In the world of craft beer social media, I’m definitely more of a lurker.

Not that I don’t admire you for taking the pause to compose suds glamour shots and spot reviews for your virtual audience. I’m with you in spirit, as I sit over here sipping my beer and waiting for my dumbphone to reboot for the third time since we arrived.

PintPass, however, might force me to reconsider my digital engagement philosophy, and perhaps even make a long-overdue hardware upgrade.

The free app, launched publicly last month, wants to pay me — and you, and anyone of legal drinking age with a smartphone — to visit breweries. That’s right, pay you to visit breweries and drink beer, so long as you fill out a questionnaire about the experience.

Registered users earn $2 per survey, with a maximum of one check-in a day and monthly cap of $8.

Once there’s enough beer money in the PintPass coffer, redemptions are done via a virtual MasterCard on the user’s phone that works more or less like a traditional debit or credit card. For the transaction to be approved, however, the account must contain at least $10, enough to cover the cost of a beer and a tip, said Jason Trueblood, operations director for the Montana-based company.

Though the company will only pay for one survey a day, it encourages users to log in and opine at as many destinations as they’d like.

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“This gives them the option to record all their brewery visits and all the beers they’ve tried and what they liked,” Trueblood said. “The app recognizes when they’re in said brewery. It’s a great central place to keep track of all that and earn a little beer money too.”

The app includes a map and beer locator tool, plus a “text a beer” feature that lets users tap their PintPass accounts to send a free beer to anyone in their contacts list.

The startup was funded primarily by private angel investors that, for the record, Trueblood said, are not large domestic breweries.

“So many people ask that question,” he said.

For now, the money to reimburse reviewers “comes out of own pockets,” he added, but once survey responses reach a “critical mass” for a given location, the plan is to start generating positive cash flow by marketing the information that’s been collected back to the breweries, for help in honing their brands and enhancing patrons’ experiences.

“Comment cards at a brewery might not tell the whole story,” Trueblood said. “We’ll provide that feedback back to the brewery so they have the capabilities to make their business better.”

The PintPass brewery database includes about 6,400 locations, and the company is seeking members’ help in growing and honing that list.

“Our super small team spent a week canvassing the internet trying to find as many breweries as we could, and put them all on a spreadsheet,” he said. “That’s an ongoing process for us, adding more, narrowing down what ones are currently in operation, or who’s dropped off or added a new location.”

A button in the app allows users to propose changes and additions to the brewery or beer lists.

“Our entire team loves to drink craft beer and loves the brewery culture, and this started out as the brainchild of founder Ryan Rickert and his desire to know more about breweries across the country without physically visiting them, or to figure out what breweries to visit while in Phoenix or Portland or whatever,” Trueblood said. “We’re incentivizing people who go to taprooms and breweries around the country to provide consumer feedback. While this can’t be your full-time job, it can buy you a beer every few weeks.”

Download the app through the Apple App Store, Google Play or by getting a link texted to your smartphone, at


Stephanie Earls is a news reporter and columnist at The Gazette. Before moving to Colorado Springs in 2012, she worked for newspapers in upstate NY, WA, OR and at her hometown weekly in Berkeley Springs, WV, where she got her start in journalism.

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