After a long workday, there’s nothing better than unwinding with a pint of beer and a plate of wings. Those who frequent happy hour are likely to be familiar with “Wing Wednesdays”, and have their favourite spots for weekly specials and deals.
When it comes to finding wing specials, restaurant search apps like Yelp and Urbanspoon are useful for general reviews, but digging through hundreds of irrelevant reviews about the wine list and lunch specials can be a pain if you’re just looking for two things: cold beer and chicken wings. Michael Wynn and Crystal DeCnodder of Calgary want to streamline your wing hunt with wingsnbeer.com and the newly-launched WingsnBeer app.
The idea behind WingsnBeer was formed in 2005, after Michael Wynn compiled a list of his favourite Calgary wing deals to share with friends. The list gained popularity when he published it on the domain hotwings.ca, as well as a loyal following, as Wynn expanded the database of wing flavours and prices. The project hit a tipping point in 2007, when it was mentioned within a sports car forum and received a huge surge of traffic. By 2012, the popularity of the side project proved it was time to scale up, and in 2013, The Wing n Beer Corp. was born.
Wynn paired up with DeCnodder, a digital marketing expert, and Paul Neider, who each invested in the company to give WingsnBeer the boost needed to expand the site. The company rebranded and opened up the database across North America, adding features like reviews, menus, and the ability to search by locale and wing flavour. (We’ve all had those times on the road when we can’t simply drive another kilometer without dill pickle wings, right?). Today WingsnBeer is active in over 515 cities, with nearly 6,100 wing establishments.
The WingsnBeer app, the team’s latest project, allows you to filter by features like best price, top rank, hottest wing, gluten free, and child friendly. Wing enthusiasts can review establishments or share their own preferences within the community.
While WingsnBeer is still a side project for the team, theyenjoy the lifestyle of being official wing and beer experts, responding to media interviews and invitations to judge wing competitions. The project has given the two an avenue to expand their skills as entrepreneurs.
"It’s easy work because we love what we do and we know it fulfills a need," says DeCnodder. "The project gets us out into the community, has connected us with a variety of businesses and entrepreneurs, and allows us to get playful and creative with our marketing."
As for the team’s picks in their hometown of Calgary, Wynn loves the Toad and Turtle, Mugshotz, and Reagle Beagle for portion sizes and quality of meat. DeCnodder defines herself as “more of the beer person” but can’t get enough of the spicy gochujang wings at Anju.
The app is free for users and available in the iTunes Store in North America by searching “WingsnBeer.”