolsch” based on the Untapped ratings that it didn’t have enough hops and/or they didn’t like lagers. I’ve seen a sour rated 1 cap with the comment “yuck, sour”.

    Untappd is a good way for individual drinkers to keep a record of what they like. It’s a useless analytic tool. Ratebeer is much better in that regard, though it doesn’t get as much traffic anymore.

    1. Yep, Matchless One Kap Kolsch. I thought about incorporating that into the previous story I did about groupthink, but the story was already getting quite wordy. That was (is) a hilarious initiative. Apparently one of the users who left a one-cap review of the beer is the founder of Untappd, or so I was told.

      I totally agree that Untappd’s best use is as a tracking tool. But because it allows for ratings, and shows ratings, people will get excited about, and be influenced by, those ratings. What you say about the first few dozen ratings seeming to be the only ones that matter is interesting. Whether it is because of their system or the groupthink, it is interesting.

  2. I am not a statistician, but I know that statistics are tricky. Just looking at the breweries that make up the South Seattle Brewery Coalition, all of the 14 breweries have ratings greater than Pyramid at the bottom of your list, but only Georgetown, Elysian, and Ghostfish appear on the list.

    Seapine 3.82
    Georgetown 3.80 (made the list)
    Elysian 3.76 (made the list)
    Counterbalance 3.72
    Flying Lion 3.70
    Jellyfish 3.67
    Parihelion 3.66
    Two Beers 3.66
    Lowercase 3.62
    Future Primative 3.61
    Machine House 3.58
    Tin Dog 3.54
    Northwest Peaks 3.53
    Ghostfish 3.45 (Made the list)

    That implies that Pyramid (3.43) is better than Seapine (3.82) just because they have at least one top 50 beer style? As much as I enjoy using Untappd, this whole exercise seems dubious to me.
    …discuss.

  3. In retrospect, I probably should have skipped this topic. It’s too tricky for a speed-read forum like this. The person who provided this data had some criteria, which I explained. Or at least tried to explain.

    If the analysis of the data resulted in a list that failed to include your favorite brewery, I sincerely apologize. To be clear, this is not my list. I did not create the data set or establish the criteria for analyzing it.

Comments are closed.