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New App Helps Beer-Lovers Find Best Craft Brews Across the City

By Mathew Katz | November 13, 2012 12:44pm

MANHATTAN — Now you can use your smartphone to find your favorite suds.

With craft beers on the rise around New York City, a tech company has launched the first app dedicated to helping discerning drinkers navigate hundreds of specialty beer bars around the city.

The app, Craft Beer New York, allows iPhone users to see detailed reviews of craft beer bars both near their current location and across the Big Apple.

All the reviews were written by Brooklyn-based beer writer Joshua M. Bernstein, the 34-year-old author of "Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution."

"It's kind of my brain in app form," Bernstein said of the venture. "For the last 12 years, I've been writing about bars and beer in New York, and I can't tell you how many questions I'm asked about them. The whole idea is I'm kind of with you every step of the way."

The app features detailed information on a total of 120 bars in its library, including menus, photos, and beer and food recommendations. Using the iPhone's built-in GPS, users can easily find a recommended bar close to them in any section of the city.

With its curated list of bars and in-depth guides for each of them, Bernstein said the app goes a step further than traditional review sites like Yelp.

"With Yelp, you've got crowdsourced wisdom, and crowdsourced wisdom can often be false — you don't know who user Johnny43 is," he said. "There's knowledge and experience behind this."

Craft Beer New York also provides insider info culled from Bernstein's years of experience, such as tips for avoiding crowds at notoriously busy hot spots.

"Places like Bar None, they have an insane beer collection — but are you going to get a spot there at 5:30?" he said. "So we've got tips for going at the right time and ideas for backup places if there's no room."

The app, published by Blue Crow Media, will be continually updated with new brews and bars, as well as events like the best pub crawls in the city.

Craft Beer New York is available for $1.99 on the iTunes App Store starting Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.