How Barrel ERP can Help Craft Breweries Maintain Strong Growth

A winning combination: Fast-growing craft breweries and Barrel ERP


Not that long ago, a small number of craft breweries were primarily pouring up glasses for like-minded enthusiasts who wanted flavorful alternatives to big-brands. But, like any good idea, the craft brewing business is now attracting a much wider circle of paying customers.


At the end of 2016, the Brewers Association reported there were 5,234 craft breweries in the United States – nearly a three-fold increase from just five years before. While that remarkable run is welcome news to those small and independent brewers (defined as those producing under six million barrels of product each year), it can also generate an array of challenges that will strain the capacity of basic spreadsheets, Quickbooks applications or other niche data management systems. The limitations of those tools can quickly frustrate owners who want to spend more time growing their own success story, and less time trying to piece together an accurate picture of daily business operations.


Use Barrel ERP to save time, maintain growth

Hein’s proprietary Barrel ERP solution was designed specifically for craft brewing businesses. It allows leaders to monitor all facets of their brewery operations – including sales, demand planning, order management, procurement, supply chain management, production, scheduling, quality control, logistics, invoicing, ecommerce, payroll and accounting – on a simple dashboard accessible from their desktop or mobile devices. In addition, Barrel ERP is built into  Netsuite’s cloud-based business software suite, providing a smooth, consistent user experience that doesn’t require multiple log-ins.


Barrel ERP is ideally suited to simplify the complexity of many growth challenges, including:


  • New product introductions. When brewers launch new beer varieties or packaging into the marketplace, the changes frequently trigger an array of operational and production issues that must be addressed. Barrel ERP can help solve those challenges by automatically monitoring multiple batch brewing recipes and ensuring the accuracy of new label registrations or packaging needs.


  • Entry into new markets. Some sure signs of a successful craft brewery are when it starts expanding into markets outside of its home base, or when its products start showing up on local or regional store shelves. When that happens, Barrel ERP can add value by reporting keg deposits with each new sales order, tracking all Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB) reporting, and automating distribution scheduling and dispatching.


  • Expansion into new facilities. Growth often requires the addition of new physical resources, such as a tap room to provide storefront brand visibility to customers or a new brewing facility or warehouse to support increased production. Barrel ERP can manage those changes by automating marketing functions (such as event invitations and scheduling), providing a comprehensive view of brewery operations (including yeast and cellar management, brew logs, lab tests and production), and enabling real-time tank views.


For more information on how to maintain the momentum of your fast-growing business, contact Hein’s craft brewing team.


October 12, 2017