What are the Alternatives?

I got let down by Ratebeer both yesterday and today whilst out and looking to see if I had already tried certain beers. The search just didn’t work and when I tried to re sign in it wouldn’t let me. I have all my beers backed up on Excel, so no problems with eventual closure of Ratebeer, but although I use Dropbox to keep the info backed up on my phone and Computer, it tends to load really slowly due to the size of the file.
I really don’t like untapped and it would be a slow process to load 15,000+ beers.
So my question is, what would be a good app for the Phone (Android), reliable, quick and able to take data from Microsoft Excel. Basically I would just want to know whether I had had a beer or not, I don’t rate on the run. Microsoft Access has been mentioned as it is available in App form.
I just wonder if anyone has been through this.

Odd not letting you log in.

If yopu just wanting to check if youve had it.
Have you tried the New app. Its Decent enough. Sadly has the new style search (that ive made my feelings clear on)

but for looking up its an ok alternative to the Website.

But yeah Export TO excel and the into a sql data base. Not tried but i installed one yesterday. Seemed ok, but no idea how slow ehn all data imported

If it’s just the search that’s letting you down, you could try to use the oldschool advanced search?


there’s this python script that @neur0 wrote, and there are python platforms for Android. It’s quite a nerdy solution, but one that works really well for me.


I also use excel. Haven’t found a better solution.

Excel limits you to viewing on Windows PCs, which is fine if that’s all you use. But since you’re an Android user I presume you’re not anti-Google, in which case why not just upload it to Google Drive, convert to Google Sheets format (pretty much exact functionality with Excel) and use that instead? It will work on any computer/laptop/phone/tablet/whatever no software needed (there is the Google Sheets app for your phone which is handy).
Google Sheets supposedly loads 1000 rows at a time so should be optimised much better than Excel, though the initial load may be slow I guess. But it can support up to 2 million cells. Even fonefan can’t tick that many.

Access is an option but being database software rather than spreadsheet it would be far more work as you’d want to add all the brewers to one table, then all of the beers in another.

Untappd, regardless of you liking or not, isn’t an option as there’s no way to mass import beers. Can you imagine how long it would take you to manually log 15k!?

There are Android apps for most elelements of MS Office (but not Access as far as I recall). I’d imagine, knowing MS Office, they don’t come cheap. Maybe included in Office 365 - I don’t know because I don’t have it.

Google Sheets is OK (provided you have a connection of course - same with any cloud-based solution) but using it essentially commits you to Google lock, stock & barrel. It simply doesn’t work properly if you want to sync accross various devices and still use, say, Excel on your PC. That’s because, although you can view other formats (including MS Excel) in Google Drive, you can’t edit them without converting to Google format and then they don’t sync with the original. So you then have to download it from Google Drive in its original format (if allowed) and replace your original file with that. It gets really messy really quickly, especially if you use more than two devices.

I experimented with doing something along those lines and it really screwed up because somehow I ended up with two files with the same name on Google Drive, the poor little mite got terribly confused by that and it proceeded to rename/relabel everything on Google drive. So, for example, I’d open something that was supposed to be a Google Doc but it turned out to be something completely different in PDF format. In the end I had to rebuild the whole kaboodle from scratch - and I’m talking about hundreds of files.

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It may take a while, but Untappd isn’t going anywhere. Took me a couple of weeks (2.3k) but it’ll be worth it when this site goes down to still have a reliable log. But Google Sheets could also work.

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Google Sheets is available offline now too, so no connection needed. Sounds unfortunate what happened with your files but to be honest I can’t see this being an issue for this particular case. You shouldn’t need to be converting back and forth between formats as there wouldn’t be any need to continue using Excel on your PC - what would the advantage be? The whole point is that using Google works on any device. If you really want to you can download the .xlsx file but obviously any edits made to that wouldn’t be in sync with Google, as you mention, which defeats the purpose of using it in the first place.

Anti-Microsofters - Use Google Sheets (free web app and free mobile apps)
Anti-Googlers - Use MS Office (free web app and free mobile apps, paid desktop app)
Anti-everythingthat’sproprietary - Use OpenOffice (free, obviously, and enjoy your headaches, not available on mobile)

Or WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office).

I have put all my ratings onto untapped for this exact purpose, but this doesn’t always mean a clear yes/no to the question “have I ever had it?”. Many beers have numerous versions (i.e. each year as a new beer) on untapped, also some beers that are one entry on rate beer are split on untapped or vice versa.

Just for example I have 5956 rates on RB, and 5876 on untapped

I also use have excel spreadsheet, I have used on my iPad using the app “docs to go” which i think was free and available on both android and iOS.

On a positive note it took me about an hour for every 100 rates to enter. I just used a basic “Tried in 20XX with full rating on rate beer” or “Tried at the xxx beer festival 20xx”.

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I’ve copied all my ratings to Untappd. Took a few months, but tried to do get a hundred per day. Didn’t bothered to get the locations or how it was had, just the names and ratings.

For my offline ratings, I tried using Google Sheets, but am more used to coding in VBA than JavaScript so couldn’t really get all the scripts running like I want to.

Find it easier to import into a database from Excel and get it to work, not sure if Google Sheets supports database connections and if it can import directly to one.

I use Excel as the front end to an Access database. Get the datafiles from RateBeer, have a button on my custom ribbon to import it into Access and then run some additional code to get the ABV that is unfortunately missing from the export files.

Use the ribbon to manage my views and search criteria. Have listings by style, country, continent, brewery; and search criteria like country, style, ABV.

Gives a rather nice statistic breakdown for the nerdy stat lovers. Not good for quickly seeing what I have rated though, use Untappd for the quick lookup since I can check out even the most recent beers that are still in the backlog to go onto RateBeer.


Yeah, tried that. You had to be signed into your Google account to work offline. Then I found myself somewhere without a connection so I couldn’t work offline because I couldn’t sign in to my Google account. Bit of a Catch 22.

Unfortunately for those without programming experience this probably won’t be an attractive option… the lack of portability / mobile access is another issue for many, myself included.
But I have to say that is actually an excellent way to go about it. A great approach if you have this kind of skillset, it’s by far the most efficient method of keeping all the data and useful for really specific searches and stats too.

I had something similar in mind myself which I never got round to finishing. Exact same concept as yours except mine is web based (MySQL database with either PHP or Python for scripting) so that I can access it on my phone when away from my PC. No fancy website or anything it’s pretty much going to be raw tables like you’d see in a spreadsheet, but paginated and with usable search and filtering options.

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Ah that’s a bit of a bugger then. I have no further suggestions in that case. For what it’s worth I believe Microsoft’s web and mobile app versions of Excel have similar requirements for offline usage to Google. i.e. you must first be signed in to your MS account, mark the document as available offline, then next time you go offline you’ll still have the ability to read and edit it.

Quickest option to see whether you had it would be the app. Both the new and old one have their faults, but I’m still able to quickly see whether I had a beer on the apps. (and that’s about it for their functionality)

It’s OK, of course, if you stay permanently signed in to your Google account. I don’t - not exactly great security to do that.

This is related to a sign in issue?

@Joet1 does it worry you that more and more of us are moving ratings to untappd? This isn’t just a sign in issue. It is an amalgamation of issues of which you have been told about. Pull your head out of the ground and realise that your core users are leaving one by one.


Not really. More to the changes made that don’t really improve the site and don’t fix existing problems whilst alienating core users.
Don’t you see that from all the feedback.

No one has said Yay ratebeer. Great job!