Brewing software has been around for a while but it has had its ups and downs. One of the oldest out there is ProMash and when it came out it was very good. My only complaints were that it seemed too complicated, there was no technical support, no upgrades, etc. Slowly less and less updates came out until finally nothing. Other software, like Brewers Workshop, came out and it did OK but again updates were not forth coming. in recent time it seems some one has re-launched Brewers Workshop but we do not know of anyone who has evaluated it. Today, like most software, you are either in the PC camp or MAC camp. So that is what will be used to describe what is seen in the market in June of 2013.
A few members used iPads or iPhones for their brewing software. It is a quickly expanding market as a number of new products have arrived on the market with more arriving daily. It will be interesting to see who can survive. Most people say it is much more convenient to use an iPad instead of a PC on brew days so now the search for software is on. There is also a product called BeerAlchemy from Kent Place Software for Mac and iPad ($9.99) but have not run across someone who has tried it. There is also talk of another program called iBrewMaster but it is a little more at $12.00. A frew application that a few members are using is Brew Pal. It has recently been upgraded and is quite nice though not particularly sophisticated. Brew Pal is also available on the iPhone but like most phone applications it is limited to what it can do and show. Now in the last couple of week Beer Smith has come out with a mobile version that works on iPad, Kindles’s and other devices. It looks to be the same full feature version as the PC. See below for more information.
There are a couple of different software package we all use to create our recipes and guide us through a brew day. Personally, I have used ProMash from years. One product I was told about was Strange Brew. It seems it was a good product but again being about to keep up with new features and updates may have finally done it in. They are working on a web version but it is not complete at this time. Another product mentioned above, Brewers Workshop, is making a comeback with a new release in the windows market. I have recently changed to Beer Smith and have found it to be easier to use and there is a lot of help available for it. He also puts out newsletters, blogs, podcasts and tweets. At the beginning of 2013 he introduced a “Cloud” for storing and sharing recipes. You can store 10 for free and then there are paid levels after that. Groups can get group locations to store club recipes. Now with the release on mobile devices it seems this could be the #1 product on the market.