Tapping into Philly’s thirst

Hophounds Jared and Kristy Littman have always been willing to trek across town for a certain special craft beer. Too often, they arrived to find they had missed the last pour by hours or even minutes. Determined to connect aficionados with their favorites, the pair launched PhillyTapFinder.com in Sept. 2010. We hit up Jared for the details.

How does PhillyTapFinder.com work?

Users can search for a specific beer that is available right now, or check out their favorite bar’s list. We go out and get draft lists, bars e-mail them to us, and we also receive “Tap Tips” from our users who are out and about drinking great craft beer.

What’s the response been like so far?

It’s been incredible from bars and consumers. I get e-mails every day saying this service was sorely needed. Kristy and I are very proactive and understand bars are very busy — if they forget to e-mail their list to us, we go and get it. It’s free marketing for them and they’ve been very receptive.

What are your plans going forward?

We’re working with our Web developer to open up some advertising space, as well as allowing bars and restaurants that meet our craft beer bar criteria to upgrade to premier level, to promote their happy hours and special events. I’ve also reserved about 20 domains throughout the country for future expansion to other cities.

With craft beer bars proliferating, what do bars need to do to stand out?

Two big things: Reach out for beers we haven’t seen – new releases, beer from new breweries and other parts of the country. And, of course, food. If you think of Standard Tap, which only has local beers, or Royal Tavern, where the beer list is just average, what do they both have that is special? Great food.