December 3, 2014 Last Updated 12:04 pm

New food and drink digital editions: beer, beer and eating out (sounds good to me)

‘Tis the season for making merry, so it is an appropriate time to check out some of the new digital magazines released into the Apple Newsstand: Japan Beer Times, Craft Beer & Brewing and Eat Out Magazine

The holidays are right around the corner (kind of) of why not take a look at the new titles to be found inside the Cooking, Food & Drink category of the Apple Newsstand.

JapanBeer-coverToday there are 443 free magazine apps inside the category (only 5 paid), the is an increase of 72 titles since TNM looked at the category in April. This makes it one of the more active categories for new releases this year.

Japan Beer Times is a new hybrid edition (ads as seen in print, the editorial reformatted).

JapanBeer-libraryOne of the things that makes this new digital edition interesting is that right inside the app’s store page the reader can choose between the English and Japanese editions. Once you buy the issue you can access either edition, which are pretty much identical in design.

“The quality of craft beer in Japan has been rising steadily over the last decade or so. Brewers are sharing knowledge. Experience is building up. Competition raises the bar” writes the editor of Japan Beer Times.

“The same is true for magazines. We welcome new publications about beer. They make us think more carefully about our own identity and place in the industry. They encourage us to improve. And just as no brewery has all the taps at a bar, we don’t run a monopoly on people’s thirst for beer information. Diversity is good.”

I have no idea what digital publishing platform was used for the app (which means it is not one of the more easily recognized platforms). Whatever it is, it produces a small (33.4MB) digital magazine file, and issues are priced at only $0.99.

The magazine appears to be doing just fine as it is packed with advertising.

CraftBeer-featureAnother beer magazine (are you getting any ideas?) that has just released a digital edition is Craft Beer & Brewing, published by co-founders John Bolton and Jamie Bogner under the Unfiltered media name.

Their first app was an iPhone app, released this summer, called Hops: Find Your Beer.

The new digital edition for the print magazine is a straight replica, and an expensive one at that. Single issues are $9.99, while an annual subscription is $29.99.

I found the digital edition somewhat hard to read on my iPad mini, and slightly easier on the larger iPad tablet.

Like many replicas, however, the app also works on an iPhone, though I really can’t figure out why publishers think this is a good idea.

Eat-TOCThe most interesting of the new magazines was easily Eat Out Magazine from Dewberry Redpoint Ltd of Kent (UK).

The digital magazine is designed in landscape using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

The magazine’s website describes the title this way: “the monthly title for the rapidly evolving out-of-home dining market in the UK.”

Despite using the Adobe DPS, it is hardly a storage hog, with its first issue inside the app only weighing in at 67.9 MB – the largest of the three digital magazines, but hardly too large.

Many digital magazines designed in landscape do so because they are devoid of advertising. This is not the case with Eat Out, it contains quite a number of ads.

All the pages were designed as units (in other words, no oversized pages), with features requiring scrolling to reach the next page, and swiping to move on to the next feature or ad. I don’t know why they chose landscape, but as I have a keyboard attached to my iPad mini, and like to hold my larger iPad in landscape, I obviously like the decision.

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