7800+ Beers for your iPhone
Beer Brands is a beer database of commercial beers. The iPhone application claims to have over 7800 beer brands in the database. The application even has beers from Coopersmith’s, a local microbrewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. I’m always surprised when I see beer references to Coopersmith’s. I was impressed by the sheer number of beers included.
Beer Brands is a free application which looks to be ad supported. There is an ad at the top of every screen. When you click on the ad, it goes to Safari to display the ad.
Each beer includes which brewery produced the beer, the serving glass, serving temperature, “bottom or top” fermented (lager and ale are sooo confusing), the alcohol by weight and volume (hopefully this will silence Canadians who believe their beer is stronger), and the “beer year”. I have no idea what the “beer year” is, but for Budweiser the “beer year” is 1993. Your guess is as good as mine.
You can search for beers by name and get information about what food goes best with a particular beer. Corona goes best with chicken, Chinese food, and fish. Apparently it did not occur to the authors to try it with Mexican food? I think the food recommendations are almost random, but it’s interesting to see what foods are suggested.
The information for each beer can be emailed to a friend. Beer Brands just dumps the data into an email. It’s not special and the formatting is non-existent, but it is nice they added the feature.
The application crashed on me a few times while looking through the beers. I’m not sure if this is particular to the application, or if it’s the normal iPhone application randomly crashing problem.
To make finding beers easier, the application includes a favorites system. You can click on any beer in the application and it will be included in your list of favorite beers. I couldn’t help noticing the list of beers already marked for you (Budweiser, Corona, and Heineken to name a few). Luckily you can delete the favorite beer and add your own list of favorite beers.
If you know the beer name, but you have no idea what style the beer is, you can search their database in one giant alphabetical list. People often ask me if I’ve tried beer “X” but have no idea what kind of beer it is, and want to know if I can suggest an alternative. This application will be very handy in cases like this, because I can now just look up the beer by name.
If you like a particular style of beer, but want to try a new brand, you can look up beers by style. The style section is a bit weird and not without flaws. For example they list Abbey Ale and Abbey Style Ale as two different beer styles. The Abbey Ale section includes true Trappist beers, while the Abbey Style Ale section includes any other Abbey Ale.
The other “styles” are a bit confusing too. It seems like the iPhone application authors created some of their own styles like “Black and Tan”, “Dry Beer” or “Ice Beer”. They separated Bitters, Pale Ale, ESB into their own styles. Märzen, Vienna, and Oktoberfest are also in their own sections
Beer Brands also includes a stout in the ESB section. I’m assuming this is a bug which will be corrected in other versions.
One cool feature is to select a random beer. Pressing “Random” brings up a random beer in the application. A small “nit”, but they don’t support the shaking of the iPhone to select a random beer. Other applications will perform the random function when you shake the iPhone.
Just My Luck, Free Beer!
Overall the application is a good reference. The application is not without problems, but hopefully they will clean up the styles section and the beer data errors. And just my luck, you can’t beat the price. Free beer always is good!
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Credits and Links
I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!