April 4, 2011
Once referred to as the IMDB of breweries, Brewery DB is, well, a database of breweries. But that’s not all – there’s information on hundreds of breweries and craft beer from around the world, along with supplemental information on alcohol content, year established – even the recommended glass in which to drink it. And if this isn’t enough beer awesomeness – it’s all free – everything.
“A lot of folks ask why we give the data away, and I mean we give everything away (everything but the images). The reason is that it encourages more people to contribute back to the library,” explains creator Shaun Farrell.
“My main vision of the site is something much bigger. I planned on using this library as the back-end to another site that I was going to build, however, I really didn’t think it would grow as fast as it did.”
Anyone can add a brewery or beer to the database. Entries detail the flavor description along with history, a pronunciation key, the IBU (which is a measurement that assesses a beer’s bitterness, strength and color), as well as availability. There’s also a bit of whimsy. Here’s an example:
Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, from the Half Acre Beer Company in Chicago, IL:
A west coast Pale Ale chock-full of dank, aromatic hops. This one’s a screamer, horde it.
Search by beer, brewery or by style and all the pertinent information along with other varieties available from that brewer is served up. Craft beers abound, yet even subsidiaries of larger brewers are represented. (For instance, you’ll discover that Cervecería Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma is a major brewery based in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, and is currently a subsidiary of Heineken International.)
Let’s revisit the issue of the openness of the data. It’s not just free to end-users, Brewery DB has an open API. Currently in private beta, the registration page explains the parameters (example: your application is limited to 100 requests per hour.)
Mull that over before your next Startup weekend…
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