BeerMenus is a web site I’ve mentioned many times as a crucial resource for me for finding what beers my favorite bars in NYC currently have on tap, or finding nearby ones. This all of course assumes the bar keeps its BeerMenus page updated. Most of my favorite bars update daily.
BeerMenus always had a quite passable web app, but was always susceptible to the inherent issues of web apps; no/poor resume state on restart, non-native-feeling UI, etc. That’s all thankfully a thing of a past as BeerMenus now has a true native iPhone app. And it’s great. There’s not a ton to say about it since its purpose is relatively simple, at least for the time being.
The first tab, Places, shows you a list of nearby bars in its database, using location services. In each entry right from the index you can see if it’s a bar or a beer store, how far away it is from you, how many beers they have on tap/bottle/can, and most importantly, when the list was last updated. This list is in the Nearby tab of the Places tab. The second Places tab, and what I often use, is called Following. This is the function I always wanted most from the web app: quick access to a list of my favorite bars. If you create a free account with BeerMenus, you can mark bars or stores as favorites and always have quick access to them here. Boom.
The second tab, My Beers, is something I never really played with. It looks to be trying to provide similar functionality to Untappd. Since I already use Untappd, I really don’t have the need to check my beers into another service, but we’ll see where they go with this.
Next tab, My Feed, shows a feed of what beers are being added to the bars or stores you’re following, or when your favorite beers are being added. This is a cool feature I don’t use often enough, since I tend to just go right to my favorite bars to see what’s on tap.
The Me tab is simply a means to log in and out of your BeerMenus account. I suspect there will be more functionality here in the future. I do look forward to seeing what they do with it.
The last tab, Search, is exactly what it sounds like. You can search for beers or places.
What I always loved in BeerMenus was viewing the actual beers’ entries. From the list you could aready see what style the beer is, and its ABV. Tapping to view the beer’s info page gives a description of the beer, as well as what bars or stores have it. My one big complaint about this view is that when the description is relatively long, you have to tap a more link to expand it. That’s fine, but you have to go to a new page to view it, then back to its entry when you’re done. I never understood why this couldn’t be either just fully-expanded by default, or just expand in place when more is tapped. Hopefully that will be addressed in a future update.
All in all I’m super excited that BeerMenus is out as a native iPhone app. I use it often and can finally delete my stupid home page bookmarks for each of my favorite bars. I’m not exactly sure where they’re going with their social aspect, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
Get BeerMenus here for free.