You might notice that we’re not huge on blunt endorsements here at DC Beer. It doesn’t happen too often. So this post’s title should be pretty telling. I like GoFivo and think that you will too. A lot. Let me give you a story about why, and then tell you more about the service.
On a Friday about six weeks ago, I had a craving for Bell’s Two Hearted. You know the kind of craving I’m talking about. You have a hankering for a beer, and no substitute will do. I needed that floral hoppiness and that dry finish. That unparalleled and unmistakable aroma. I needed it bad. I came home and went to my local, which always has Two Hearted. Problem solved. I’m in business and my craving will soon be sated. Except, much to my infinite chagrin, my local was out of Two Hearted (this was during a period of time about six weeks ago where everyone around DC was having trouble securing one of America’s best IPAs). I bought some Founders Red’s Rye PA (because it’s another favorite) and told myself I’d make do and that I didn’t want to drink Two Hearted that much anyway.
So I go home, have a beer, am starting to unwind, when my Blackberry starts blinking. It lets me know I’ve got an email from GoFivo, a service I’d seen mentioned first the week before through the Big Hunt, which was offering half-priced pints out of a Loose Cannon cask to GoFivo members. I figured any service that was going to put me in touch with half-priced craft beer, especially Loose Cannon, was something I needed to be a part of. Anyway, I check my email. It’s GoFivo telling me that Atomic Billiards (just down the street, it’s a real gem of a place in Cleveland Park if you’re unfamiliar) is offering half-priced (read: $3.50) Bell’s Two Hearted from now until 2am. My prayers are answered! No joke, I leave a pint of Red’s Rye on my coffee table, throw on shoes, and scamper down Connecticut Avenue to collect my delicious, delicious $3.50 pint of Two Hearted. Itch scratched. Satisfaction achieved. Craving conquered.
So what is GoFivo? Well, their motto is “connecting people with local businesses in real-time.” Other establishments use GoFivo than bars and restaurants, but I only use it for bars and restaurants. So how does GoFivo work? Well, it’s pretty simple. You sign up for individually-tailored alerts that cover a neighborhood in DC or northern Virginia, a type of establishment, and a type of offer. Then, when a local business posts an offer that fits your parameters, you get an email or text message. You “claim” the offer by clicking on a link, and then bring your confirmation to the business. Then you get to reap the benefits of whatever the deal was. Confused? I hope not, I was trying really hard to be clear. Luckily, GoFivo has a handy graphic here that explains it all.
Now, what does this have to do with craft beer in DC? Well, anything that puts people in touch with craft beer more easily or more cheaply is something that DC Beer is going to be all over. Not all of the restaurants and bars that are involved with GoFivo are purveyors of tasty craft offerings, but a lot of them are. Here’s just a sampling: The Black Squirrel, the Big Hunt, Justin’s Cafe, Iron Horse Taproom, RFD, the Bier Baron, The Red Palace, Smith Commons, The Pug, Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, and Comet Ping Pong. The frequency with which these places post offers is widely variable (I’ve seen a lot from RFD, Iron Horse, and the Squirrel lately), but these are all places that have put out good deals.
So what’s the catch? Well, there really isn’t one that I’ve found. The service is free. The only downside is if you HATE getting emails or texts alerting you to good deals, and if that’s the case, well, I’m sorry you don’t like the prospect of delicious impromptu discount cask ale. This is like LivingSocial or Groupon but with instant gratification. You either claim the deal (which doesn’t cost you anything by the way) and use it that night, or you don’t. It’s not like the white water rafting trip coupon you’ve been sitting on for two years and know is going to expire.
In any event, it’s easy to sign up and easy to make alerts. I highly encourage that you do so. Things are only going to get better from here. Craig Carey, one of the brains behind this service, has talked about having a category of offers specifically for craft beer, which will facilitate your tasty tippling even further. I’m looking forward to that day, and to my next email or text message letting me know where to go for my next great craft beer deal.