This App Is a Game-Changer for Anyone Who Wants a World Free of Wasted Beer

assortment of beer sitting atop a bar
Photo courtesy of World of Beer

A few years back, I splurged on a beer that was practically legendary. It was only available in small batches and very hard to find. So, with excitement, I picked up a bottle of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout. It’s an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels.

I like stouts. I like bourbon. I hated that beer. Granted, my palate for craft beers was still developing, but even today, I realize that I simply don’t care much for bourbon or oak-aged beers.

As I watched the sudsy brew flowing down my drain, I thought to myself: “This beer was supposed to be awesome! Everyone said so. Now it’s just money down the drain.” Then I reached for an old favorite.

Avoiding Beers You Don’t Like? There’s an App for That!

If only there was a way to learn which new beers you might love using your old favorites.

Now there is.

World of Beer, that wonderful chain pub that promotes all things great beer, has created the ALEgorithm app. The app, which is free, uses your beer ratings to recommend other brews you might like. Sound familiar? It’s really the same sort of technology Netflix and Pandora use to suggest movies and music you’ll like.

The beauty is that you may never have to buy a beer you don’t like again. You see, that beer you poured down the drain may be the second coming of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale to someone else, but it simply may not fit your tastes. Kind of like how someone who loves “Star Wars: Rogue One” may not enjoy “La La Land.” They’re both good movies, but they cater to different tastes.

Before you get too excited, we should warn you that, as of this writing, the updated app with the ALEgorithm feature is only available on iOS. According to some less-than-flattering user reviews on Google Play and some Penny Hoarders’ own experiences, an updated app for Android is not available.

The Penny Hoarder reached out to World of Beer to get an update on when it will be available to Android users, and according to their marketing rep, there “have been glitches, but it should work fine now.” Android users in our office did not find this to be the case. They could only download an old version of the World of Beer app that didn’t seem to have the ALEgorithm on it; iPhone users were able to access ALEgorithm just fine, though.

When you sign up for the app, click on “My recommendations.” It will ask you to rate 50 random beers. Give it a thumbs up if you like it or thumbs down if you don’t. Or you can simply skip any beers you’re not familiar with. Then it tells you you’ll have recommendations in 24 to 48 hours.

While this may be a great way to find the perfect pint at World of Beer, don’t forget, the chain allows you to sample beers for free before committing to the whole pint. The ALEgorithm can give you suggestions, but your taste buds are still your best decision-makers.

Where the ALEgorithm may help you out even more is at the store. There are so many beer choices today, and the shelves can be a little overwhelming — even if you have an idea what kind of beer you’re looking to grab.

If you want to pick up a six-pack of a nice, juicy IPA like the one you tasted and rated the other night, pull up your ALEgorithm app and see what it suggests. You can be relatively confident that the brew it suggests will fit your palate.

No one should have to witness the pouring of a beer down a drain. It just doesn’t need to happen. Thanks to the World of Beer ALEgorithm, the chances of it happening again are largely reduced. That’s putting science to good use.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others, especially when it comes to finding great beer. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.