With Oktoberfest in full swing and people around the world celebrating beer, it seems an appropriate time to review some great iPhone(s aapl) apps for real beer lovers. No beer pong apps here; these are all about enjoying the actual beverage itself (responsibly, of course).
iLoveBeer: Zythology (Free). This free app is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch (s bud) and includes tasting and pairing tips, pouring instructions and beer matches for their brand. Considering how many beers fall under their parent brand, this free app is the place to start for those who don’t know the difference between a stout and a porter, or an ale and a lager.
Beer Match ($0.99). Beer Match is a great way for budding beer enthusiasts to find the right variety to pair with your meal. The app has a list of beers, foods and cheeses and allows you to search any of those categories to match up the right drink with the right type of food.
Find Craft Beer ($0.99). If you lean towards local and microwbrew, Find Craft Beer will help you hone in on the places to find your hops. Use your current location or type one in and you’ll get a list of brew pubs, breweries, beer bars, and homebrew stores in the area. The app pulls data from Beermapping.com, and provides reader scores and reviews when applicable, as well as the location, phone number and website of the spots it finds.
Beer Prophet ($0.99). If you’re looking to explore some new beers, Beer Prophet will guide you along the way. First you need to train it a bit about what you like and don’t like in the way of beer. The app then can predict what you’ll like. Because beer selections are often regional, you can pick your location and the app can make suggestions likely to be found near you (and you can set the app to filter out “mass beers”). The app also has a “PhD” guide to learning about and appreciating beers, as well as a journal that tracks your beers and helps the app refine its predictions.
RateBeer (Free). If you want to find places to buy great beer you are discovering, this free app won’t steer you wrong. Using either your current location or one specify, and RateBeer will find a brewery, bar, store, or restaurant to serve your beer loving needs. The app integrates with the Ratebeer website to show you recommendations and suggestions at each location.
BreweryMap ($0.99). Want to drink beer from the source? Although I’m sure they won’t let you in the tanks, the BreweryMap app will let you find micro- and even nano-breweries nearby. The database is quite extensive, and found local breweries I didn’t even know about.
Beer Buddy ($2.99). This is by far the most comprehensive beer app out there, and will be your buddy to finding, drinking and rating beer. The app is directly integrated with ratebeer.com so you can read reviews of any beer and locations (retailers, bars, and breweries), as well as provide your own ratings. Usage requires an Internet connection, which can be tricky in some beer halls. You can start by either searching for the name of the beer or scanning the barcode. Once you find your beer, you can bookmark it for later via the “On Tap” function.
BrewGene (Free). BrewGene combines the suggestion functions of BeerProphet with the detailed database features of BeerBuddy. The ratings and suggestions are crowdsourced from other BrewGene users, and do not integrate with Ratebeer, so its suggestions and reviews are somewhat limited until more people start using it. For beer novices who want to move up to expert status, this is a great free app to take you to the next level.
Beer Log by Brew Vault ($0.99). If you like to store your beer instead of drink it right away, then BrewVault will help you track what you’ve purchased and where it is. Because beer in the U.S. tends to be regional, not all brews are available in all areas. My most prized possession is the Christopher Elbow Chocolate Ale (currently worth $75 on eBay(s ebay)). The app syncs with an online database, making usage deep within your cellar (where you likely have no signal) possible.
There you have nine apps to help you on your journey to finding and remembering great beer. Now you just need a bottle opener.