Barcodes for Your Homebrew

You spend hours making your own beer and then bottling or kegging it, not to mention the countless time spent researching and planning for your brew days. When people hear you brew your own beer, they want to try it. Homebrewers give a lot of beer away, but we often never hear any feedback from the consumers (friends, family, strangers at homebrew festivals, etc).

Feedback is good. Feedback allows you to make adjustments to your recipes and your brew process. Maybe you’ve poured beer at an event where dozens, or even hundreds, of fellow homebrewers have tasted samples of your homebrew. Now imagine if you had the honest opinions from all of those people on your beer that they drank.

I like technology, especially when it makes life easier. Why not use modern technology to make it easy and convenient for consumers to provide you feedback?

About a year ago I started using the Untappd app on my phone to track all the various commercial beers that are on the market today. It’s convenient and easy to use. I quickly realized that I could use it to track my homebrews as well. I’ll input my beers, take photos, and make notes on them. With the information input, I can go back and review my previous batches at a later time. One good thing about Untappd is that even if my computer crashes all of that information is not affected. Plus, the information is accessible from anywhere. It is also good for quality control when you are aging a beer you can see how you rated it over time. The best part about this is that it’s practically free and you can utilize the same technology that the commercial guys are using.

While this column is going to be about how to make barcodes for your beers and make it easy for people to rate your beers on Untappd, it should be noted that you can use different styles of barcodes to go to a specific website, which is good if you want to use something instead of Untappd, promote your homebrew club, or maybe for a homebrew competition advertisement. Or, you could barcode your brewing grain containers and speed up the inventory or ordering process. Using barcodes isn’t necessary for the Untappd app (you can manually search for a beer or brewery, too) but it does speed up the search process significantly, and it’s fun!


Labels or paper
Computer with Internet
Untappd app