I really enjoy collections and record keeping: baseball cards, concert tickets, stats on my music-listening habits, and ballparks that I’ve visited, among many other things. I also really like beer, and visiting breweries. So I’ve decided to start a side project based around these interests.
Some friends and I went to Maine last weekend just to hang out on one of their lake houses on Panther Pond, an offshoot of Sebago Lake (which, in case you were wondering is in fact the SECOND largest lake in Maine, after Moosehead Lake. This was a point of contention on the trip). Since we were up there, we decided to visit the Allagash Brewery in Portland, a wonderful place that makes several delicious Belgian inspired beers. This was the third brewery trip for me in three days, as earlier in the week I visited two nano-breweries located in Everett: Night Shift Brewing and Idle Hands brewery, both of which are more than worth checking out. This sudden surge of tastings and brewing exposure left me feeling like I needed a way to collect the experiences.
This desire, along with having seen Pop Chart Lab’s awesome ‘Breweries of the United States’ poster, pushed the idea of a site that will allow users to check off breweries that they have been to, and see a visual representation on a map of their current journey. Of course, this experiment is as much for me to learn as it is for usefulness, as I’ll be able to delve into the Google Maps API, as well as work more with PHP and MySQL, which is how I’ll store the data.
Who knows where this will go, or how useful it will be, or how much I’ll learn, but I’m excited about the idea of being able to better track my brewery visits. There are a ton of breweries listed in the U.S., so I’ll definitely be starting in the Northeast and working my way down as time goes on; I get the feeling that inputting the data for the breweries is going to be the easy part.
A current goal of mine is to hit all of the Major League ballparks in the nation; I’ve been to 11. The idea that I will be able to get to all of the U.S. breweries listed is completely absurd, but the journey there will certainly be a blast. And hopefully I can make it better organized.