Dig Baton Rouge

Beer in Your Pocket

By McCray Sutherlin

Whether you are an avid beer drinker, or a newcomer still learning his own palate, you can always learn more about the tasty beverage that you are consuming.

Enter “hopshack,” a mobile encyclopedia for discovering and learning about craft beer and breweries.

hopshack was founded by two promising young developers: Blake Butterworth, a computer engineering Senior at LSU, and Austin Slakey, a graduate of University of San Diego in Finance, now pursuing another degree in industrial engineering.

Operating out of New Orleans and available via Android and iPhone iOS, hopshack will empower the user with massive amounts of craft beer knowledge, but will also be extremely easy to use.  If you have any interest in craft beer, it will be insightful and useful.

“We get inspired every day by people our age that are doing so many amazing things, and I think we’ve always felt an itch to contribute to that,” Butterworth said.

“This connects to how we set upon building the app,” added Slakey. “We saw that the craft beer scene isn’t as welcoming to our generation. Much of the branding – ads, pub crawls, festivals – are geared toward an older crowd.  So, we set out to allow ourselves and our friends entry into this awesome world.”

hopshack is built around a database of over 6,000 beers which contains such information as alcohol percentage, beer type, brewery location, food pairings, and a short description of every beer. For those who are curious about what they’re drinking, it’s the perfect companion to a cold glass and a coaster.

“So, the first way that you can use it is to look up information about the beer in your hand,” Slakey said.

“The second main function of the app is to discover new beers. In the ‘discover’ section we recommend beers based on your personal tastes, the beers closest to you, and the refreshments that we’d pair with the food you’re eating.”

“We’ve built the app so that it is intuitive and not an overload of information for the newbie,” said Butterworth, “but it also offers plenty of ways for the old salts to find some amazing new beers.”

It seems only too fitting that such an incredible idea birthed out of a place that is always looking for an excuse to have a drink.

“Lousiana has definitely inspired us throughout the brainstorming and development process,” Butterworth said.  “This state has such a rich food and beverage culture that is stitched into the soul of the application.”

Recently, the hopshack team launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $6,000 in order to hire more developers and a graphic designer.  Last weekend they reached their goal; however, the more money they receive, the more gifts they will give and the better the app will be.

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