Beer 2.0

Remember back in October when I shared the fun, but ultimately useless website, WhereTheF***ShouldIGoForDrinks (blogpost here, website here)?

Well, beer-loving hackers are at it again as two brew-friendly geek endeavors have gone public in the past week.

1. Pubdar

In many ways, Pubdar is similar to WTFSIGFD. It’s British and not too practical, but potential for loads of fun.

The mobile app (by Google Play developer, Pinecone) is extremely simple: activate the app (available only for Android at press time) and a green diamond against a red brick facade locks on and points to the closest pub to your current location. If you’re not feeling that bar (the app also tells you the name of the chosen watering hole), you can hit “Next pub” and the app will point to the next closest.

PROS:
-Unlike WTFSIGFD, this an app instead of a website, and actually useful while “in the field”.
-If you’re in an adventurous state of mind, this will totally play like a real-life video game, which–as we all know–are second only to virtual video games.

CONS:
-When tested, it located many, but not all of the bars nearby.
-All you get is the bar’s name. No reviews, no hours, no imaginary star ratings. This means you could beeline for a pub, only to find that it’s dead, closed, or  way too expensive.

2. BeerText.US

This morning (9 hours ago), Redditor dougiebuckets posted a text-based beer app he built at a hackathon this weekend.

Ever wanted more info on a specific beer, but found yourself too far from a laptop or smartphone? Just text the name of the beer to 315.679.4711 and expect a text (or a few) giving you ABV, style, and maybe some fun facts. More info is available at the website or the original reddit post.

As the app was developed in a hurry (at a hackathon), many issues are still being tweaked, but the creator seems to be very receptive to comments and set on righting any annoying glitches ASAP. Beertext.US was created by dougiebuckets, a grad student at Syracuse’s School of Information Studies, and an undergrad from the same school.

PROS:
-No need for a laptop or even a smartphone for use.
-The developers are aware of and working as quickly as possible to fix the kinks (I’ll keep an eye and update as it gets better).

CONS:
-There are kinks. It sends multiple texts for long reviews and scrapes all information from brewerydb.com, a database that often just has cut-and-paste commercial descriptions of these brews.
-BreweryBD is not exhaustive and the app’s error message doesn’t always get sent, so some of your texts may go unanswered.
-If you have a smartphone and don’t mind looking like a jerk surfing the web at a bar, there’s really no need for it (at this point).

 

~ Don Julian

REFERENCES

Pubdar: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pinecone.pubdar

Pinecone (Pubdar’s developer): https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Pinecone

BeerText Website: http://beertext.us/

BeerText reddit thread (many comments on usability): http://www.reddit.com/r/beer/comments/xe807/beertextus/

DougieBuckets (Beertext Developer): http://www.reddit.com/user/dougiebuckets

BreweryDB (Beertext’s Database of choice): http://www.brewerydb.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment on "Beer 2.0"

  1. Doug Crescenzi July 31, 2012 at 9:02 am - Reply

    Thanks for posting the article. We were up late last night hacking away and managed to fix some issues.

    1) error handling is much improved – if the beer isn’t in the DB or you misspelled something you’ll definitely know now. you won’t be left waiting in limbo

    2) we’re labeling messages now so folks receiving them know what order they should be in. i.e. (1/3) sms message, (2/3) sms message, (3/3) sms message. unfortunately, the api we’re using for sending the sms messages can’t guarantee ordered delivery (but it’s still an awesome api nonetheless!)

    3) we’re no longer cutting off characters at the end of messages

    We still have a lot more tweaking to do, but we’ll keep you posted! Any other thoughts/suggestions/recommendations you have would be very much appreciated!

    Thanks again ;)
    doug

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