BrewDog: Tasting Notes Mobile App

Ideas for the brewer’s extended mobile app offering.

I was making a next day BrewDog for a party at the weekend. At 9:10am the order rocks up, and we bask at the beery delights that will be ours to devour come 5:30pm. It was a long working day, but well worth it. The night was excellent, and the BrewDog beer flowed…fast. Too quick in fact that I don’t even have any pictures to show for it.

And if you don’t take a beer pic, then it was never happened…

However, I will give a special commendation to BrewDog’s Elvis Juice, a 6.5% American IPA, packed to the rim with grapefruit for an extra citrus finish. Amazing!

When we did get the beer order delivered, the BrewDog box was accompanied with some additional pamphlet info, one summarising when to drink a beer (age or drink now) and one directing to a section of the website for inputting tasting notes.

The tasting notes pamphlet from our BrewDog beer order

This was the first I’d heard of the tasting notes section, so in curiosity, I hop straight to the url to see what it’s all about. The link takes you the to form below. You input your name, email, beer name, batch number and submit your tasting notes. Upon confirming, you receive a thank you message.

BrewDog website tasting notes submission form

I’m guessing this submission is sent to a particular email address for gathering user feedback on beers. I could not confirm, but my hunch would be that BrewDog separate each beer name submitted and gather data on user submitted feedback.

There are a few things that BrewDog could be doing with this data:

  1. Marketing materials such as blog posts and expanded tasting notes on each beer’s order page. For example a ‘This is what other people say about beer X’ style paragraph.
  2. Operational decision making, such as what beers users are most invested to submit feedback on. Possibly for prioritisation of future beer batches.
  3. Brand loyalty, to give the end user an extra opportunity to continue their beer journey with BrewDog. It adds one more layer to the conversion funnel for the consumer journey.

Note: I was making this post too long by talking about the conversion tunnel, so you can check out that draft here instead.

I cannot confirm what the tasting notes conversion is. No doubt BrewDog has it all figured out. Just when I saw it, my thinking was that this could be amazing in an app form. The tasting notes would add an exciting new layer to the BrewDog mobile app.

The tasting notes app

For me, the natural progression for BrewDog on the tasting notes site would be to integrate it with an updated BrewDog app. The current app is used for searching nearby bars, and the available beers on tap. Convienant and fit for purpose, but limited in use. The potential however, is unlimited. BrewDog have a solid user base, and could create a rich data driven app, where users can input tasting notes from the convenience of their mobile device.

The current BrewDog Android app

BrewDog could capture tasting notes by enabling the user to ‘check-in’ what beer they are drinking, where they are drinking it, and allow them to submit tasting notes straight from the app.

Not only has the gathering of tasting notes become streamlined, but BrewDog now has an internal tool for capturing what beers their fans are drinking. Below is a list of thoughts on how BrewDog could approach the tasting notes app.

The tasting notes Categories

The app would have a dedicated sub tab for tasting notes. You would have the option to submit a new tasting note, or view previous ones submitted at earlier dates. My current suggestion would be to break the input data into the following tabs:

  • Beer Name: Dropdown list or autofill of BrewDog beers. Makes it easier for BrewDog to categorise beers being inputted to the app, and avoids spelling/grammar errors.
  • Sampled: Location based (check-in) or manual entry. Find out where people are drinking, whether that is a BrewDog bar, stocklist of at home.
  • Serving Type: Draft, keg, bottle, can, growler.
  • Flavour Wheel: A touch to tap flavor wheel. 33 Books beer journals do an excellent paper based version of this. A flavor wheel in app form would result in intuitive means of inputting tasting notes. BrewDog also gains clear touch points to the exact words and ratings for their user submitted feedback.
33 Beers Tasting Journal Flavour Wheel

Additional notes: Similar to BrewDog’s current website form, there would be space to manually enter additional tasting notes.

So that are my initial thoughts. I enjoyed this topic so much, that I’m going to follow up on it next week. It was just a bit rushed today, but there is so much to explore on this topic, and it is an area I both understand and get very invested in.

So next week I’ll sit down, do some sketch mock-ups, play around with the idea of how this would work in app form. Everything will be posted up on Medium, so be sure to follow me if you’re interested in being kept up to date.

It would be really interesting to hear your thoughts. Are you a BrewDog fan and would like to see tasting notes used on a mobile app?

Thanks for reading!

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