Stop taking selfies and use that smart phone for what God intended it to be used for: to find more beer. There are hundreds of beer apps out there, and most of them suck. But a few are worthy of your data plan. We picked five that will help you find your next pint and let you know what that pint will probably taste like. If you have a favorite beer app, let us know in the comments below.
You know a Kolsch is supposed to be light and crisp, but what’s the difference in the mouthfeel between a Czech Lager and a Vienna Lager? The Beer Judge Certification Program’s app tells you everything you need to know about just about any style you could possibly come across. And I mean the style notes go pretty deep into the nose, appearance and taste telling you more than you probably need to know. It’s not a sexy app (look at that screen shot!), but it’s useful. In theory, you’d use this app to help you better judge a beer based on its style. But honestly, it’s perfect for when you’d like to decipher that super complex beer menu in front of you. Available for Apple and Android. But it’s not free. $4.99.
My Beer Nation is like the local who knows where the nearest brewery is, what time it closes and whether or not they serve hot pretzels. Type in the city or state and it will show you a map of the breweries in the area. The database isn’t quite comprehensive, but MBN has more than 2,500 breweries listed. I like that I can search for the brewery closest to me. Because sometimes I’m desperate. There’s a journal and review aspect to the app, but let’s be honest—you’re only going to use the map and beer finder. And that’s okay. Availabe for Apple. Free.
You just had a great beer. Like, one of the top 10 beers of your life, and it came out of nowhere. From a style that you’ve never even had before. And you’re thinking maybe you’d like to try another beer like that. Enter Next Glass, which enables you to scan the label of a beer you like and the app suggests other beers that are similar. It’s pretty simple, but pretty useful if you’re always on the prowl for the next great beer. Available for Apple and Android. Free.
Taphunter’s purpose is simple: to let you know what’s on tap at bars near you. You can search your location and see what’s happening, or you can set it to look for a certain beer. So if you’re looking for Pliny the Elder, you’ll get an alert when it goes on tap somewhere. It’s a good resource if you’re hunting for whales. The list is far from comprehensive; it only works if bars sign up for the service. I used the app to check out my hometown, which is beer heavy, but there were only half a dozen bars listed in the service. But the app is a hell of a good idea and one worth nurturing as it grows. Available for Apple and Android. Free.
This is the daddy of beer apps, a social-network driven machine where you can track, rate and share your latest beer with your friends. You can earn badges based on your drinking prowess, and follow other beer lovers, which is all good fun. But you can also use Untappd to find specific beers near you, and find new bars in your area. And thanks to all that social sharing, you can see if certain beers or certain bars are trending near you. If you’re only going to get one app, this is it. Available for Apple and Android. Free.