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Monday, July 27, 2009
So you think your online tap list is slick, eh?
Dear bar and brewery owners: While some of you struggle with the concept of an updated and useful website, let alone the mere existence of one (though, fortunately, those are few and far between), a new bar in Manhattan has gone where I'm not sure any other bar has gone before...and it's about time. Rattle 'n' Hum in midtown Manhattan has been making waves for several months now as they grow their reputation with a large number of high quality drafts, four cask engines, growlers to go, and regularly occurring special events. The naming of the bar is no coincidence; It's not unusual to hear U2 playing across the band-inspired speaker system at this Irish-American pub. Sure they've got a website, an updated blog, and a weekly newsletter. Now, Rattle 'n' Hum is making it even easier to know what's going on at their bar. How many people do you know with "smart phones," iPhones and the like? I'm getting close to a year with my iPhone and have found it to be one of the most useful and invaluable tech tools I've ever owned, especially when travelling around whether near home or the other side of the country. The bar has an iPhone app that gives you everything you need to know about what's going on...draft list...bottle list...cask-conditioned beers...events...and contact information with handy-dandy links to easily map and phone the bar. The only thing that seems to be missing is a 'last updated' tag on the lists. With mobile computing and internet access only getting more prevalent, before you go and try to get a website started up, you might want to see what it'll cost you to get a mobile phone app up and running first. For people on the go and for people simply wondering where to go, this is the perfect combination of the web and mobile devices.
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That is a seriously wicked app. Not only can you plan your night around the tapping of one of your favorite beers...if you're in a spot where you can't see a tap list,voila, iphone.
No no no no no... please don't let this be a trend!! While I agree I want access to this information on my mobile device (or, really just anywhere from the web), the last thing I want is to have a dozen different apps (of varying quality and interfaces) for all my local bars and then have to download another dozen apps whenever I visit a new city.
I realize it's a hell of a pipe dream imagining every bar updating information to the same service/application, but look at something like beermenus.com that already does this pretty well in nyc and philly for the web and you have to wonder/hope they have a mobile app in the works too (or someone else does, hint hint).
Don't worry Michael..I don't see us being overrun with mobile apps anytime soon from bars. My primary intention in this was to get people thinking about how they can utilize technology to not only spread advertising-like messages around, but simply to get useful consumer information out in an intuitive, useful, and efficient format.
Can you tap the icon of the beer you want to order and have it delivered to your phone with location (GPS) technology? There was something similar at Drakes SF East Bay. Does the app tell you when the keg was tapped and how much is left in it? I'd also like to pay for my beer with a finger print or an iris scan. Oh, almost forgot, a breathalizer (avalable on iphone) so the bartender will know when to cut me off.......like now.
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