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BellaOnline's Beer and Brewing Editor

Beer Hunting with GPS

You stand on the balcony, peering downward into the great room, the smells of pine and cinnamon drifting gently upward.  Your nostrils flare at the pleasant aromas, and you grin to yourself as you relive the previous morning when you opened your favorite Christmas gift.  Not a firkin of your favorite brew - although that would have brought a smile to your lips – but a techno toy that has the ability to lead the old horse to every watering hole in the district.  A GPS ?  Yes, a GPS!

GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite based navigation system that networks 24 orbiting satellites for the benefit of earthbound mortals with wanderlust in their souls.  Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for military purposes, GPS  Technology became available to civilians in the 1980’s for use by commercial airliners, professional fisherman, and cruise ships.  It has since expanded to encompass a broader consumer sector, including installation by car, bicycle, and airplane manufacturers and usage by campers, hunters, and tour guides. 

POI (point of interest) bundles have made the GPS a toy worth having.  To the beer enthusiast, the joy of the hunt magnifies under the guidance of all those satellites, orbiting at 7,000 miles per hour and powered by solar energy.  All that power to help you find beer!

POI Factory is a website designed for GPS users who are willing to share information, ideas, camera databases, and POI bundles that are organized alphabetically or by category.  There is a classification for “beer/breweries/distilleries” http://www.poi-factory.com/taxonomy/term/43  with 19 POI bundles currently available for download at no charge.  Lists include coordinates of each brewery, microbrewery, beer bar, or distillery, the name of the establishment, address, and phone number.  Categories may be broad - with 499 microbreweries pinpointed throughout all 50 states, for example - or more localized, focused on states, cities, or franchise groupings.  Swing from Wisconsin to Arizona and onward to Illinois, or seek the huge variety of beers available in Portland, Boston, New York and the Twin Cities.

For those with a GPS and a passion for beer or whisky, POI beer bundles can set up an efficient path to variety.  Without a GPS, POI bundles can still be downloaded as an Excel file for your easy reference in specific vicinities.  This system compresses hours of fingering through the Yellow Pages in a metropolitan area.  You can move effortlessly into the serious business of expanding your beer adventures with each new city that becomes a part of your travel repertoire.  You also have the freedom to create your own beer POI and share it with other members of the GPS community.  Share the love.


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