To innocently steal Apple’s iPhone logo – ‘Beer! There’s an app for that.’ Before we get into this I have to add that I do not in anyway condone anyone using apps to drink and drive. BUT… if you have a driver, there is a plethora of beer apps out there for your connected lifestyle. While I think most of these are also available on the Droid Market, I can’t honestly talk to that. Whether you are simple ‘beer folk’, a ‘beer snob’ or in the middle of the road, a die hard ‘beer geek’, you can find any kind of app to accomplish what you need. There are apps as simple as searching to find more information on the six pack of craft beer that you didn’t see in the cooler last week, or to find what beer to pair dinner with. There’s apps to find a good beer store, brewpub, brewery or restaurant that has a prestigious selection of craft beer. I even have an app to build and brew your very own beer. It’ll even send push notifications to you when it’s time to rack or bottle said brew. While I don’t have it, since my ‘beer cellar’ is, uh, pretty much non-existent, there’s an app to track your own beer inventory.
Beercloud – is a decent, not superb search engine for beers. It does however include a sommelier tab. Which I use from time to time on what beer to pair with our meal. But more than often, I know our menu at home, now what beer style do I want to pair with that?
Pintley – is a nice search engine on craft beer. You can even track the beer you’ve had and where you enjoyed it. In the new version 2.0, the app will award points for adding to your wish list, adding tasting notes, etc. A nice thing to some, not so nice to others is the fact that there is no time limit. So you can sit at your home watering hole and ‘tag’ all the beers you’ve ever enjoyed. For instance, oh yeah, I had a sip of a Dogfish Head 120 Min IPA two years ago at a buddies bar. Tag!
Find Craft Beer – is part of beermapping.com. It’s use is as simple as the name, to find craft beer. Use it to search within a 50 mile radius of your current location, or an input town. It lists everything by category, from bar, to beer store, brewpub, homebrew shop and breweries. It relies on the accuracy of beermapping.com however. For instance in Athens, there are two Trappeze Pubs. One being spelled with only a single ‘p’, Trapeze. It also rates the site based on user feedback. Five Points West bottle shop is higher rated than the original in Five Points. This was even before the remodel of the west side. So proof again that it relies on user feedback, and this may or may not be accurate.
Untappd – is nothing more or nothing less than Foursquare for beer. Instead of a location, you check-in to your beer. You can add the location that you are having said beer. Send the status update to Twitter or Facebook or not. There’s a rating system of 1-5, plus you can add a 140 character status with your check-in. You can also unlock badges, just like Xbox Achievements or PS3 Trophies. Check into 100 different beers and there’s a badge for that. My last blog post on the Dogfish Head takeover at Aromas I had three ancient ales, well that unlocked a special badge. One of the toughest for me was to unlock the venue badge of having 10 beers at a bar between 6pm-8pm during the week. Sounds easy unless you’re at home or at work during those hours.
iBrewmaster – is my on the go homebrewing buddy. I can build my own recipe from hundreds of ingredients, or from a recipe included in the app. Plus, more like +1, Northern Brewer recently allowed iBrewmaster to include all of their own recipes. This even includes the Pro Series recipes from Surly Brewing. Yes, that surly. Yes, I’m cloning their Furious and Cynical. My buddy has cloned the Coffee Bender already. Like I said in the opening, according to your own schedule, seven days from brewing, you’ll get a push notification to rack your beer. Another 14 days you get another to bottle your homebrew. It calculates your IBU, ABV and every thing else. This is by far the most expensive app I’ve paid for. Yet $7.99 is a steal for this app. BeerSmith for the pc is $20. Yet iBrewmaster will do almost all the same as BeerSmith for more than half the price. Plus it’s on-the-go.