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BG Hackathon v2.0

hackathon-logo-bannerWith our sights set on creating a few useful tech upgrades, we attacked the past weekend’s Hackathon with some serious nerd fervor and indeed delivered. Our second annual 24-hour project blitz – the follow-up to last year’s inaugural event – yielded three deliverables: a major overhaul to our digital menu platform, a brand new tablet-based guestbook system, and a whimsical pair of ‘brewery tours’ using a mix of drone, steadicam, and VR footage.


Project #1: Upgrade the Menu Board

The menu board upgrade began by analyzing our current menu board, with which there were some glaring issues: it was easy to get lost in all the lines and numbers, and there was no differentiation between groups or categories of beers. And when the draft list became slim (which has occurred more often than not in recent months), the landscape became barren.

The new design is cleaner, simpler, and more adaptable. It retains the general aesthetic of the previous draft list, while increasing legibility and impact. Catch the new setup in a few weeks once we implement the changes and iron out the kinks.

Project #2: Tablet-based Guestbook

Given that our weekly newsletter is our primary form of communication for alerting you all of brewery goings-on, having an easy way for taproom guests to sign up in person is a critical addition. To achieve this, we designed and built a BG Guestbook web app (and a handy iPad stand) where patrons are able to create guestbook entries, snap a photo, and peruse previous checkins. We’ll be debuting the BG Guestbook this Saturday at the Beers of the Burgh festival.

Project #3: Drone / Steadicam / VR Brewery Tour

This project was more about trying some new things, using some cool tech, and generally goofing off. We procured a cheap Google Cardboard VR headset, brought our drone pilot / video whiz friend Cory in on the action, and quickly whipped up together some new media. See the video Cory put together above, and check out the 360° VR shot of the brewhouse here.

After a successful second iteration, we look forward to building upon the BG Hackathon model in coming years. After all, while brewing beer will always be our most obvious function as a brewery, experiences like these make us who we are. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that participated and provided feedback – we’ll be back at it next fall.
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