If the latest Pokeman smartphone game craze doesn't have you confused (or annoyed on some level), we probably don't share the same Luddite tendencies.

I’m the type of uncle that finds it fun to snatch phones from my Minecraft-obsessed niece and nephew when they least expect it. The game then turns to having them find the devices.

If the latest Pokeman smartphone game craze doesn't have you confused (or annoyed on some level), we probably don't share the same Luddite tendencies.

I’m the type of uncle that finds it fun to snatch phones from my Minecraft-obsessed niece and nephew when they least expect it. The game then turns to having them find the devices.

With most “first world” humans plugged into their pocket computers for most of their waking hours, it should come as no surprise that there now are plenty of beer-related phone applications (apps) out there.

One of the biggest online beer apps is “Untappd.” It allows users to share reviews and other beer-related insights. It also keeps a tally of all the beers they have sampled with the option to revisit their archived notes.

A useful function from a business perspective is that it lets users post where they consumed any given beer. And, with rare kegs, this kind of underground communication sometimes is essential to scoring that limited pint before it’s gone.

Beer apps certainly have contributed to the growth of craft beer by some factor over the last few years, stoking excitement for countless brews and giving the beer-hunter an occasional advantage.

But, while the posting of beer pictures, reviews, and other online activity is great for promoting brands and venues, there are some drawbacks — primarily a deadened pub environment with patrons staring at screens while working on their “medal count,” or pandering for Facebook likes.

Additionally, the beer nerd's demand for an endless queue of new beers -- to bolster their medal tally -- also can diminish support for breweries that consistently brew great core beers.

Some industry insiders believe that such drinking patterns could lead to a market where lesser breweries push classic quality beers and their heralded breweries to the side with a business model that spits out new iterations of a beer every week to an audience with shorter attention spans. But, such scenarios are speculation, and the apps still are a mixed bag.

While I enjoy watching television as much as the next guy, I relish the opportunity of sipping a great drink or eating some good food without having my senses interrupted. Unless it is a good conversation over a drink, few things are as enjoyable as meditating over a nice brew unimpeded by commercials or talking heads. After all, minding one's “p's and q's” (pints and quarts) always is great advice.

This week's recommendation: Stone Mocha IPA, a Double IPA that blurs styles combining tropical hop character with roasted coffee and dark chocolate notes. 9% ABV. Escondido, CA

Colin Hubbell is co-owner of The Green Onion Pub and the Hop & Goblet in South Utica. His column appears weekly.