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Tap That App
Best apps for beer loversBefore you pour yourself another cold one, check out these must-have apps for the discriminating beer drinker. Sharon Vaknin shows you how to explore new brews and share your finds with your friends.
Life's way too short to drink bad beer, and to order the same boring brew each time you head up happy hour. If you're guilty of this, it's time to change that. I'm here at the Speakeasy Tap Room in San Francisco, enjoying a local brew and ready to pop a cap of a few of the best apps for beer lovers. Whether it's Saint Patty's Day, or you're just enjoying a beer after work, Untappd is your go-to app. This location-based social app lets you follow what friends are drinking, find local brews, and check in to whatever you're sipping on. It's not the only app of its kind, but it is the cleanest and has the strongest community of beer lovers. Check out what's in your buy from the home screen, or check in to a beer by searching for it. Like this Big Daddy IPA I'm drinking. Once you check in, you'll add your location, impressions, a rating, and even a photo if you want. Pretty soon, you'll end up with a log of beers you've had, and Apple even suggests some new beers to try. That's great for when you're bar-hopping. But what about those times when you're stuck choosing from a fridge full of beer? That's where Beer Buddy comes in. Available for iPhone, this app integrates with RateBeer.com to give you full flavor profiles and ratings for the bottled stuff. So, just grab a beer, scan the barcode, and wallah. There is the rating and everything I need to know about this beer. Beyond that, you can even add your own ratings and start building a log of your favorite brews. Beer Buddy is $399. But for beer lovers, this app will quickly pay for itself. Oh, and by the way, this isn't available for Android, but there is an official RateBeer app that does the same thing. Much like wine drinkers, beer drinkers seem to like talking about beer as much as they like drinking it. They say things like hoppy, dry, caramel-flavored. And beyond that, appearance, aroma, and even mouth feel all play a part in the way they talk and write about beer. To get a better idea of how popular beer types and brews are described, and to sound like a pro yourself, check out the BJCP Styles app for iPhone and the BJCP Droid app for Android. Both of these apps do the same thing. They are quick reference guides for whenever you wanna look up a style description. Every style has a full profile with aroma, flavor, and so on, and even beers in that category. It's a nifty app, good for amateurs and connoisseurs; and at $0, you can't beat that price. With these three apps, you should find yourself trying new beers and inspiring friends to do the same. Just don't forget to rate them to help other people out. And as always, drink responsibly, people; which is exactly what I'm about to do. For CNET.com, I'm Sharon Vaknin. Cheers. That's good.