Appy Hour | Drink | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Appy Hour 

Three beer-related apps to geek-out with.

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When I first started this Beer Nerd adventure around the turn of the century, there weren't many options to guide you to your next big beer affair. Living this lifestyle in Utah basically meant showing up at your favorite craft beer watering hole and engaging with whomever was available. This actually was my preferred method to network with other like-minded individuals; however, it was limited to a small geographic area and whomever happened to be on hand. Now, with the advent of social media, every damned beer nerd you'd ever want to know is available anytime from anywhere.

If you're interested in broadening your knowledge of craft suds or just looking to connect with other aficionados, check out this trio of mobile apps. Short of lending a comforting ear, they're sure to make planning your next beer outing swifter and more fun.

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Type: social
Cost: free
Platforms Available: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, BB10

I like to refer to this app as Facebook for beer drinkers. When it's used properly, you'll know what beers are in your area, your friends' impressions of them and visuals of what they tried. The interface is very simple—rate brews on a one-to-five "beer cap" scale, choose your location and enter comments. The GPS function allows you to locate any watering hole anywhere on the globe, and find out what other folks are drinking in those places, in real time.

Overall Impression: This is the app that I use the most. I love the bar code scanner and the options available, plus it allows users to quickly detail every aspect of their experience. Feel free to "friend" me on this one (my username is UtahBeer).

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Next Glass
Type: locator, ratings
Cost: free
Platforms Available: iOS, Android

This app pulls double duty, as it not only assists in searching for your favorite craft brew, but also provides a huge database for tracking down your favorite bottle of wine. The interface is simple, too: Just use your phone's camera on the beverages' bar code and voilà! You have the app's user info to guide your purchases. It also analyzes each drink's unique chemical makeup—including calorie count—to help you buy only the brews or wines you'll love.

Overall Impression: The simple functions here make scanning and info gathering on the go a breeze, plus the chemistry feature really sets it apart.

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Type: GPS, mapping
Cost: $0.99
Platforms Available: iOS, Android

Whenever I hit the road, I need to know what my beer options will be in any given town, burb or hamlet that's in my path. If you often find yourself asking, "Is there a brewpub on the way?" this one's a must. Simply key your Point A and Point B, and this handy app will give you the locations of every brewery, brewpub and beer bar in between.

Overall Impression: Its simplicity is only matched by its usefulness. It also offers info on your stop's hours of operation and some beer menu options, to boot.

It's an ever expanding beer world out there—so don't get caught without your arsenal of nerdy tools. Cheers!

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