Apps Help Steer You to the Right Beer

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ibeer.jpgIn this city, it’s not difficult to find a good beer. Even In this city, it’s not difficult to find a good beer. Even Portland’s tiniest corner stores have a microbrew selection.

The real question here is, which beer tonight?

Will it be the Belgian wit, or the black IPA? Will you go to that pub around the corner, or venture out in search of undiscovered quaffs?

Technology is here to help you decide.

Untappd, a popular social drinking app for iPhone and Android, lets you interact with beer buddies who use the app, by borrowing a few tricks from Foursquare. Like Foursquare, Untappd lets you check in at bars to tell other users what you’re drinking and how you liked it. The app also lets you see what others are drinking nearby.

Those who prefer to drink at home can still check in, rate their beer and leave notes to guide other drinkers. Frequent users of the app can earn badges, from “Newbie” to “Risk Taker” to “Brewery Loyalist.” You can also link the app to your Facebook and Twitter to share your activity with social media friends.

Pintley, a free app for iPhone and Android, will keep you from spending 20 minutes in front of the beer cooler, trying to decide which bottle to choose. The app uses users’ beer preferences — Are you a wheat drinker? The lager type? Do you like hoppy beers? — to build a list of beers to try. After tasting a new beer, use the app to rate it for other users, and bookmark beers you liked enough to buy again. As you use Pintley, it gets smarter, using data from your recent purchases and reviews to suggest other bottles you might like.

Got a hankering for that particular microbrew you tried last month when it was guest brewing at your favorite taproom? Instead of hunting all over the city, use TapHunter to locate bars serving it up tonight. The free app, available for iPhone and Android, lets you search by beer, or browse nearby brewpubs to see what’s on tap. The drawback: TapHunter’s list of pubs is incomplete, and the event tab didn’t yield any results on a recent search, despite Portland’s wealth of beer-related events.

Just for fun, download the free iBeer app for iPhone and Android, which turns your phone into a pint that’s foamable, guzzlable and sloshy.

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