Beer is one of the oldest beverages that societies around the globe continue to consume. Fermented beverages originated over 12,000 years ago. That’s a long time to develop and refine the beer brewing process. Yet this artful process continues to evolve. Lately, we have seen the emergence of craft beers change the demand and production of many breweries. Shifts in customer demand require adaptation. In order to adapt, you need the right brewery software systems to make that possible. Having the right inventory management system in particular is a critical component of successful beer brewing.
Beer is made with four main ingredients including water, malt, hops and yeast. All four of the ingredients contribute to the flavour, to add their own, unique component to the beer.
Malt + Water
Initially, the malt is crushed and added in hot water, known as the mash. Malt is essentially barley that has been germinated and dried out. The malt changes the colour and flavour of beer, with most beers having at least three different types of malt. The malt is flavoursome and it’s what gives beer that grainy, sweet, or toasty flavour. The amount you start with will determine how strong the brew will be, and the type you use will determine the colour of your beer.
Malt is a crucial ingredient to stock properly in a brewery. Without the right type or amount of malt in stock, some beer types would have to be put on hold until the arrival of a new shipment. Inventory management software can track even the smallest quantities of ingredients, which allows you to monitor your stock more efficiently and replenish accordingly.
Hops + Yeast
Hops, which give the bitterness to beer, are added during the boiling stage. However, if you boil it too long, you will lose some of the flavour. The next step is to add the yeast. Two common options are lager yeast and ale yeast, which change the flavor profile of your beer.
Tracking and tracing these ingredients can help with quality assurance. If something was to go awry in the brewing process, specific ingredients could be traced back to your inventory and then onto suppliers if it was a deeper rooted problem. Proper inventory management can help simplify the complexities that arise when brewing a variety of beers.
Ale based beer will take about a week to ferment and then needs another week of cold aging. If you are making a lager or pilsner, it can take two weeks to ferment and then another two weeks of cold aging to make sure it matures. Once the fermentation is done and the beer is settled, it is ready to package and drink.
Brewery management software can help in the timing of the bottling and shipping processes. With a perishable product on the line, breweries cannot afford to waste time. Effective solutions for this stage of production can be revolutionised by the real-time management of inventory within brewery software.
Beer may be an age-old drink, but with a cloud-based software system, it can turn the beer making process into a new-age brewing revolution.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.