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PubQuest screenshot of San Francisco

It was the mid 90’s, driving across Central Florida in my red convertible BMW Z3 with my bag phone tucked under my seat.  We called them mobile phones back then, a must have innovation that everyone wanted but few could afford.  Not too long after, the evolution of mobile phones continued becoming cell phones and eventually today’s smartphones.  Our smartphones hold more computing power than the computer systems that guided our astronauts to the moon and are now owned by everyone.  Tucked into our pocket, they are carried everywhere, indispensable to our lifestyle.  As a traveler, I find myself totally reliant on the multitude of applications available on my phone, airline apps, metro apps, mapping apps, restaurant review apps, and as a beer lover, brewery apps.

If ever there was a bone to pick with smartphone application developers, it’s here!  With so much computing power developers are compelled to make their applications ever so complicated forgetting the one sales principal we learned long ago: K. I. S. S.   Keeping it simple is the way to go, forget the complexities and avoid the clutter.  Without pointing a finger at anyone specifically, I can tell you to skip the badges and drinking games, forget telling me the tap list at TGI Friday’s and just show me who and where the brewery players are in the town I’m visiting.  I believe I’ve found the perfect brewery locator app for beer travelers and it’s PubQuest!

Beer lovers and especially beer-centric travelers will appreciate the simplicity of PubQuest, with its conveniently displayed beer related “places of interest” mapped and marked with a color-coded key.   The app exhibits brewpubs (brewery onsite with restaurant) marked in yellow, breweries (brewery onsite but no food) marked in blue-green and brewhouses (owned by brewery but no brewing onsite) marked in orange.  Click on the display badge and a window opens with the brewery name, an info button provides the address, phone number, website link.  The only improvement I’d like to see is the addition of a link to a review page which would help to steer me in the right direction, hitting the good and avoiding the bad.

The PubQuest concept was conceived 14 years ago by Julie Wartell. Working as a crime analyst and policing consultant, as she honed her mapping skills. Crime analysis is her specialty, mapping and analyzing crime and related data for crime prevention and reduction.  Craft beer is her hobby, Julie alongside friend and colleague Dave Bishop developed the PubQuest concept into a website which includes every craft brewery in the USA and Canada, roughly 8000 locations.  Insiders joke, “She maps crime by day and beer by night.”

Maintaining this database sounds like an ominous task, but Julie and her team are up for the challenge. Growing at approximately 100 new entries per month, the heart of their website and the heart of PubQuest is finding new local breweries and brewpubs. Coupled with the ongoing website and application improvements you have something that sounds like a bit more than a hobby! The PubQuest IOS app is available at the App Store with an Android version to be released soon.  A major website revision is about to be completed which will increase functionality and expand their limits.  The next generation of the PubQuest app will automatically notify the user of a nearby brewery, helping to identify beer drinking opportunities!

PubQuest Logo with web address

Please visit the PubQuest website, download the application (it’s free) and see for yourself.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate the simplicity and straightforward design of this perfect brewery locator app as you explore an unfamiliar city.  You’ll save time on your trip preparation too, enabling you to hit the ground running when you reach your destination.  Have fun, indulge and explore!

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The Beer-Centric Traveler writes for Play Harder Tours… Please email Bill@playhardertours.com and start your travel planning today! For a complete list of related recommendations please email with “PubQuest” on the subject line.  I’d love to hear your suggestions too.

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