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BEX - The Beer Exchange Cellar Management & Trading Tool

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Since getting back into craft beer and homebrewing in the past three years, I've built up a decent sized cellar; unfortunately I haven't done anything to track what I have and what I'm willing to trade. So when I was asked to sign-up for The Beer Exchange (BEX) and give it a test drive to review, I agreed in the hopes of finally getting my cellar cataloged (and perhaps that would lead to some much needed organization.)
After using it for about a month off an on, I am overall happy with the site, but there are a few quirks to contend with. On the plus side, from the email conversations I've had with Mark Iafrate (founder of the site) I think most of those issues will be resolved sooner rather than later.
So, first off a quick recap of how the site works:
1. Sign up at www.beerexchange.io You'll enter your address information (but other users only see the city & state unless you agree upon a trade) Very simple process and once completed you will be on the dashboard where you will have immediate access to your FT & IOS lists:

2. Add the beers from your cellar. The site leverages the beer database from Untappd, so you will find pretty much everything, including a lot of homebrews. If you do have something not listed, you will need to use the Untappd app to add it. The initial add only requires you to specify the quantity of a beer you have. Very easy to quickly add beers.

Once the beer(s) are added to the cellar, you can update them with additional information - year, bottle size, bottling date, batch #, price and notes.

3. Tag a quantity of the beers from your cellar that you are willing to trade.
4. Enter the beers you are in search of and add them to your ISO list.
5. Use the match tool to find other users who would be good matches for a trade. Review them and initiate a trade once you find them.

I have not gotten as far as executing a trade on the site yet, mostly due to how long it has taken me to get a reasonable number of my beers into the cellar. I don't foresee it being much different than trading on HBT though - one person initiates the trade, you negotiate and once agreed upon you ship. Just as on HBT, there is a feedback system for trades so you can build "goodwill" over time to be trusted.
When I first started to add to my cellar, I grabbed a dozen bottles and started adding. Out of those, four of them were found but gave a SQL error when attempting to add. I stopped at that point and emailed Mark to report the problem. By the next day he replied with a work-around (that worked without extra effort) and then the day after that they had posted a fix to the original issue so everything worked fine.
My next concern was the fact that there was no way to differentiate the release year or bottle size so you could uniquely identify the beer you had in the cellar. Again, Mark from BEX replied within a day to say that those additional fields were part of the next major release that was a few weeks out. So I kind of put this on hold until that update was released toward the end of September. It addressed most of those issues but there are still a few that will need to be further tweaked (i.e. if Untappd has a beer listed once, but you have bottles from two batches you can't really add them both - the added fields are provided for only one bottle.) I will be forwarding those to BEX and based on how they've reacted to date I feel pretty certain those will be addressed.
There are over 3,400 users that seem to cover a lot of geographical territory so finding people who have beers in your ISO list isn't that bad, but obviously more users will make the site work a lot better. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try!
Mark
 
so I tried to create an account using facebook, and says my account is banned. any idea what that may be?
 
@Eugenio that is a funky error that gets thrown by Facebook sometimes, and only for specific users (still trying to pin down why). If you create an account normally it should work fine. If it doesn't, feel free to shoot me an email and I'll make sure you get online.
 
I have no interest in trading, but having a good catalog of my cellar could be useful. At the moment I'm using the wishlist on Untappd as my catalog (while SWMBO uses her wishlist as our wishlist).
Would Beer Exchange work for a non-trader?
 
I signed up, it won't come up with any results no matter what I search for right now though, it worked fine earlier today. I think it's a great tool to keep track of your cellar and to trade if you want, but it's hard to do that if you can't get any search results...
 
Update - It's an issue with Untappd, Mark Iafrate emailed me very shortly after I sent an issue report. Sounds like they're on top of things.
 
@DromJohn Definitely. You can also keep your cellar private if you don't want to have people proposing trades to you.
 
@tacks yea sorry about that. Was a temporary issue with API call limits through Untappd. All of that is now resolved! Thanks for your patience.
 
This is a nice web app. I haven't used it on my phone yet but I can see me wanting to when I am shopping around looking for something. I have not entered any beers, but I signed up. Nice article and good exposure.
 
@MarkIafrate tired signing up, but says my last name isn't valid. It has an apostrophe in it and I'm guessing it thinks I'm trying to do an SQL injection. Any way around this?
 
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