Drafster brings KC tap changes to social media

As a growing number of bars, breweries and liquor stores have started using social media to their advantage, beer drinkers are increasingly turning to Facebook and Twitter to get information on their favorite beverages. When Bier Station opened back in a December, they took advantage of this growth by announcing all of their tap changes through their social media sites. While most local beer nerds simply saw this as a nice perk, Scott Harris saw this as an opportunity.

Harris is the creator of a new website, Twitter feed and Facebook page called 'Drafster,' which aggregates tap changes from a number of bars across the city and updates itself accordingly into one simple, consolidated feed. It provides a quick and easy way for locals to see what beers are circulating around town. Currently, the system includes updates from Bier Station, Beer Kitchen, McCoy's, The Foundry, Waldo Pizza and Flying Saucer.

So how does it work? Well, Harris tapped into his coding skills (pun intended) and wrote an app that periodically crawls the websites/Twitter feeds of the aforementioned bars and parses the html to extract a tap list. It then compares that list to the list that was previously pulled, and any changes are recorded in the app's database. Finally, these changes are broadcasted across the various sites associated with the Drafster app.

So will Drafster be including more bars as time goes on? Well, that all depends on bar owners. Since the app is dependent on online draft list data provided by the bars, it can only include those that actively update their website or post tap updates via social media. That being said, if Drafster sounds like a great idea to you, but you don't see your favorite beer bar listed above, start harassing that bar about keeping their online tap list updated. Quite frankly, it seems foolish that any craft-centric bar wouldn't be doing that anyway these days, but sometimes you just need one more reason to prod and make it happen.

Harris considers Drafster to still be in beta mode, but you can check it out via the following links:

Drafster on Twitter
Drafster on Facebook
Drafster website

Keep in mind that, in terms of timing, Drafster updates are dependent on how quickly and how often these bars update their online information. Also, if you happen to notice any bugs or errors, feel free to e-mail Harris and let him know so he can troubleshoot accordingly.

Thanks to Scott for taking the time and effort to make Drafster exist, and here's hoping that more bars will start updating their online information so this can be a comprehensive resource for beer across the city.

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