Featured Contributor: Adam McIntosh @
The craft beer industry is right on the cusp of another boom. Some would say that the boom is already happening with roughly 3,000 craft breweries currently in the United States . It seems though that the craft beer industry is missing a link between the world of IT (or computers) and itself. Yes there are dozens of sites, such as this site itself, BeerAdvocate, and various other sites. There are countless blogs, podcasts, and even media sites dedicated to craft beer. Each day these apps, blogs, forums, etc. are growing. But like Sam Calagione and DogFish Head Brewery were the catalyst for craft brews becoming popular again, the current craze is missing a catalyst itself.
Dogfish Head has been credited with starting the current craft beer fad, Sam Calagione brought something to the table that mass produced beer didn’t have – flavor. In 1995, that was what set DogFish Head apart from the other widely available beers in the market. That was what made it so appealing to people at the time. It wasn’t watered down, brewed to the effect of quantity over quality.
In the realm of social media, computers, mobile apps and the ever growing technological sphere, the craft beer industry just seems to be lacking something. Beer Advocate, one of the more popular sites, has many great qualities. Forums, beers, breweries, articles, recipes, a magazine, there is an abundance of material in the craft beer realm. It’s a great site, I enjoy it, I visit it many times, but its missing something. It even has a phone app-which also feels like its lacking something. For every brewery, beer and festival you can find a news source, a forum, a blog (like this one), or a website dedicated to each of those. All of them missing that ‘IT’ factor that DogFish had setting itself apart from the competitors.
Originally I thought that ‘IT’ factor was mobile apps, which led to the discovery of Untappd, which in my opinion is the Myspace of craft brewing. I don’t think there is a, yet, a Facebook, of the craft beer industry. There’s an app that pairs your food with beers, I don’t remember its name, but I found it perusing the internet for craft beer apps. The other app that looked cool was TapHunter which helps you discover what’s on tap at nearby restaurants and bars (There’s another one similar called iTap or something to that affect). Another great app, but again lacking. The are many other craft beer mobile apps. Untappd and TapHunter seem to be the most popular, but they are both lacking a catching spark.
This catching spark will replace cheap beer at college parties and get craft beer talked about even more. I am one man with an opinion and of course I could be wrong, but in the meantime when I’m not at my day job(ironically a computer programmer), or enjoying a craft beer, or penning my opinions to this blog, I’ll be in search of and maybe even give the craft beer industry that spark needs.
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