We are all pilgrims on the same journey – but some pilgrims have better road maps.
– Nelson DeMille
Like any other form of travel it pays to be prepared when beer traveling. For some this means meticulously planning and plotting your visits while for others it means being prepared for spontaneity. Whether you identify with the former or the latter you will benefit from using BreweryMap.
I first learned about BreweryMap at the 2011 GABF when a seemingly random passerby was sporting a shirt with the logo. At the time Maria and I had been talking about mapping our brewery visits as nothing I had seen online really seemed useful. So I checked it out and seemed like and answer to our dreams.
Not only does it have a huge database of breweries but the interface is simple and intuitive. Many times an app will try to do everything rather than focus on a few things and do those exceptionally. This covers the basic needs of a beer travelers: Researching breweries in city you plan on visiting, plotting the breweries that are on your path from one place to another, and letting you know if there are breweries near you at given point.
RESEARCHING DESTINATION CITIES
If you are planning for a future trip the web version of the BreweryMap is really useful. Just type in the destination and the search radius you would like to search and voila a list of breweries is plotted instantly on a slick map that provides basic information such address, phone number, and the brewery’s website.
I recommend picking out a handful of breweries that your are interested in and making a note of the hours they are open and whether they serve food or not. You can use this list to schedule your visits or as reference for when you are actually in the city and want to improvise a couple of visits.
HERE TO THERE
If you are planning a road trip they have a really nice feature that will show you breweries on your route.. Just enter your start and end points and define the search radius and you will get a map connecting the two points and displaying all the breweries on your path.
If you are on a tight schedule I would recommend using a narrow search radius (5-10 miles) so that you will get results that won’t take you too far out of your way. If you are more adventurous and have some time to explore, a wider radius can reveal some hidden gems that are off teh beaten path a bit.
BREWERIES NEAR ME
The feature we use the most though is on the app and that’s the “find breweries near me” function. Simply open the app and click the cross hairs button in the upper left hand corner and it will use your current location to automatically show you the nearest breweries. This has come in handy several times when we end up in an area we didn’t have time to research.
Even if you are a local it pays to try out this feature. You might be surprised to see there are more breweries near you than you think. You can define the search radius with this function as well. (The app can do everything the website does, but sometimes it is good to have a bigger screen to get the whole picture.)
BreweryMap has been an essential part of our travels and has found us many places that we weren’t aware of. The website is free and at .99 cents the app is a steal. Of course if you are looking for more from your beer travels you could join the Society of Beer Travelers which includes the app when you sign up.