We started Chicagos.Beer in 2015 as a Chicago-only brewery guide. It has since rebranded to be Brewery Finder and expanded to a global directory of over 25,000 locations. The site grows and changes every week. It continues to be an enjoyable project for us even years later.

Our “competition” is split into two camps: The well-intentioned enthusiast and the well-funded business enterprise.

The well-intentioned enthusiasts have by-and-large started sites with similar goals to ours but proven to not be committed to the end goals of inclusion and expansiveness like us. I’ve seen several sites start and been abandoned. Others started with big goals like ours then revisit and revise those goals to be city or state-specific instead within a few months, if not abandon them altogether.

The well-funded business enterprises have continued to offer their brewery directories as supplemental offerings to their main businesses. Untappd, Brewer’s Association, FourSquare, and BreweryDB come to mind here. Each of these offerings however does not have the easy-to-use search features, tag filtering, interactive regional maps, and user-generated favorites lists we have had for years. Others (like Yelp as an example) have terrible data integrity and often skip listing dozens of active breweries in specific areas.

Brewery Finder continues to fill a unique role in craft beer (and brewing in general) that no one else does.

If you’ve been using BreweryFinder.org for any amount of time you know that my co-founder and I hate websites that have ads. We’ve been fervently against the idea of adding ads to our sites as a means of funding because of how it disrupts the user experience.

The userbase of Brewery Finder (along with our other sites like Brewery.Work and Distillery Finder) has increased significantly over the last few months without a corresponding bump in paid supporter numbers. Hosting and other technical costs, in direct relation to these traffic increases, have increased. This means we will be adding ads to our sites over the next few weeks in an effort to recoup these operational costs.

We will be offering a Premium Membership level on each of our sites, that among other things, will let users avoid seeing any ads on the sites while logged-in. This will allow users a way to enjoy the site ad-free and support us at the same time. It will also not alienate anyone who wants to use our sites without any associated access costs.

Please take a moment and consider becoming a Premium Member of BreweryFinder.org in order to enjoy the new VIP experience on the site free of ads.

Cheers!