Startup Atlanta interviews the Founder of Beer Book app.
It’s no secret: there’s a beer revolution brewing up all across the U.S.
After posting double-digit growth for 8 straight years and with more breweries today than ever before, you could say that the craft beer industry is booming.
With beer drinkers fueling up with a wide variety of fuller-flavored ales, the demand is clearly there. But, as a consumer, the growing number of choices creates a problem: where do you find your favorite craft beers when they aren’t produced in mass quantity or supplied consistently on a store-to-store basis?
Enter: Beer Book app.
The idea behind Beer Book originated from this very problem when its Founder, Derek Burns, was looking for a specific craft beer by Creature Comforts called Tropicália. During his search, he spent two hours going from liquor store to liquor store and even contacted the distributor to see where he could find it.
While an app to find your favorite beer may sound like a simple concept to develop, Derek has faced some unique hurdles as he’s brought the idea from concept to consumer.
Listen to the full interview below to see what challenges Derek Burns has overcome in developing his application, and how Beer Book can help you find the beer you want — when you want it:
Tell us more about yourself and your business.
Beer Book solves the ever-going problem of people being able to find the beverage that they want. With this micro-brewery industry that has recently exploded on a national level, the diversity and selection of beers is increasing every month which makes the dynamic incredibly hard for somebody to find exactly what they want.
We simplify this problem by aggregating data from many different places, repackaging it, and delivering it on a mobile platform that allows the user the ability to find what beer they want, when they want it, where they want it.
How did you know that “now” was the right time to start your business?
I think the app was born out of necessity.
I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ve had the experience to realize that there was a void in the market, that people would want to use it, and I knew that there wasn’t anyone else doing what we were capable of doing.
Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with challenges and obstacles, could you give us a specific example of a roadblock that you faced and how you overcame it?
Where do I begin?!
Initially, I thought it would be a piece of cake: just get a couple of beer menus, put them together, throw some icons together and *bam* we got a working mobile application.
The first hurdle, though, was retaining a human capital pool. Personally, I don’t know anything about coding. So coming into a tech sector not knowing anything about coding, I had to find people that did know how to do that. It’s diversification of labor: finding people to get the more technical aspects done like creating a cross-platform application for Android and iOS.
The next challenge was creating and managing a database of epic proportions. Right now, we have upwards of 400,000 locations and their corresponding beer lists. We’re talking millions and millions of beers. We had to create a database that was flexible enough to be able to incorporate all of that data, not to mention that it incorporates user input that is constantly changing as well.
The actual procurement of all this data is an arduous task in itself. This initially is not publicly available information, so we had to file Freedom of Information Act requests for liquor license data across the country just to give us the beginning basis of our establishment data.
In addition to Startup Atlanta, what other resources do you recommend that people who are starting up in Atlanta take advantage of?
Just go out to all the meetups you can. See what coworking spaces like Atlanta Tech Village have to offer. Network and build solid connections to expand your pool of human capital.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting up in the city of Atlanta?
Resilience wins races and perseverance pays off.
Wake up in the morning, get out of bed and actually start doing things — not just putting them down on paper.
If you’re a craft beer aficionado, then give Beer Book a try today!
Easy, convenient, and comprehensive: just three touches and you’re on the way to your next glorious gulp.