Have you noticed the explosion in the craft beer market? Alex Dixon certainly has. Mostly, it’s a good thing. “Even five years ago, the options were a lot less,” says Dixon, a fan of IPAs year round and porters when it’s cool. But there is a downside to all the choices. It’s too much to remember. “I [would be] home taking a sip and remembering I hadn’t enjoyed this.”
Luckily, he’s the proactive type. “I’m all over the place. I have my hands in a few different things.” He barbecues, plays guitar and drums, and there’s one other thing. He likes to dabble in app development. “Development was really fun. Just learning something new. It’s what I like to do. I like to learn. If things get stale, I get frustrated.” He made an app called Brewzeit for the community of beer drinkers. Much like the small-batch beer he prefers, the app is meant for the Fargo/Moorhead area. “I don’t want this to be global or even national. I want it small, local, more niche. That’s all that’s relevant to me.”
For Brewzeit, he takes inspiration from zeitgeist, which basically translates to “the spirit of the time and place.” In a renaissance of craft brewing, consumers can use Brewzeit to keep notes about specific beers or beer recipes. “Most of the data lives in the app,” says Dixon, though there is a social element, too. The app can help you plan a happy hour. It functions like a Facebook event where friends can accept or decline.
Not into craft beers? No worries. “Other apps are 100% about the beer, for beer snobs. [Users] write about taste and mouth feel. Dixon says some users may give non-craft beers a 5/5 because, “some beers you drink when you’re having a great time. It’s all about the experience.”
Brewzeit is a free app, and he’s not looking at it as a potential money maker. “When fun hobby projects get turned into a business, certain things gets compromised. It’s either not fun, or the integrity suffers.” That said, he may expand into getting breweries involved. “Since I like Junkyard, and they know I like black IPAs, they could push notifications they just tapped one.”
Dixon is the creative marketing manager at Swansons Health Products. He studied visual arts and communications at UND.