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 smartphones and, unlike dinner time, it is purely acceptable for you, or your mate or your grandpa to use a phone during beer time. Now we’d never say that is a bad thing, but, unless you're 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 notes 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 as a journal of your beer-ventures. Pretty handy when the craft beer world is expanding and the amout of 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. 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 potluck, 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 on 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. 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, more diverse 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 into the real 21st Century.
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 substandard 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!
Indian Pale Ales (IPA) are heavy on the hop side. The red IPA hails from the United States and, therefore, they are even hoppier than their father, the English IPA. As a rule of thumb, the IPA has a higher alcohol content than its pale ale lineage, however, for the red IPA, we can also factor in the fact that red ales are also generally brewed stronger than their pale ale counterparts. This makes for a strong beer in a red IPA.
Hefeweizen is a straw coloured, usually hazy beer which is very attractive when served in the traditional Bavarian hefeweizen glass in the summer sunshine. Hefeweizens are made with at least 50% wheat in the mash and are not found to be brimming with hops, the flavours mainly come from the yeast instead. You see “Weizen” means wheat (you might remember that from our Dunkelweizen article) and “hefe” means yeast. These, as said, are the main two flavour components of a hefeweizen and the yeast used adds distinct clove and banana notes. Making these beers the perfect, easy drinking beverage in the sunshine.