Two craft beer drinking friends, Aaron Presley and Aaron Godfrey, from Portland, Oregon combined their talents to launch a website, Brew Notice. This website notifies its users when new beers are tapped at their favorite craft beer bars in Portland, Bend, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Once registered on Brew Notice, a user can set up a notice that will sent them an email whenever a beer is immediately changed on tap or only once per day at 4:00pm. If you choose you could also only receive one notice per week on Friday.
For those traveling to town for the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference, Brew Notice recently created a special page on its website to help you all out with beers being tapped all around town and can be found here (https://brewnotice.com/cbc).
We here at Brewpublic sent the Aarons a few questions to see how they began Brew Notice and what lies ahead. Here are the answers from Aaron P, unless otherwise notated.
What made both of you come up with Brew Notice?
The idea initially came from Aaron Godfrey, who wrote a program that would text his phone when a few Portland bars changed their tap list. Our group of friends were quite offended that he was being selfish with this great idea, so Aaron Presley suggested they make it into a full-fledged website where anyone could sign up.
Initially we were getting a text every single time a bar changed their tap list, which was too much. Aaron P suggested making it into a daily email that summarized all of the beer tapped within the last 24 hours. We told a few close friends about the site, and we guess they told others about it because we’ve been getting new signups ever since.
Do both of you have a background in website development?
Yes, and that’s actually how we became friends initially. Both named Aaron and both into web development and beer? That’s weird. We should hang out.
Aaron G has more experience doing development, and Aaron P has more design experience. We think this combo makes for a pretty good pairing.
Have either of you worked on any other beer related apps or websites in the past?
Aaron G: As a fun side project to learn a new programming language, I created a beer rating/review site named Beer Suggest, which is now defunct. I also worked for a short time at Taplister.
Aaron P: Brew Notice was the first thing I’ve worked on in the beer industry, but have since been working on a project with a local brewery that’s still very much in-progress.
How does Brew Notice gather the taplist of the selected bars that are available?
The process is pretty simple to explain, but difficult to execute.
We wrote a program to visit each bar’s website every 10 minutes. If the bar’s tap list is different from the previous visit, the system takes note of the changes to be sent out in the next daily email (or immediately, if the user wishes).
Because every website is different, we have to write a special piece of code for each individual bar. This is obviously a little tedious and time-consuming, but after 116 bars we have a pretty good routine.
If a bar is not available and they would like to be included what is needed from the bar to become a part of Brew Notice?
There are only two requirements for getting listed on Brew Notice:
Your tap list must be available online and be kept up to date
You need to email us at email@example.com so we can add you to the site
Currently Brew Notice is available in Portland, Bend, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and most recently San Diego has been added. Which cities are next for Brew Notice?
Adding new cities is a pretty low priority for us. In fact, most cities get added because they are awesome beer cities and one of us was going to be visiting.
We don’t want to be in every city. Instead we want to focus on the big craft beer cities. So, future cities that we’d like to add (in no particular order) would be: Austin, TX, Denver, CO, Philadelphia, PA, Boston, MA, Asheville, NC, Burlington, VT, Minneapolis, MN, New York, NY, and Portland, ME.
We’re currently focusing more on adding features than adding cities, so there’s not really a set timeline for expanding further.
I noticed that there is a beta version of a Brew Notice app. Do you have a timeline for the apps official launch?
Our Android app is basically done, and our iOS app is currently in early beta. We hope to have both apps launched by the end of April or early May.
What does the future hold for Brew Notice?
More features! The one we’re most excited to add is the ability to get a push notification when a certain beer or brewery gets tapped anywhere within your city. This is something we personally want to use, as well as being the #1 suggestion from our users.
Outside of that, we don’t really set hard timelines for ourselves or make too many future plans. We try to maintain the mindset that this is a fun side project we’ve made for our friends and us. A lot of people have responded positively to that mindset, so that’s what we’ll continue to do.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.