I’m at the beer store. I’m looking at the many bottles waiting to be placed in my basket. I see an interesting bottle of a style I’ve had only a few times in my life. The price is steep, but I’m too damn curious to pass it up. I take it home. Chilled and on my counter I open it and pour. First sip- GROSS! I just spent how much for a crappy beer? Let me see what others think of this. What? I’ve had this before!?! And I hated it then, too! Nooo!
That is an experience I’ve had a few too many times now. This is where technology really comes in handy, and finally, I’m able to take advantage of it. I’ve longed for a way to take a list of all the beers I’ve tried with me when I go beer hunting. I want to make sure the above scenario doesn’t replay itself again, and I want to be reminded of the good beers that I may have forgotten about. I tried to go old scholl and just hit the print button but caring a few pages of paper is annoying. Not to mention I always forgot to take it with me. I had an old Palm pilot that I tried to make a database with, but it was annoying and never really got off the ground floor. I also never remembered to take it with me when I went beer shopping. Enter iPod. I always have it with me because I enjoy the tunes it plays (I picked then out, after all). The other day I was reading some site that was talking about the Filemaker software available for Macs and it’s little cousin, Bento. My first thought was “I wonder if there is a iPod App for Bento.” There is (for $4.99).
I downloaded that, bought the full up version of Bento for my computer, and database building I went. It’s basically a spreadsheet with all my info available right at my fingertips. Mine has the beer name, brewery, rating, style, description, serving method, location drank, and date. Building it was easy and entering the info couldn’t be simpler. I have drop down boxes for styles, serving method, and breweries. Just a quick tap and I have a description (which varies from one word answers to full on paragraphs of loving devotion). I’d say the only annoying part is entering the nearly 1000 beer backlog into my new system. There could be an easier way than manually entering each one, but I’m no computer geek so that’s how I’m doing it. But it’s not so bad, I can get a good 20 or so in during a session each night and will get there pretty soon.
Ah, technology. I love you so. With my new portable database I won’t run into a beer I dislike twice ever again.