Tapping into the Craft Beer Craze
From IPAs to IBUs, the beer world not only has a lingo all of its own, but also its very own single platform, app and more.
Taplister, which combines crowdsourced tap lists with menu management software, enables consumers to discover craft beers and bar and restaurant owners to promote them, announced its new website and app for iPhone. Additionally, the company announced its integration with RateBeer and Foursquare. While Ratebeer helps to make the craft beer discovery platform an educational experience (by providing detailed beer descriptions), the integration with Foursquare helps the company expand to new cities by using Foursquare's location information. Taplister doesn’t have check-in capabilities yet, but already has thousands of bars and restaurants listed in more than 50 cities.
There is big money to be tap into. This craft beer niche accounted for $8.7 billion of the $101 billion beer industry in 2011 with one third of restaurant companies spending at least $300,000 on technology (Brewers Association).
Beyond the numbers, there is an increasing number of self-proclaimed beer geeks, like the company’s CEO, Kerry Finsand, who call from bar to bar looking for a popular or up-and-coming craft beer. They also hop from website to website, only to continually find dated tap lists.
The disconnect is two-fold. Most bars and restaurants do not have a way to seamlessly update and promote beers on tap. They also have little to small marketing budgets. Taplister addresses both needs
Taplister’s tap list management system allows bars and restaurants to instantly publish their changing beer menu to a Digital Beer Board™, Facebook, Twitter, mobile devices, a website and Taplister.com. The Digital Beer Board is the first digital signage platform for bars and restaurants designed specifically for craft beer menus, and displays rotating taps and additional information in real time inside establishments. For businesses, the fee for Taplister's services range from free to $99 a month (consumer services are free).
As for extending beyond beer, Finsand says wine would be the logical next step. He’s had different people contact him from the wine industry. But first, he wants to fully dial in on the current platform.