Phone in one hand and a pint in the other, Johnson explores the fusion of beer and technology • COURTESY Creative Commons

Bearface on beer: Better drinking through technology

Jon Johnson

There are a vast number of beer-related blogs, websites, and twitter accounts that can help you keep on top of what’s new in the beer world. Below are two specific services I’ve found to be particularly beneficial.
It’s all well and good to know about the new beers coming out, but getting your hands on some of them can be tricky. Even if a new brew does show up in your LCBO, you might not know it’s there before their stock is gone.

Enter Drinkvine. The LCBO’s website can tell you if a particular beer is currently available at your store, or if the beer you’re looking for isn’t in stock currently, but will be soon. You can keep going back to their site to check, or you could add that beer to your Drinkvine list, and let Drinkvine do that work for you.

Drinkvine searches the LCBO database, and tells you when the beers you’re looking for are available at the stores you prefer. They also have a news section, so you can stay on top of what the LCBO has coming soon. Some items may not be in stores for months, but if you add them now, Drinkvine will let you know when they are.

I only joined Drinkvine recently, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds. It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot of potential. I’d love to see an app version.

Untappd has become a go-to app for many beer drinkers. Essentially Foursquare for beer, Untappd allows users to “check-in” to, and rate, their beer. For someone who is always trying new beers, keeping track of what you’ve had and if you liked it can be tricky,; Untappd puts an end to foggy memories of your favourite suds. If you add some “friends” (my username is BRFC, let’s be friends!), you can find out what they’ve been drinking, and whether they liked it or not. You can add locations to your check-ins too, so your friends can know which bar you found that amazing one-off at, and go try it themselves.

If you’re interested in learning more about beer, and specifically alcohol laws in Ontario, The Princess Cafe is presenting a screening of Straight up – The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario at the Princess Twin on Nov. 12, a locally made film about our province’s alcohol laws.