Among the standard beer apps one can download—you are friends with DraftMagazine on Untappd, right?—many brewers guilds are adding their own states’ apps to the mix. They vary in functionality and quality; some offer a myriad of guides, maps, itineraries and passport programs, while others stick to a basic brewery mapping or listing feature that doesn’t offer much over Yelp or Google Maps. Here’s the rundown on the states’ apps I’ve tried out, along with some that are still in development. Did I miss your state? Drop me a note in the comments.
The Brewers of Indiana Guild is behind this robust app that offers a ton of functionality for both Hoosiers and visitors alike. Find comprehensive, Yelp-style profiles of Indiana breweries with info including hours, social media handles, lists of house beers, whether they offer growler fills or outdoor seating, etc. The events calendar is up-to-date, and a Messages section of the app posts alerts about festival ticket sales, tips for enjoying festivals, discounts on Drink Indiana merch and more. For parents, there’s even a section of the app listing all-ages-friendly breweries. All around, a handy little app.
The app from the Nevada Craft Brewers Association offers some basic functions that a local or visitor to the Silver State would find useful; namely, a list of guild member breweries with phone numbers and directions as well as a searchable map that displays nearby breweries (though you could just as easily do this in Google Maps). There is also a portal for sharing photos taken at breweries, plus calendar and updates sections that weren’t updated when I recently downloaded the app.
New Hampshire (coming early summer 2017)
The New Hampshire Brewers Association anticipates that its forthcoming app will modernize the state’s paper NH Beer Trail passport program and will add a brewery directory with social media links and geomapping with en-route directions; brewery promotions, events calendar and news; NHBA festival and event ticket sales; merch sales; a newsletter and more. Look for its launch this summer ahead of the July 22 NH Brewers Festival.
New Jersey (coming end of 2017)
A still-in-development app from the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild will debut at the end of 2017. Full features haven’t yet been disclosed, but expect it to include a passport program for visiting New Jersey breweries and the ability to design a customized route for touring breweries.
New York: New York Craft Beer
You’ll have to log in, either with Facebook or an email address, to the new app from the New York State Brewers Association, but it’s well worth it. The app combines expected features like a map plotting all 326 New York State breweries with unique functions including an Untappd-style beer check-in list and a label-scanning tool that recognizes beers and makes stylistic suggestions (scan out-of-state beers and the app suggests similar New York State-made beers). This function didn’t work with some more specialty beers I tried to scan, but the more data people input, the sharper it will become. The app also lists up-to-date news and events, has a beer passport stamp program, and offers a build-your-own beer tour itinerary by region (Finger Lakes, Adirondacks, Catskills, Hudson Valley, New York City), plus a beer style guide, photobooth, list of top-rated beers and more. It’s well worth the price of admission … which is free.
North Carolina: Beer NC
Launched just a couple weeks ago, this app from the North Carolina Brewers Guild and Our State offers a neat carousel of brewery guides including April Events, Breweries Near Water, Brewers Near Trailheads, and Adventures Outposts and Breweries For Runners. Registered users can bookmark breweries to visit, check in to see how many they’ve visited and rate their favorite breweries. The guides are likely the most intriguing part of the app, filtering breweries by type of experiences that go beyond what a regular location-based map could offer.
Ohio: Ohio On Tap (coming May 2017)
This app from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association is an extension of the group’s Ohio On Tap magazine, an annual guide to the state’s breweries. Because the pace of brewery openings is, clearly, much quicker than an annual guide can keep up with, the app allows for more current info. Ohio On Tap’s app will also be the first brewery passport program to cover the entire Buckeye state, allowing users to receive rewards from the association as they visit multiple breweries. Users will also be able to plan brewery tours, check in beers, take and share photos, get news and event listings about Ohio craft beer, and earn merchandise rewards.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania guild introduced its app back in 2014; it allows users to see upcoming events, receive location-based notifications, view breweries on a map and earn Brew Rewards (like a branded bottle opener) for checking in at breweries. Users can also buy brewery merch straight from the app (a neat feature if you don’t feel like visiting individual brewery websites). There’s also a ton of rich content built in, including Craft Beer Radio podcast episodes, Brewers Association videos and a Cheers Cam that enables users to submit photos of themselves drinking beer for a chance to be featured on the app. If you’re bored while hanging at a brewery, this app would be a handy companion.
Washington State: Washington Beer App (launching in June)
Courtesy of Washington Beer Commission, the Evergreen State’s app has three features, laid out clearly and simply on the first screen: a map of the state’s breweries, an option to create your own brewery tour (though the list of breweries is still marked as ‘coming soon’) and a passport stamp program. The functions are fairly basic but the app design is clean and simple to use—a plus if you’ve had a few beers before opening it.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin Tap Chaser
Though it’s only in “soft launch” form, this is is the most rewarding app of the bunch, literally: It offers coupons at a solid list of participating WI breweries, including Buy One, Get One pints at Angry Minnow, 25 percent off merch at South Shore Brewery, $1 off pints at Karben4, a free pint glass at Sand Creek and more. The catch? You have to be a paid Wisconsin Beer Lover member of the state’s brewers guild (memberships cost $35 annually). Even if you’re not a member, you can still use the app to find nearby breweries, see brewery news, connect with breweries via social media and call the brewery directly from the app.