As a data professional this is rather embarrassing, but a beer broke my database. I didn’t spill a pint on the server or drop a table in an inebriated fat finger. A fine beer called Paddle Trail Ale by Sierra Nevada AND Crux broke my database on another site I run because of my poor planning. Taking a quick step back, many years of being responsible for maintaining data for others led me to wanting to maintain and visualize my own data. I’ve been drinking, brewing and collecting beer for quite a while so it only made sense (to me) to create a database and begin to chart out my own consumption. Thus beerintelligenceproject.com was born.
When I laid out how data would be organized for this site I failed to take into account that brewers like to hang out with brewers. Probably has something to do with the jovial and friendly product they produce. Collaboration beers are nothing new and I’ve had my fair share of them (Thank you Widmer), but somehow when I went around to designing the table to hold beers I only allotted for a single brewery. There are other beer advocating sites around that have a similar problem and make use of a notes field. I don’t even have that. Just a lone key to a brewery table. I was forward thinking enough to allow for multiple styles as sometime one can’t tell the difference between a Russian Imperial Stout and a Kölsch. Not saying I’ve had the conundrum, but I’m sure someone has.
Now after several hundred beers it is time to refactor my database. The data model needs to adapt, which will cascade down to the queries populating the charts needing to change. This will not be a trivial change. I think I need a beer.