When the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario temporarily amended its liquor laws just over two weeks ago, most beer-loving Ontarians were happy that the option for delivery is now available.
But for one beer-loving web developer who, like many Canadians, found himself suddenly out of work, it didn’t take long to realize the province’s beer delivery network could be improved.
“In all honesty, I just wanted a way to find out who was selling milkshake IPAs without having to go to every brewery’s website one by one,” said Cam Sloan, founder and creator of BeerFinder.ca. “It made me think: there must be other local beer-lovers with the exact same problem. And with direct delivery being the best and safest option right now, I saw an opportunity to help an industry that I love and that I saw presented with new and unique challenges.”
The Beer Finder platform allows consumers to quickly and efficiently search through an up-to-date list of more than 1,000 Ontario craft beers from more than 100 breweries who offer pick-up or delivery. The website also offers users the ability to refine their search through keywords and search terms such as style, ingredient, or delivery area.
Sloan initially revealed the platform on Ontario-based sub-Reddits, which in addition to responding with praise and adulation, provided real-time feedback for improvements that Sloan was quick to implement.
Since its launch just over two weeks ago, Beer Finder has attracted more than 10,000 unique users and is adding hundreds of new users daily. In addition to connecting consumers with their favourite craft beer and cider products, the platform serves as a powerful tool for Ontario beer-lovers to support local breweries that are struggling to survive as a result of COVID-19.