Friday, January 25, 2013

Happiest Hour: Beerfarmer.com

Posted by on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The only thing we at the Indy like better than beer is beer we didn't pay for. So this week, we're going a different route with Happiest Hour, highlighting a brand-spanking-new website that allows you to gift local brews to your friends without leaving your laptop. It works long-distance too, so Mom, start taking notes...

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This week: Beerfarmer.com

Anywhere, anytime: The act of spotting a friend a beer just entered the 21st century. Missoulian Dave Evans has partnered with local brewers in launching a website to allow people near and far to “gift” pints for folks here in town. Beerfarmer.com—partly inspired by the Buddy Board at Snowbowl—lets you purchase a beer online from select vendors, then sends a digital coupon that the recipient can cash in at any time.

How it works: Whether you lost a bet involving a pint or are just in a generous mood, beerfarmer.com is pretty straight forward. Just set up an account, deposit some cash via PayPal and select one of the participating breweries. Then you simply enter your friend’s phone number and they’ll receive a text message informing them of the pending gift. Drinks are equally easy to claim. Once you get the text, create an account at beerfarmer.com to access the coupon from your mobile device. Show it to whoever’s working the taps and presto, beer. One small hitch: Recipients have to have a smartphone to collect their gifted beverage.

Who’s on board so far: Beerfarmer.com is a week into its pilot phase, and only two breweries have signed on to date—Bayern Brewing and Draught Works. Jeff Grant, co-owner at Draught Works, says the brewery got involved because the site sounded “innovative and neat.” He adds the taproom saw quite a few beer gifts show up on smartphone screens in the first week. We can’t really complain about the current limits of beerfarmer.com, since both participating breweries have plenty of tasty pints to choose from. And beerfarmer.com is bound to spread across town fast, as any hip new beer-centric idea does.

Where to start: Eventually, beerfarmer.com is hoping to expand its gifting potential to growler fills and special deals. For now, though, you’re limited to pints at Bayern and Draught Works. Go to beerfarmer.com, create an account and get gifting.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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