We know that staying in the elusive loop of craft beer culture can be an exhausting endeavor, but we’re also aware that handheld computing device in your pocket or purse is good for more than just trolling the interwebs while avoiding Game of Thrones spoilers. We went to our mobile operating systems to see which apps were helpful in locating treasure troves of hops and malt.
The mecca of beer enthusiast discussion is in app form. Sometimes, when you are doing your customary beer aisle lap and something unfamiliar catches your eye, it can become vexing to open up a browser and search for the brew in question, only to eventually arrive at BeerAdvocate.com anyway. Chalk it up to being iconic (see what we did there?).
Say you’re craving vintage Imperial Stout or CBS and want to know if, by chance, it’s on tap at Founders’ taproom. There’s an app for that. You can check the taps and special events lists right from your smartphone — as well as find out which Founders beers are stocked by your favorite local retailers.
New Belgium - Beer Mode
This functions much like Founders’ helpful application, but designed with much more TLC. It tells the user where to locate NB’s products, but what really makes this app agreeable is its thorough description of its beers, down to the hops, malt and yeast used from brew to brew. This would be particularly valuable to someone new to the game who wants to know specifically what ingredients contribute to respective taste and aroma qualities.
It is liberating to walk into your favorite haunt with a bold confidence of what they have on tap. No one wants to take that few minutes of shame to look over the menu after everyone else in the party has already made their selections. BeerMenu lets you know what the draft list looks like so that you can get on with making the best decisions with haste.
If Zuckerberg were really a party animal he would have invented this social network instead. With Untappd, the user can connect with other beer buffs to see what everyone is drinking, where they found it and what is on tap at local stomping grounds. If you are curious about a beer and don’t have that go-to person whose taste you trust unconditionally, this app is the perfect way to determine your potential level of enjoyment with the mere tap of a screen.
This was the only app we tested that required us to throw down some cash, but the $3.99 cover was pretty reasonable considering how comprehensive it turned out to be. If you took issue with BeerAdvocate’s interface or inability to scan the barcode of a beer, then this is worth the meager investment. The app also doubles as somewhat of a beer journal with a cataloguing feature to serve as a reminder of what you’ve tried and how you felt about it.