I’ve been reading Beer Advocate magazine for years, but it wasn’t until last month that I actually subscribed to it. In the past, I’d just pick up a free copy at my local watering hole. That meant I’d sometimes miss an issue because the magazine always disappears from bars quickly—it never ceases to amaze me how much people like free shit, doesn’t matter what it is.
I figured it was about time to subscribe to Beer Advocate, because I really like the magazine, and I appreciate what it and its associated website, BeerAdvocate.com, do for the craft beer community. I’d been freeloading for long enough. But what really inspired me to subscribe was the release of a digital version of Beer Advocate for Android tablets and smartphone. Now I’m able to read my favorite craft beer publication on my Nexus 7 Android tablet and my Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone.
The digital subscription is half the price of the print publication, at $7.49 a year, or just $0.63 per issue, via Google’s Play Store for Android. (The print subscription costs $14.99 a year, or about $1.25 per issue.) You can buy individual issues for $1.99 each, and you get a 14-day free trial from Google. Back issues are available. You can download the digital edition of Beer Advocate instantly, as soon as new issues are released, so you don’t have to wait for the USPS to deliver them—and you don’t have to worry about your shiesty-ass, Bud-Light-guzzling neighbor stealing your copy. You can read Play Magazines on Google Android smartphones, and both 7- and 10-inch Android tablets. And you can read the digital version of Beer Advocate on your desktop computer using Google’s Chrome browser. (Unfortunately, Beer Advocate digital is not available for Apple iOS devices or any other mobile platforms at this point.)
The digital Beer Advocate interface is good-looking and intuitive. You can access a table of contents at any time by tapping your Android screen once and then tapping the box that appears in the bottom left corner of your display. You can also quickly scan through thumbnail images of all the pages; just tap the screen and then slide the horizontal bar of images that appears at the bottom of your display. And you can click into a text version, which strips out some of the images and formatting for easier reading, by tapping your display and then choosing the “View Text” option at the top of your screen.
My one complaint about Beer Advocate‘s digital version for Android: Existing print subscribers have to pay separately for the digital edition. That sucks, because print subscribers already pay double the price of the digital edition, and Beer Advocate should reward these folks for their loyalty, not punish them by charging an additional fee.
Beer Advocate magazine’s motto: Respect beer. Now you can follow that advice while respecting Mother Nature and saving some trees, thanks to the digital edition of Beer Advocate for Android.