Brewery Inventory Management: The Basics

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Modern inventory software has proved to be revolutionary in many types of businesses, and the beer industry is no exception. Brewery inventory management software can help with many facets of beer production, from planning through to quality control and sales analysis.

Below are some of the best ways a brewery management system can benefit a beer brewing company.

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Brewery inventory management software can help beer companies stay on top of their stock control and maximise productivity.

Brewery production planning

Production planning is a complex process for many brewing companies; especially those that want to try new recipes. With craft beer becoming increasingly popular, many companies want to try different recipes with different ingredients.

Inventory management software makes managing this simple.

New ingredients can be tracked at the touch of a button. And raw materials can be tracked from when they are ordered to when they are assigned to a particular production schedule.

In this way, managers can adjust production to find the ideal recipe for each beer style and brew, and vary output levels to make more of the beers that become most popular.

Ordering ingredients

Because the raw materials needed for brewing beer such as hops and grain are greatly impacted by environmental factors, it is critical for a beer brewer to stay on top of the supply of these inputs.

Some firms decide to contract years into the future, while others prefer to order on shorter time frames for greater flexibility.

Whatever strategy is chosen, brewery management software with a strong inventory management core can be a substantial aid in ordering stock. Sales trends and production capacity can be analysed to determine to best quantities of raw materials to lock in through a long-term contract.

If orders are made more reactively, the real-time data on inventory and output levels will help managers make the most informed choice possible.

This data will help the business cope with factors like demand seasonality which can make it difficult to forecast accurate inventory levels.

Beer quality control

When brewing beer, a product with only a few key ingredients, it is vital that the precise combination is achieved for every batch. It is difficult to achieve this with simple spreadsheet systems that constantly require manual updating.

Using inventory management software allows for greater accuracy, which both leads to consistency in brewing, and minimises waste thereby reducing costs and giving the highest ‘grain-to-glass yield’.

When there are problematic batches, with Unleashed these can be tracked from raw materials to finished beer so managers can immediately find out what went wrong and where.

beer brewery inventory software

Brewery inventory management software helps to prevent the damage of major product recalls thanks to serial and batch tracking features.

Production growth

There comes a point in time for many up-and-coming brewing companies where their product becomes popular, sales continue to rise, and the company makes exciting new expansive orders to take their business to the next level. It is at this stage that managing production based on simple systems and guesswork becomes too difficult.

If you feel your business is nearing this stage, it is probably the right time to make an investment in brewery management software at the same time. The real-time visibility of your entire inventory will allow you to keep careful control of operations at such a volatile state in your business’s life.


As demonstrated by crowdfunding bids by craft brewers such as Renaissance, ParrotDog and Yeastie Boys, many craft breweries do need to scale up at some stage.

At the point that a brewery is dealing with large number of orders and managing relationships with investors, there is much less room to manage inventory via a clipboard or a spreadsheet. Inventory management software, on the other hand, is designed to scale up as a business grows.


Inventory management software enables brewers to tap into sales data to analyze sales performance. Although it is unlikely to be the only factor a craft brewery uses to determine which beers to produce, this analysis can inform the decision to keep a particular beer in the rotation or to swap it out for another idea.

This analysis can also identify slow moving product before it goes bad, creating options to extract at least some return.


The above are some of the primary ways that brewery management software can aid in the beer brewing process. By switching to use modern software like Unleashed, which can be trialed for free for 14 days, you will discover the full range of benefits it can have for your business.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

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.

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