17 Jan Next GLass/Untappd merger a move craft beer fans can finally cheer for
The second half of 2015 was not kind to craft beer enthusiasts, as we watched Anheuser-Busch buy up some of our favorite craft breweries. But a new year has brought with it a reason to drink in celebration as beer apps Untappd and Next Glass have decided to merge.
If you are not one of the 3,000,000 Untappd users, then you might not understand why this merger is a good thing. Untappd has been around for five years now, allowing users to share, rate, and comment on the beers they drink. But its founders (CEO Tim Mather and CTO Greg Avola) have only been able to work on growing the app part-time, which means they haven’t been able to do everything they’ve wanted to with it.
“As you may not know, for the last five years we have been building Untappd on a part time basis, maintaining full time jobs outside of Untappd to support ourselves and our families,” they said in a blog post on the Untappd site. “This has lead to slower than desired feature releases and as Untappd continues to grow in popularity, the variety of hats our two man team has to wear has become more difficult.”
That’s going to be changing.
Next Glass is relatively new to the beer app scene. The group from North Carolina officially launched the app back in November 2014, and they’ve seen their user base slowly grow ever since. The app recommends beers and wines to its users based on the ratings said user gives for the beers and wines they drink. For more information on Next Glass, check out my article from last month when I had the opportunity to speak with Next Glass COO Trace Smith about their operation.
Along with going full-time and being able to add more staff, the Untappd crew plans to “get new updates, cool features, and even more badges” out to the public faster. It’s unclear if the companies will share their technologies or plan to do any cross-platform integration at this time. I, personally, would like to see the rating systems become seamless, rating your beer on Untappd and it automatically syncing it on Next Glass.
This merger may not be on the scale of say AB InBev merging with SABMiller, but for us craft beer drinkers, this is one we can at least raise our glass to.