With so many places pushing so many different beers these days sometimes it can really be hard to know what's what. And asking for a sample isn't always really an option. But some crazy kids up in Syracuse have come up with a clever solution to this vexing problem: BeerText.Us—an idea so simple we wish we'd thought of it. If only it worked as well as we want.

Here's the concept: You see a beer in a bar or in a store and want to know more about it. Rather than search around on your smartphone (if you've got one), with BeerText you simply text the name of the beer to 315-679-4711. In a few moments you'll get a reply with a description of the beer, tips on what it goes well with and its ABV. In other words, all the info you actually need.

But, as with all things, there are catches. First, it isn't free—regular text rates apply—and second, it needs a lot of work. There are still some pretty basic beers that don't appear to be in the site's system. Still, we're holding out hope—it is such a simple and useful idea. But in the meantime, we'll stick with Beer Advocate.

[h/t Lifehacker]