If you ever thought you should be rewarded for drinking lots of beer, here's your chance. A new iOS app turns drinking into a game, giving you points, and ultimately physical rewards, for guzzling down microbrews.
BeerHunt, an app created by incubator The Monkey Inferno, launched today at the Demo Mobile conference in San Francisco. The creators described it as a kind of Foursquare for beers. You get points every time you log a beer into your beer profile depending on what type of beer it is. More points if it's a rare beer, a beer from a far away country, or simply a beer you've never tried before.
For example, when Product Manager Shaan Puri logged a common Bud Light, the app stripped him of all his points. But, he added, everyone will have a different score based on their previous drinking experience.
The score is kept on your profile, called the "Drink-o-graphic," which also provides you with tidbits, like when you had your last beer or how much beer you've had in the last month.
The points place users on a leaderboard with friends and lets them unlock badges. But, it isn't all about fun and games.
"Is this a business or is this a toy? It's both," he told conference attendees. "Beer is the third most popular drink in the world, after water and tea."
The craft brewery industry has exploded in popularity, but the marketing side of the business is not developed, Puri said. BeerHunt is about giving craft breweries -- which don't have the resources to buy splashy superbowl ads like commercial beer companies -- a way to market to beer lovers, Puri told CNET.
While users can only use points for bragging rights at the moment, BeerHunt plans to add deals for free beer and other rewards, like beer-related swag or brewery tours.
"That's on the horizon," according to Puri. He said the BeerHunt crew has already rewarded beta testers with private tastings, a result of a partnership with a brewery. BeerHunt is also working on adding taste profiles for beers to provide some education for those who have less craft beer knowledge.
Until then, users will just have to drink up and rack up the points.