Over the weekend I was out at a local brewery that has an awesome selection of craft beers so, naturally, I decided to work on a roundup of the best iPhone apps for beer drinkers. I worried there wouldn't be enough to choose from, however, so I quickly broadened my plans to beer and wine. But when I started working on it, I quickly discovered that even including both wine and beer, the selection of adult beverage apps was dismal. A couple social apps, a couple journalling apps, a couple location apps, but not a great selection of great apps.
That's not to say there weren't a few very good ones, but certainly not enough to do a proper "best apps for" post. In all my time writing app roundups for iMore, I've never had this happen before.
For beer drinkers, the only decent app I could find was Untappd which allows you to discover beers by checking out local pubs and viewing what others have to say about their beers. Even for living in a small area outside of Chicago, I still found some people using the app and rating craft beers. Outside of Untappd, I wasn't able to find any apps for beer drinkers that were worth using.
When it comes to wine, things weren't much better. I spent quite a bit of time signing into different wine related apps but there was absolutely no community behind them, which left them with no appreciable value. The only relatively useful app I was able to find was Drync, which is available for free. It allows you to view different wine selections and browse. The killer feature is the ability to save wines you like by scanning labels. You can even buy wine through Drync with little effort and have it shipped straight to your home. If you purchase 6 bottles or more, the shipping is free.
Sure, you can use non-specific apps, like Evernote to capture labels of bottles you like, tip calculators to figure out how much to leave bartenders and waiters, and general social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your experiences, but that can be said of almost any app category.
I did find quite a few apps dedicated to mixed drinks, like bartenders guides and mixology guides. I might still do a generic adult beverages round-up. But for casual drinks like beer and wine...?
In the Chicago and surrounding areas there have been several breweries and wineries popping up that have wonderful menus. From recent travels, I've also found several other areas really pushing local craft beers and wines. Anyone who looks for these places, places that feature local products, is in for a challenge.
Either I'm completely missing something or this is one of those categories on the App Store that's still underserved. Perhaps the market isn't big enough. Perhaps that's why some old apps have been left to fall out of date, or maybe no one has made the right app yet? Perhaps there's an opportunity here?
Let me know if there's a great beer or wine app you've found, or if you've looked into making one, let me know what you think of the market?