I love technology. I love finding ways to make my life easier (even if it rarely makes it “easier”) with the use of some sort of gadget. I also love beer. I love the complexity of tastes and feelings you can get from simple ingredients. And of course, what I really love is when these two things come together. In this multi-part post, I will take a look at the realms in which beer and tech geekery overlap.
from the site: “Track and take notes about what beers you drink, find good beer near your current location, discover bars that carry your favorite beers, compete with your friends and more! We have a database of over 40,000 beers with ratings for you to discover, track and enjoy.”
Beerby (pronounced like “nearby”) is a mobile app (available for iPhone and Android) and a website (http://www.beerby.com) that is pretty good at keeping track of your beers. The idea is kind of like Four Square for your beer drinking (i.e. a location-based app where you can post to a group of friends your whereabouts, get “points” and “badges” for doing specific things, and follow other people’s activities within the app). You can search for the beers you drink in their fairly impressive database. You can also find your favorite bar as long as it has an entry on Foursquare and even have the option of posting which beers you drink to Facebook and Twitter. Beerby is a free download and requires a free account.
PROS: Ever since I got into craft beer, I have been searching for a way to have a mobile method of keeping track of my beers. Yes, I know I could keep a traditional paper journal (something like 33 Beers), but the geek in me has an aversion to writing anything, so that has never really panned out. The best thing about this App is that it will keep track of the beers you drink, the ratings you give them, and even the place you drank them. And give you the option to share that with Twitter and Facebook. Its beer database seems to be pretty good (I’ve been able to find everything I drink so far) and, best of all…it’s free!
CONS: As far as I can tell there is
no way to export your list or post your feed on a website or blog (like this one), (UPDATE: Beerby tweeted me that you can indeed get a list of the beers you drink as a widget that is embeddable into your blog…although it doesn’t seem to work with WordPress. Check here for more info) which means that all of the information you enter into the app pretty much stays there (aside from the sharing to social networks option). This seems to me to be antithetical to the current web philosophy of portability and open access. Basically I want to be able to get at the raw data that Beerby is storing for me and, right now, there isn’t a way to do that (even with the above fix, I still don’t seem to be able to get the data).
CONCLUSION: Beerby is great for storing your beer stats (even though you can’t get at the information). It’s great for social network sharing (though it does make you look like a bit of an alcoholic when your last 20 status updates are about the beer you drank). It’s mobile (for the Android and iOS). And it’s free. What more could you ask for?
Next Up: Pintley–Pandora for beer?