Saturday, November 05, 2016

"Alexa ... Open Homebrew"

A couple of weeks ago I received an Amazon Echo.

I have been surprised how many people have no clue what an Amazon Echo is ... even when I mention the Alec Baldwin series of commercials for "Alexa".

In case you need to refresh your memory ...

I think these are well-done. They amuse me.

So ... what is "Alexa"?

Well, I just asked ... "Alexa, what are you?"

She answered ... "I am an Amazon Echo"

I asked "Alexa, what is an Amazon Echo?"

"Amazon Echo is a device designed around your voice that can provide information, music, news, weather, and more.
Learn more on Wikipedia

Search Bing for "what is an amazon echo"

Anyway ... Alexa has been a fun little toy for me and the family.

I think the device is somewhat useful ... and the kids really like trying to discover various funny Easter eggs in Alexa's program.

Anyhoo ... me being the geek that I am, started looking into how to combine the SheppyBrew website with the Alexa.

Alexa has a platform of applications called "Skills". Skills allow computer geeks such as myself to extend the Alexa to do more things. For example, Domino Pizza has an Alexa "Skill" that allows you to order a pizza just by saying
"Alexa, open Domino's and place my Easy Order"
Assuming, of course, you have an Easy Order set up with Domino's Pizza.

There are literally thousands of these skills, and as of this week ... there is a newly published.

So, if you have an Echo or other Alexa-enabled device, and you go to the "Skills" section of the Alexa Ap, you can search for SheppyBrew. Add it to your list of skills and you can access SheppyBrew information ...

"Alexa, Open Home Brew" ...

And let Alexa guide you through the fun.

Here is a little demo:

Found 3 beers that match criteria. 1 ... Stone Soup IDA: Hoppy like an IPA, but contains enough chocolate and black patent malts to darken it up like a brown or maybe even a porter. 2 ... Eric The Awful Red Ale: Sort of a combination of Eric's Red and Quarter Life Crisis. Malt bill of an Irish Red with the hopping of an IPA. 3 ... Near-Sighted Swine IPA: This is a really hoppy west-coast ipa. Really, my first. for more information see

Here are some other things you can say ...

"Alexa, open Home Brew and Give me a fact" ...

"Alexa, open Home Brew and Find Pilsner" ...

"Alexa, open Home Brew and tell me what's on tap" ...

"Alexa, open Home Brew and tell me about the Beer Model" ...

Personally, I think it is pretty cool, but then I'm a geek. If you have an Amazon Echo or one of the other Alexa devices ... add the SheppyBrew Skill to your account and try it out.


I'll be adding to this application as something strikes my fancy.

I'm also thinking about other things to do on the Alexa platform. The Beer World is under-represented.


1 comment:

  1. Alexa seems a lot more personable and helpful than Siri. And I'd love to hear some of the Easter eggs.