Meng Yang
Graphic Designer


The Hop Review App


The hop review. a beer site and A chicago beer app.

For over a year, I’ve been a contributing writer for The Hop Review, a craft beer site with a majority of coverage focused on Chicago and the Chicago-land areas as well as the surrounding midwest states. THR also covers National and International breweries and businesses but their strongest concentration of content is centered on the midwest.

Originally started by a few colleagues of mine in Chicago, THR has spoken with numerous beer industry folks, organized beer fests and have drank a lot of beers (for professional product reviews of course) over the years since the site launched.

With all that Chicago beer experience and content that THR has amassed, I thought it’d be fitting to funnel some of that knowledge into a THR IOS app. So, in a nutshell, I designed a prototype app that provides users a highly-curated list of the best places to find and drink craft beer in Chicago.


Narrowing down quality beer options

The main feature of the app is that it's curated content. If you think about it, craft beer is just about everywhere in Chicago; you can find an IPA at your neighborhood bar and a fruit-flavored beer at your grocery store. But, just because craft beer is ubiquitous doesn't mean it's always served at its most optimum. A grocery store may have that 6-pack sitting on a shelf for 6 months or that neighborhood bar serving that IPA may not have the cleanest draft lines. So, freshness and quality is a concern.


craft beer in chicago. curated.

This is where the THR App steps in. Compiling THR's existing Approved Beer Bar list and Comprehensive Brewery List, the App only presents THR's preferred venues for the best Chicago craft beer experiences. Along with Beer Bars, Brewpubs and Taprooms, I also included Bottle Shops seeing how stores specializing in craft beer also enhance the beer scene.

So, all venues are under these 4 categories:

  • Taproom
  • Brewpub
  • Bottle Shop
  • Beer Bar

By narrowing down the selections, I opted not to include the random dive bar or corner liquor store even though those places can be fun but be hit-or-miss with craft beer.


not sure where to drink? how about a suggestion.

Along with the overarching categories, I added Curated Beer Experiences as well. It's essentially a curated list for users to thumb through to assist with decision making. So, list examples can be:

  • Essential Chicago Breweries
  • 18 Beers of the Month
  • Craft Beer Bars with Outdoor Patios
  • Best Restaurants with Craft on Tap
  • Lager Lovers: Drink with Reinheitsgebot Delight!

Beyond the categories and curated lists, the App provides basic profile info and up-to-date beer menus that can be pulled from an API from Untappd and/or BeerMenus. Also, relevant THR articles pertaining to specific venues are also on hand for further reading. I.E. if you're under Half Acre's profile page, relevant articles about the brewery populate the page.

Finished Prototype

Here's a prototype that I made using Marvel; I built the design using Sketch and Illustrator for the design assets. It's not a fully fleshed App but gets the general idea across. Plus, this was an exercise for me to switch over from Photoshop to Sketch for prototyping projects and sweet jesus, Sketch is awesome.

BTW, this is a concept and not a real app. And, I designed this solely for fun, so enjoy.

Meng Yang