I could say that Next Glass (free, iOS) is the love child from a drunken night between Netflix and Pandora because it helps you find craft beers and fine wines based on an intuitive four-star rating system; But instead I’m going to say it’s like my old friend Tony.
Tony was Irish and Jewish, like a shot of Manischewitz dropped into a pint of Magner’s. He could drink anyone under the table. And he tended bar with the best of ’em in Dublin. When we’d drink together, he’d say if you like this, then you’ll love that. And he’d be spot on pretty much all the time.
Enter Next Glass, your personal Tony. Tony asks you your opinion on nine beers, and then suggests for you your next glass based on what you’ve liked in the past.
The system can be confusing at first for those who are used to rating with five stars; however, it forces you to really think about what you prefer. For instance, I rated one star to Red Stripe Light, two stars to Foster’s Lager, three stars to Full Tilt Berger Cookie, and four stars to Guinness Extra Stout.
After rating nine beers, I received suggestions that included a lot of beers it had taken years for me to come across. And when you’re at the liquor store, Next Glass lets you scan any beer or wine and gives you a numerical score of how likely you would be to enjoy the drink, along with nutrition information and ABV.
There are a few downsides to Next Glass, however. First, when rating Sam Adams for instance, there are a limited number of beers to choose from instead of the sixty the company produces. Telling the algorithm you prefer cream stout to Boston lager is an important part of the ratings process.
Second, if you’re looking for an app that helps you find exclusively craft beers (as advertised), versus a multi-million dollar juggernaut masquerading as a ma and pa brewery, this ain’t it.
Third, the intuitive rating system would be great if it included spirits and cocktails.
Fourth and finally, I thought it’d be cool if Next Glass had an ”I’m enjoying it now” button with IFTTT functionality (like ordering a pizza), and tapped into your iTunes music to complement the mood, like Drinkify. I just suggested these ideas to the people over at Next Glass, and will publish an update alongside theirs.