So, I updated the site today adding two new features that I have wanted to add for a long time: Last Beer and Last Tweet.
Last Beer is a peek into the last beer that I consumed and checked into on Untappd. Don’t know about Untapped? It’s basically foursquare for beer and if you aren’t using it, you are really missing out. I’m a big fan and regularly use it to track my beer consumption and history.
Last Tweet is, as imagined, the last thing I tweeted, retweeted or replied on twitter about. It’s about as basic as it comes. I am a huge twitter fan/user and if you are not, you should be. Twitter is where it’s at and Facebook is incredibly lame.
The really cool thing about these two features is that they are both built and running on node.js. What’s more, Last Beer uses the Node Module node-untapped which I wrote back in march as my very first node module.
I will say that getting node.js up and running in my hosting environment was a big PITA, but only because my hosting environment in a shared hosting and running server processes is a big no no there. I ended up having to buy a VM and run it there. That meant a fair bit of research and what not on which service was better and cheaper and all that, but I finally settled on one in April. Once the server was provisioned getting node.js running was trivial. It’s really been a pleasure to work with once you figure out what you want. Perhaps I will blog about the experience in more detail at a later time.
Last night in anticipation of the upcoming JSConf, I released version 0.1.0 of node-untappd. node-untappd is a NodeJS API Client for using Untappd services. My hope is that someone out there might use this to make some really cool things that they will then share with me and offer to buy me beer for my hardwork. We’ll see how that works out.
If you are unfamiliar with Untappd and drink beer at all, you need to make yourself familiar. Untappd is a socail tracking application for beer. Think of it as FourSquare for beer. Users checkin, rate, comment, track, and share beer consumptions and notes. It’s an awesome little tool for keeping track of exactly what you are drinking, where you are drinking it, and what you thought of it.
node-untappd connect into the Untappd application by exposing the Untappd API to your Node application. You can do all kinds of queries, checkins, comments, and the like right from within your own tool.
You can install node-untappd by using
npm install node-untappd.
Make sure to read the README.md file
To learn more about node-untappd or see the source code at the github repository: http://github.com/arei/node-untappd.
To see the API details go to: http://untappd.com/api/docs/v3.
It’s been a long time since I posted, so here’s quickie to get me off and rolling again…
TOP FIVE BREWERIES I’M WATCHING LATELY…
Longtrail – Based out of middle Vermont where I spent most of my childhood Skiing. They’ve put together some really great brews recently. I’m especially big on their porter.
Clipper City/Heavy Seas – This one is local for me which I normally would discount, but they continue to please me with their beers. Favs include the Siren Noire and the fact that they are going to have beers at Camden Yards and I can stop drinking the swill there. Also, if you get a chance to do the brewery tour, the staff is made up of the friendliest people on earth.
Boulder – I’ve had tons of their beers on tap and in bottles and the Obovoid Oatmeal Stout in a bottle is hands down my favorite. I go out of my way for this brew and regularly stock it at home. Although I do have to say that a Flash Website sucks.
Breckenridge – So when I was actually in Breckenridge like 5 years ago for a friend’s wedding, we went here and I was unimpressed. Lately though, these have started popping up all over the mid-atlantic and I’ve given them another chance to my pleasent surprise. I suggested you do likewise.
Oliver’s – I’m not crazy about Oliver’s beers when I get them in bottles or at bars EXCEPT for at Pratt Street Alehouse. Oliver’s when it’s hand pumped, is one of my favorite things on earth. Nothing is better than Real Ale, and Oliver’s Best Bitter is one of my favorites. Look for me there prior to just about any Red Sox vs Orioles game.
Since moving to Maryland from Northern Virgina I have had two problems:
1). Finding good restaurants, and
2). Find a good beer store.
Jennifer and I are slowly trying out some of the lesser known restaurants and mostly avoid the chain places. Back in NoVA we had found a bunch of places we really, really liked. I guess this sort of this just takes time. So far we’ve found one place we absolutely love, Victoria’s Gastro Pub, and we’re looking for some more. I enjoyed Coal Fire Pizza which is new in Ellicott City/Columbia, but Jennifer has yet to try it as we don’t eat much pizza. Also, from the BaltimoreBeerGuy’s site (discussed below) I found a Howard County food blogger, so I’m totally going to start reading that as well.
On the beer front, I have been very unsuccessful. Everyone says go to Cooridor, but I was largely disappointed. A buddy said to check out a place in Clarksville, but I found it the same as every other liquor store. However, I have a hot lead… And while searching for the address to this lead, I came across a fellow beer fan’s site which I really enjoyed… and he also thought it a good place. So I’m off to check it out and maybe get a few decent beers I’ve never tried before.
Wish me luck!