The Thirsty Beagle: TapHunter a handy tool for craft beer enthusiasts

Monday, February 22, 2016

TapHunter a handy tool for craft beer enthusiasts

The test was simple enough.

Scroll through the TapHunter smartphone app, find a beer listed as in-stock at The Patriarch, and then head out to the bar to check out if I could indeed order said beer.

I embarked on that little adventure after the folks behind the TapHunter drink-finding app and website reached out to me recently and asked me to the give the app a test drive.

I can report that the app and The Patriarch passed the test with flying colors. And I can report the app has now found a permanent spot on my phone's home screen.

It's worth a download, especially for people -- you know who you are -- who may base the decision about where they're going on the beer selection.

For bars and restaurants that have signed up to use the app, it can provide consumers a real-time look at what's on tap, what's in bottles or cans, and what's on deck to be put on tap. Most listings contain beer style and ABV, plus some listed price information as well.

You'll notice I said it "can" provide this information. Of course the app depends on participating bars taking the time to update their menus.

The Patriarch did a great job in that regard. Everything listed on the app was on tap at the bar. I spoke to staff there, and they said they pay a modest fee each month to be listed. The time needed to keep things updated was definitely something they have to take into consideration, because it can add up.

That being said, the time put into it by bars like The Patriarch, Oak & Ore, and Slaughter's Hall -- there are nine bars signed up in the Oklahoma City metro area altogether -- was appreciated by me.

TapHunter strikes me as a great marketing tool -- I found myself scrolling through the menus of several different bars, and then thinking about when I might be able to make it out to grab certain beers.

While just seeing what's out there is interesting, once you start drilling down into the app, you find even better features.

For example, you can follow a location and opt to receive notifications when they update their tap list. Along the same lines, you can follow a certain beer and receive notifications when it is put on tap somewhere in your area.

And if you are looking for one particular beer, you can search for it and see all participating locations where it's on tap. When I checked the other night, Roughtail Hoptometrist was only on tap at McNellie's-Norman, according to the app. Meanwhile, Prairie Bomb! was on tap at The Patriarch and Oak & Ore, and in bottles at McNellie's-OKC, Urban Johnnie, Slaughter's Hall, Bricktown Brewery and McNellie's-Norman.

The app is free to download, and all in all, I'd say it's a great tool for people who are serious about their craft beer.

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