The craft-beer industry has long been on top of the latest trends and technology when it comes to helping people create, find and enjoy the best beer possible.
In other words … when it comes to craft beer, yes, there’s an app for that. In fact, here are five applications I recommend for beer-lovers both geeky and curious.
Untappd: Drink socially. That’s the mantra of Untappd. Imagine a beer app that’s a combination of Facebook, FourSquare and Yelp. With Untappd, you check in by both location and beer type. If the beer you’re drinking isn’t listed, you can add it yourself. In Yelp fashion, there’s a great five-bottle-cap rating system. Taking a page from Facebook, Untappd allows users to “friend” other beer-drinkers and say “cheers” regarding friends’ beer check-ins. The app also recommends other beers based on the style you’re enjoying. Drink new beers and unlock some awesome achievement badges! Yes, with this app, you’re rewarded for your beery curiosity and willingness to expand your palate. On the brewery side, Untappd allows beer-makers to engage with fans and grow an audience.
Untappd started five years ago and now boasts 3 million users worldwide—and the makers recently announced a strategic merger of Untappd and Next Glass, another alcohol-based tech startup. This means more updates, awesome features and even more badges. This is a world-class social community for beer-drinkers.
When you join, make sure to connect with me at untappd.com/user/epeters. We can enjoy a beer together online!
BreweryMap: What do you get when you combine geeky algorithmic mapping with craft breweries? This awesome app! You can search by location or plan a trip. In fact, Wired.com recently called BreweryMap a “great beer trip planner.” Enter your starting address and your destination, and find all of the craft breweries along your route!
TapHunter: While TapHunter shares some similarities with BreweryMap, this app specifically focuses on local watering holes and—you guessed it—their taps. TapHunter sends alerts when your favorite beer goes on tap. Founded in San Diego in 2009, TapHunter allows users to search for beers by location, brewery or name. With this app, you can learn about the latest trends, check the current lineup of brews at a specific bar, and help update tap lists—earning points and winning prizes along the way. As with Untappd, TapHunter allows users to share findings through social media. You can also use the app to discover great local bars, restaurants, tasting rooms and now bottle shops. This is a must-use app for bar owners: This app can keep menus up-to-date and let fans know about any changes!
iBrewMaster 2: Considering getting into brewing? Well, this is widely regarded as the premier brewing application. iBrewMaster 2 allows you to manage the entire brewing process, as well as add, edit and manage your own recipes. The app comes complete with pre-loaded recipes—and you can even purchase up to 280 more. When you start the brewing process, the app will tell you the estimated original and final gravities, alcohol content, IBUs, color and calories. The app is unique in that it makes a distinction between recipes and batches: A brewer can brew recipes more than once, but batches are often not the same. Here, for example, you can enter a base recipe for an imperial stout and then keep a list of the batches you’ve brewed with that recipe. One of the goals of good beer-making is to be able to brew a delicious batch of beer, the same way, every time. This feature helps with that. As they cleverly say, technology never tasted so good.
BJCP: Even if you’re not studying to become a certified craft-beer judge, the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) is a great tool to learn more about beer styles, as written by the brewers’ association. Beer is not only fun and delicious; it’s serious business. Take note: The 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines mark a major revision from the 2008 edition. The industry is moving fast, and brewers are pushing limits and creating new styles and hybrids. This app is updated with a plethora of information regarding emerging craft-beer-market trends, modern brewing ingredients and sensory characteristics. Learn more about the numerous beer styles, and get better at recognizing the appearance, aroma, flavor and mouth-feel of a beer.
Trust me: These apps will better your beer-drinking experience. Find out what’s new in the craft beer world, and join the craft beer revolution—one app and one beer at a time.