BeerPal.com was developed by Brian Bailey, who became interested in designing dynamic, database driven websites in 1999. At a time when such websites were not as common, and beer rating not as popular, Brian decided to mesh the two together. This lead to the original release of www.beerpal.com as an interactive database of beer information and user reviews on May 27th, 2001.
About 4 years and 4000 members later, the front end of the site was completely redesigned in 2005. In the years to follow, trusted members were given administrative access to moderate the user submitted content. They became the BP Crew, and were responsible for approving the hundreds of beers and breweries added to the database every month.
In 2010 with smartphones on the rise and "apps" popping up left and right, there was a steady stream of requests from amateurs and small software companies to buy or have access to the beer database. Brian held out on giving away or partnering up with others and instead spent several months outlining a new website. The goal was to make the website a more socially interactive place for Beer Pals to share their love of beer. The database was redesigned and moved from Microsoft Access files to MySQL Server. The entire site layout and back end programming was rewritten from the ground up. By the middle of the year 2011, this new site was more than three quarters complete, but, suddenly it stalled. This was due to personal reasons, mainly a change in work location of Brian's full time job.
Years went by with no real improvements to the site. The look and feel became stale, and at times the server itself was unresponsive. Finally, on August 28th, 2017, low disk space crashed a critical web server configuration file that knocked it offline for good. Most of the long time Beer Pals skipped the funeral.
After serveral failed attempts to revive the server over the months, the location of the crash was found and the cause was remedied. This excitement actually breathed new life into the site. Brian decided to continue where he left off nearly 6 years earlier. Every night after the kids were in bed, it was time to finish off the redesign. Almost two decades later, a new BeerPal would re-emerge!