Technology has infiltrated every part of our lives so there seems to be no reason why it wouldn’t have joined us during the old fashioned pastime of going for a pint. Nowadays all the kids and their grandaddies have got themselves smart phones and, unlike dinner time, it is purely acceptable for you, or your mate, or your grandad to use a phone during beer time. Now we’d never say that is a bad thing, but, unless your inviting someone along, it very rarely has anything to do with the situation at hand; that being beer. So what if there were a way to make it so?
Well there is! as you’d probably expect really. There are a multitude of beer applications out there and we’re sure some of the tech savvy ones amongst you have already found them and have been putting them to good use. Now there are apps available for the beer connoisseur, so that when they are out tasting beer and making notations they no longer need to carry a weighty notebook and ruffle through it when comparing notes with like-minded people. It can now all be there at the click of a button. Now all of you others who are wondering what other benefits phone applications may have for beer had best read on.
Untappd - $ FREE
Available on: IOS, Android and Windows
This is one of the most popular beer apps out there and with its user friendly interface, and akin-ness to other apps in our lives it is easy to see why. Untappd is like social networking for the beer world; think of it as the beer lovers Facebook and Twitter all rolled into one.
It allows you to check-in to a location and to let your friends know what beer you’re drinking, whilst at the same time letting you rate each beer. Your friends can also toast (like) or comment on your post, your beverage and your drinking hole of choice. It also acts a journal of your beer-ventures, pretty handy as the craft beer world is expanding all the time and names and brands are getting harder and harder to keep track of. Finally -if that all weren’t enough- the app also offers suggestions of what you might like to try next based on what you’ve enjoyed so far, and it also helps you to seek out establishments that serve said beer.
SipSnapp - $ 0.99
Available on: IOS
This is a nifty little app that can take you from the realm of pot luck, when staring at a long list of craft beers, to making a much more informed decision than you might have done.
Using rating from the database at ratebeer.com SipSnapp puts a beer’s rating at the user’s fingertips. Just simply scan the barcode on your beer with your phone, or take a picture of a beer menu with the app and it will run off to the World Wide Web and bring back with it a rating and comments of those beers, left by other people.
Beer Match - $ 0.99
Available on: IOS
Beer Match does something rather unique in the app world. We all like to drink beer with dinner however, rather often, our favourite beer of choice doesn’t necessarily compliment the taste of our chosen dish and we can be stuck umm-ing and ahhhh-ing about which beer to choose to go with our meal. This is where beer match steps in, simply tell it what food you are eating -there are over 500 foods and cheeses in their vault- and it will tell you what styles of beer will suit your chosen dish. Alternatively take your favourite beer style and it will tell you which dishes will pair best with that. Think of it as your personal beer sommelier.
BJCP Styles - $ FREE
Available on: IOS, Android and Windows
This app is a treasure trove of information on all the styles of beer that are available around the world! It offers information on: ingredients, flavour, aroma, appearance and the brew’s history; amongst other things. The BJCP Styes app was recently updated in 2015 with reclassifications and new and more discreet classifications created by the worldwide craft beer movement were added. It is, however, easy to switch between this version and the original 2008 version of this app.
The BJCP began in the United States however it now has a presence in over a dozen countries, including our own Australia, where it trains and certifies beer judges. This is the perfect app for settling almost all arguments between beer aficionados, and getting back to the reason you are there -to drink beer!
iBrewMaster 2 - $ 9.99
Available on: IOS (Android and Windows apps currently under development)
We know, we know, it’s the most expensive app on the list -by a long shot- but let us explain. If you are a home brewer, which we expect many of you are, then this is the app that will pull you from dusty books, endless internet searches and forum scouring, and place everything at your finger tips.
iBrewMaster 2 (an upgraded version of the original) helps you manage the complete home brewing process, coming with 600+ recipes and a feature allowing you to add and adjust your own. It allows you to track your brew's progress (with inclusive timers for multiple batches) as well as estimating a variety of things like: alcohol content, IBU, colour, original and final gravities and calories. It also has a variety of calculators and ingredients available. If you brew at home this will combine many of your scheduling and organising tools and make many of them redundant.
After sifting through many apps that are sub standard for beer lovers such as ourselves -and yourselves- we bring you these five in the hope that they may better your beer experience and knowledge, whether it be at home or down the local with a few mates. If you have any personal favourites or know some useful ones we’ve missed that’ll benefit our beer community then put it in the comments section below. All feedback is welcomed!
This is the first episode in a series that we’re going to be running over the course of the next few months, and each instalment is going to take a closer look at a certain style of beer and find out what makes it unique. We’re also going to look into the history of each style as well, because many beers have a quirky or unique history that's very interesting; to beer nerds like us at least. After all, beer is around 9000 years old! There has gotta be some good stories hidden in there somewhere! Without further ado lets get into it.