By James Reddicliffe
I was skeptical, I will admit, about a brewery releasing its own application just to sell their limited release beers. I thought to myself, “Aren’t online pre-sales enough?” Part of me wanted to skip the app, and the releases altogether, out of some weird sense of 20th century principle. Instead my curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded Sixpoint Brewery’s mobile app on my iPhone.
I felt myself starting to thaw almost instantly. The interface is easy to use and aesthetically pleasing, with three different sections: Explore, Finder, Small Batch. Explore lets you scroll through Sixpoint’s year-round offerings and specialty release beers, Finder lets you search for stores that have their regular offerings and Small Batch is where you can purchase one-time, limited release beers. It was the reason I downloaded the app, and my gut tells me it’s the reason almost everyone has.
Once downloaded, I started to get notifications about when the beer would go on sale, so I didn’t miss out. Featured this weekend were an IPA called Smoothie and a sour called, Galacto. At noon on Thursday I entered my credit card information, purchased one six-pack of each beer and selected a two-hour time block during which I would pick up the beer at Sixpoint in Red Hook (it’s really far out there.)
I wasn’t sure what to expect so I enlisted my buddy to accompany me to the brewery. If the release was a dud, at least I’d have company! Again, I was pleasantly surprised. After a beautiful walk on an unseasonably warm day we arrived at our destination. The taproom won’t be open until 2018 but we would be picking up the beer in an inviting courtyard with brightly painted murals decorated with hops, a DJ spinning eclectic tunes and empanadas being sold by “Empanada Papa.”
After displaying the app to the employee manning the gate we entered and commenced enjoying our Saturday afternoon. The app not only got us entry but also seemingly unlimited samples of the other beers they were pouring—A barleywine called Old Red Hooker, a one-off IPA with hops sourced from a specific farm and some others like the Berliner Weiss with raspberries, Lil Raspy.
After an hour, multiple samples, and an empanada each, we flashed the app again, gave my name and retrieved our six-packs of Smoothie and Galacto. Figuring we’d earned our keep with the three-mile walk there, we ordered a car using another app, Uber. So whatever it is--food, rides, love, beer?—there’s an app for that.