Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ATTENTION SPRINT CUSTOMERS: BEERNUTZ

I was dorking around in the “downloads” section of Sprint’s WAP portal – oh, for people outside of the wireless industry, which is a place I haven’t been in 13 years, that’s what you see when you’re paying for a data plan and click the “web” link on your phone – and I came across something that called to me like a fair-haired, porcelain-skinned siren on the rocks on Anthemusa: BEERNUTZ. BEERNUTZ is a downloadable application devoted to craft beer, and it runs on a subscription basis for $1.99/month. That’s quite a bit lower than most “apps” you can buy through your phone – about the price of a ringtone every month. On first blush, it’s a pretty good place to waste some time on a bus, on a break, or when you’re supposed to watching your kid at the playground. There are sections devoted to reviews (a strong lean toward both Belgians and Colorado-based beers, leading me to believe this may in fact emanate from Colorado), beer style guides, beer news, instructions of pairing beer with food, beer news, an events calendar, and quite a bit more. It’s written by a fella or fellas who take the tasting of beer pretty seriously; i.e. lots of description & evaluation of the beer from all angles, including the dreaded “lacing on the glass” angle. Example beers that they review & rate include those from GREAT DIVIDE, UNIBROUE, AVERY, LEFT HAND, OMMEGANG and more. For the most part you get a pretty good sense of their tastes, and their tastes are quite good.

Some things to improve on: frequency of updates; I just checked BEERNUTZ on September 24th, and their “Events” section lists stuff coming up on September 8th. That’s the death knell of any wireless application that requires the user to proactively come back on their own initiative – the content had better be fresh or forget about it. Hey guys, you want to syndicate Hedonist Beer Jive, I’m all for it. Also, “weird beer news” is about as lame as it gets. For some reason “beer” = “funny” for so many writers out there, so you get a disproportionate amount of blog postings about some European who took a bath in beer, a beer some knucklehead made for dogs, etc. We don’t need it in our lives, and we most certainly don’t need it on the friggin’ phone. I think a buck ninety-nine for BEERNUTZ is a fine deal for Sprint customers, and with a little more in the way of updates, it’ll be a mighty fine time waster for me in the months to come.

2 comments:

darren said...

I think Beernutz is/was a cable TV program? I don't have cable TV, but seem to remember seeing a beernutz program once or twice when visiting those that do. Related?

Steve said...

I know my buddy down in FL gets Beernutz on MOJO HD on DirectTV. Same station as the great "Three Sheets" TV show with Zane Lamprey. You can get info and tv clips of Beernutz at www.mojohd.com