You checked in a beer and it tasted "smokey", but it didn't count for the "Down in Smoke" badge, or you are wondering why certain beers you had in the past don't count for a new badges. The answers are below!
Since we releases the last new badges, many people have been a bit confused on how to learn how to unlock badges. At Untappd - we have always encouraged users to go out there and explore new badges and find out how to unlock badges. With this in mind - we always made the requirements vague and forced you to "Google it" or ask around. We think this makes the "game" fun.
If a badge has been altered (i.e it was once a single level badge, and now it's a multi-level badge), it's retroactive to the date of the badge start (which is the same as above).
If you have questions how to unlock the badge, the first thing would be to check the badge hint, which may help you figure out what counts toward the badge on Untappd in the badge hint (see screenshot below):
Every badge has one of those hints - and it's viable on the web, mobile web and app. As you see, there are only certain styles that count for badges. When you search for a beer, you always get the style listed below the beer (on mobile web, web and app):
To earn the badge, you must look at the Style (show above in the screenshot) and match that style with the hint. If it doesn't match, it won't count for the badge. A beer cannot have two styles - it can only have one, therefore you need to look at what the style is listed to see if that will count. It doesn't matter what the name is, or it how it tastes, it matters what the style is. When looking for beers, always refer to the style.
Also - important to note a beer can only have 1 style.
So for the future - always look at the style of the beer and make sure it matches the requirement of the badge hint. If you have questions - let us know at http://help.untappd.com. Cheers!