Beer Here Now

If you ask me, any data placed into the context of a map instantly becomes more useful and interesting. That's why Google Maps mashups are the best, and why I went bonkers over Flickr's geotagging a few weeks back.

Well, now I've found a new love. Last night, while enjoying a frothy stout at my most beloved local beerhouse, a visiting Chicagoan told me about beermapping.com—a site that has taken up the noble task of cataloging the finest breweries, brewpubs, beer stores and beer bars in US cities (23 and counting), and plotting them all on a Google Map for easy browsin'. And we're not talking any old bar with Tuesday night Bud Light specials—these are the places for serious devotees of the hops, places whose list of Dutch Weissebiers is longer than your arm (and most bars' full rosters). Not only is it an excellent source for travelers, it can help you rediscover your own neighborhood through the eyes of an enlightened beer drinker. And seriously, what's better than a little enlightened drinking? Cheers to you, beermapping.com—this next one's on me.
—John Mahoney