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Travel app for buying beers from abroad: Buddy Beers

Berlin Beer Festival - beer & sausage

BEER! Beer. Beer. Beer. Beer. Beer. Beer! Do I have your attention? No? How about this: FREE BEER.

Okay, well I don’t have any free beer for you. Yet. But I recently discovered a great new iPhone app that allows you to give and receive beer from wherever you are. Which is exactly what is missing from my life—the ability to buy beers for my friends when I’m millions of miles away.

Buying beers for friends

One of my bucket-list items (read: 25 things to do before turning 25) has been to occasionally pick up the bar tab for no good reason. There’s something satisfying about buying a beer for a friend. I probably definitely don’t do this enough, but that’s why I have friends—to remind me. Or better yet—new Berlin start-ups like Buddy Beers.

The premise for Buddy Beers is that you can buy beers for friends from wherever you are. If you’re running late and want to buy the first round. Or, if you’re like me and you’re in Berlin while some of your best friends are in Austin, Boston, Seattle, New York or wherever else. Buddy Beers is still a start-up (only in 8 countries so far), but the ability to buy my friend in NYC a beer when I’m here in Berlin is…well…just awesome!

Basically the premise is this:

  1. Use the app (or their website) to select a lucky friend you want to buy a beer.
  2. You then select the city in which you want your friend to be able to receive their beer. Maybe they’re traveling through Bangkok next month and if you’re already familiar with the city, you can choose a cool bar (so long as it’s on the list) for your friend to visit.
  3. Within the city you’ve selected, you select one of the participating buddy bars. (check out a map of all the buddy bars worldwide)
  4. Not only do you choose the bar where your friend gets their free drink, but you get to select their drink (and how many of ’em), too!
  5. You can then add a personal note and then bam! They just got a free beer. And maybe you’ve just introduced them to a cool bar in whatever foreign city they’re in, too.


I think this app could be a great way for travelers to connect with friends back home and vice versa. As soon as there are more participating bars in Boston and other American cities, I definitely plan to send a few beers to my friends that way. Until then I have some friends who are traveling through Bangkok soon and they should maybe expect a beer or two. Just because I’m not jealous enough of their holidays!

You can read more about the Buddy Beers iPhone app on the Buddy Beers blog. Also, a quick aside: if you’re interested in reading more about beer around the world, check out the Inspiring Travellers’ post about Beers of the World.

On the ‘net:
Map of participating bars (8 countries): Buddy Bars

Am I writing too much about Berlin? About the Berlin start-up scene? About how amazing this city is and all the amazing things happening here? Well too bad. While living in Berlin I’ve increasingly been interested (and often involved) in the bustling start up scene here and I plan to occasionally highlight start ups I find interesting, unique or helpful to travelers. Be sure to subscribe for the latest posts and follow me on Facebook for travel news, photos & personal stories on a more frequent basis.

  1. Peter says:

    Great shit!

  2. Cheryl Howard says:

    How come you haven’t bought me a beer yet? :P

  3. Cheryl Howard says:

    How come you haven’t bought me a beer yet? :P

  4. Cheryl Howard says:

    How come you haven’t bought me a beer yet? :P

  5. Cheryl Howard says:

    How come you haven’t bought me a beer yet? :P

  6. Cheryl Howard says:

    How come you haven’t bought me a beer yet? :P

  7. Will - Gap Daemon says:

    A very cool idea! Like it a lot. If you’re desperately searching for a bar tab to pick-up may I remind you that the beer is cheap and cheerful here in Granada and you’ll welcome into my arms at anytime.

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Will! I thought it was an awesome idea and actually really useful for travelers. Tons of potential!

  8. Tom Stockwell says:

    This is awesome, Adam! Wonder if it works on vodkas and Jagerbombs, too? ;)

    Kudos to whoever came up with the idea, and thanks for sharing!

    • Adam says:

      Actually it does! It depends what drinks the bar allows to be bought through the app. When I checked some bars in Bangkok, some of them allowed a cocktail or two :)

  9. Passport Stamps says:

    The beer looks delicious

    • Adam says:

      If I remember correctly it was a Czech beer….though maybe not because it looks fairly wheaty…

  10. Nahum CcCc says:

    I am salivating over that beer.

    • Adam says:

      It’s a photo from last year’s Berlin Beer Festival…hard not to enjoy a photo of beer from a festival all about it!

  11. cbuquid says:

    What a cool app! So bummed it doesn’t do California yet.  All my friends are back there

    • Adam says:

      Yeah, it’s such a great idea! Hopefully they’ll expand more in the US soon :D

  12. Katie Martin says:

    This app sounds like such a fun idea for people who are in college and study abroad. Both sides can buy a beer for each other when they miss each other. Also, it would help a person expand their bar and beer knowledge if they are going to new places or their friends are having them try new things. I wonder, how does the recipient know which bar to go to? Like, does the app somehow send them a message, or do you as the sending friend have to text them and tell them where to go?

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Katie!

      Thanks for your interest in Buddy Beers :-)

      Yes, the app sends a text message if you entered your friend’s phone number, or an e-mail if you entered your friend’s email.

      When you open the app, you also see your total of received beers that you didn’t redeem yet, along with the name of the bar where you can redeem them!


    • Adam says:

      Hey Katie,
      Yessssss! I think it’s perfect for college students studying abroad. It’s such a neat way to discover a different culture—through the bars!

      When you send a beer, I think the person who receives it gets an e-mail with all the info for retrieving it (location, which beer/drink, etc)…

  13. Interesting concept. Too bad all of my friends are cheap bastards and would never buy me a beer this way.

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