Thursday, July 26, 2012

Finding Good Beer in your Travels

Zeno's in State College
I love going to new and different places. I love finding a neat little beer bar. Sometimes you get lucky and walk into a place that has 8 awesome taps, other times it is all BMC. For me, I have started preparing before I get to my destination to know where I might want to go. But for those times when you show up, what can you do?

1. Think Local. Is there a local brewery or brewpub? Stop in and have a drink. Chat up the staff. Most will know the local beer bars and where their beer is located. 

2. Stay away from chain restaurants. I always try to stay local when eating, and I have yet to find a chain that has a good selection of quality craft brews. The big boys pay for this spot on the taps.

3. It’s all in the Apps.
  • Untappd- If you aren’t a part of it, it is a beer social network that allows you to log your beers, where you drank them and view what others are drinking. This becomes useful when you use the “Nearby” feature. You can see what other users are drinking near you, and many times where (the bar)- showing what is on tap at the places.
  • RateBeer Places app- RateBeer is a website that allows users to rate and review beer. Its app allows for you to search for a bar/brewery/brewpub using the GPS on your phone. Very convenient, and since it is a beer ratings app they bars have a star rating.
  • BeerCloud- BeerCloud is another app that allows for user input on bars and become “fans” of the bar. I don’t think this is as good of a resource as Untappd or Ratebeer Places, but it is another that could be useful.
  • Foursquare- This is good for letting you know that people are there, but it not being a beer app, there isn’t much of a filter on whether it is a good or bad beer place.
Overall, I like to preplan for my trips, but when you are there, you never know what info you want or need. Hopefully these tips can help direct you to good beer in the future.


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