To keep up with the craft beer brewery and pub growth in the Region, there are a myriad of apps for Android and iPhone users to help locate breweries, encourage beer journaling and connect with other aficionados.
“With the South Shore Brewery Trail app we can send push notifications to anyone who opted in to receive them. We send out information about brewery festivals, special beer releases, live entertainment and other happenings at the different breweries,” said Heather Becerra, chief marketing officer at the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.
The visitor center launched the South Shore Brewery Trail app in September 2015. “By downloading the app, the breweries are listed so that the brewery closest to you is listed first and so on. This is a very useful tool for someone like a visitor who can easily find the breweries closest to their location. You can also use the map functionality and get turn-by-turn directions right to the brewery.”
The app allows users to star their favorites, access which seasonal beers are available in local breweries and brew pubs, find out which breweries have outdoor seating and which breweries are family-friendly. The app also list hotels nearby and transportation options.
Becerra said they had a lot of success with the app in the first year and half and are working with their app developer to include more functionality in the future. “We want users to be able to check in to the breweries they visit and essentially use it as a digital passport. Users could get ‘stamps’ and get prizes for checking out all of the different breweries.”
A national craft beer app that is also used by Regionites is Untappd. Untappd allows users to locate craft beer breweries and bars, check in, log in what they’re drinking, rate it and share what they’ve journaled about the beer with friends.
“I use it more as a diary for myself so I can remember if I liked a beer,” said Siobhan Sullivan, of Highland. “If the venue you are at uses Untappd, then they will have a ticket at the bottom of the screen showing all the people there who are using it. You can also have friends on there, just like Facebook or Instagram. In fact, we always say it's kind of like Facebook for beer geeks.”
Another feature Sullivan likes about Untappd is when traveling it has a map and will pinpoint bars, breweries, liquor stores, etc.
“You can then click on said brewery and find out what they have. We love this feature,” Sullivan said. Untappd has the ability to personalize recommendations based on the tastes of the user and their friends. It also includes achievement badges to reward patrons for trying different styles of beer and for checking in at different locations.
“When I first downloaded Untappd to my iPhone in January 2015, I used it to look up beer descriptions while out with friends. Each craft brew is different and I like to see what the brewer put into them,” said Michael Wilson, of Highland. “As I met more people who enjoyed the app, the social aspect became more important. You read and comment on people's posts — a ‘like’ is called a ‘toast.’”
Wilson said he has logged 860 craft beers with more than 1,300 posts on the app and each one has a photo and a short description. “I always know if I've had something before, and what I thought of it,” Wilson said.
For more information, visit www.southshorecva.com/ssbt.