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How to Manage a Beer List

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Ever been down the beer aisle and been overwhelmed? There are so many choices these days that it can be challenging to remember everything you like. Pull up your list and you’re all set, whether buying an old favorite or branching out.

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Drinking craft beer is truly an experience. It’s a mix of the venue, the can design, the people you’re with, and, obviously, the beer itself.

Whether it’s a stout in the winter or a crispy boi in the summer, craft beer isn’t just about drinking alcohol.

But what if you want actually to RECORD your thoughts from that experience? What if you kept a beer list?

Sure, not everyone isn’t into logging, ranking, and managing a beer list. It might take away from the experience, even make you less-than-social at the brewery.

But there are several advantages to taking note of the beers you drink.

First and foremost, you get to remember every beer you’ve had. If you’re into trying new beers, and even learning more about beer, this could be huge for you.

And yes, your preferences can change over time so it’s also interesting to see how that works.

Second, you get to swap notes with others, sparking up a conversation about one of the best hobbies ever. Let’s be honest… craft beer is super social.

Third, it helps you out at the store.

Ever been down the beer aisle and been overwhelmed? There are so many choices these days that it can be challenging to remember everything you like.

Pull up your beer list and you’re all set, whether buying an old favorite or branching out.

Finally (and this is super nerdy), you can run stats on your own preferences.

Do you usually prefer stouts or imperial stouts? Do your IPA ratings drop in the winter?

There are several beer tracking apps out there that can help you manage this data however you want. You can record everything from notes to your personal grade to the packaging in which you consumed the beer.

There are options to post pictures, share your location, and even get social with it by tagging your friends.

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But there are other ways to do it too.

Believe it or not, I know people that still record their grades on paper. In some ways, it’s convenient. No need to open an app and type things out. Just quickly add, erase, update, and move on.

My preference, though, is an online spreadsheet. It allows me to design it however I want. Apps are great, but they can be slow when you have to search for your beer, venue, flavor characteristics, etc.

It’s also mobile, just like a dedicated beer app. Plus, I can share it with my other friends who use the same method. I can always export it too if I feel like messing with Microsoft Office.

Lastly, If I’m feeling fancy, I can manipulate the data in a bunch of different ways.

I can sort by IPAs, drank from tall boys, in 2017 for example. I can even make graphs and charts to look at different ranges of data. (Some apps can do this too but not as quickly or easily).

Don’t get me wrong…I use a beer app too.

I love the social side, getting to see if my friends have tried the beer I’m drinking and what they thought. The interaction with the big social media platforms is a nice touch too.

But the simple and straightforward design of a spreadsheet works really well for me. Make it how I want and make it do what I want.

With over 7,700 beers logged, and hundreds if not thousands in the cue, I’m pretty happy with my choice.

No matter what works for you, efficiency is key. Nobody likes being on their phone the whole time they’re at the brewery.

The smoother the process, the better.

As you fill up your beer list, let us know what method you prefer.

Do you use an app? Spreadsheet?

Rather just drink?

Beers to you, Houston.


Brent is originally from Ohio but has been in Houston for over 10 years. As an Aggie, musician, animal advocate, and Lego collector, he always has something going on. If you have an imperial stout, come find him. He’ll want to add it to his insatiable beer spreadsheet.


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Brent Topa
brent.topa@beerchronicle.com
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