Nothing but "brew" skies for beer fans


File this on under "incredibly obvious million dollar ideas that you wish you'd thought up first."

Having met more than a few true-blue beer hounds in my day, I realize that I am, at best, a novice beer connoisseur. That having been said, I have a few definite preferences, and there's nothing like being able to mosey up to a bar and order my favorites. Unfortunately, however, I often find myself staring down the barrel of a two or three item beer list and wondering if I've somehow been magically whisked away to Mogadishu. Seriously, I understand that not everyone will have Double Black Stout, but can't we do a little better than PBR, Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft?

Well, my salvation has finally arrived.

Last month, Eric and Will Stephens, a pair of brothers, launched Beermenus. Basically an online restaurant and bar database, Beermenus allows users to check out the beer listings of hundreds of New York watering holes. Visitors can search by brand, restaurant, or neighborhood, and can compare prices at numerous places. They can then check out the restaurants' websites and get directions through Google maps.

Unfortunately, the site is still a little small, offering listings for only 170 bars. Worse yet, it only deals with bars and restaurants in Manhattan, and doesn't even really offer much above 96th Street. On the bright side, though, the brothers Stephens are already working on extending their database, and have plans to explore New York's other boroughs. Ultimately, they want to create Beermenu listings for other cities as well.

In the meantime, I have a friend in San Diego who might be looking for a million dollar idea...

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Living in Southwest Virginia, he had a friend whose "moonshinemenu" site was a real hoot. It wasn't quite internet-ready, as it was carved on the trunk of a tree...