n. Software in which the purchase "price" is to buy the developer a beer, drink a beer in the developer's name, or send the developer a case of beer.
Also Seen As
Computer coders, meet Coolform, a program that uses the Delphi language to let you turn your boring desktop windows into 'round windows, windows with transparent areas, and still the full functionality of Windows 95.' … The site seems to originate in Germany. But put away your Deutschemarks. 'CoolForm is BeerWare,' the site says.
—“Bits and Bytes,” The Orange County Register, October 20, 1998
1990 (earliest)
Need Texas-style dingbats for your Lone Star newsletter? Check out the Armadillo font from Texas Russ Coffman, which is replete with six admadillos, four state maps, and the Texas flag. (Note that this PostScript font is "beerware" — you have to chug a Lone Star in the author's name if you use it.)
—Dave Valiulis, “Dealing with Dingbats,” MacUser, March 01, 1990