Brewing Success: Embracing Digital Transformation in Breweries

Alex Wingert

In today’s fast-paced digital age, breweries are finding innovative ways to enhance their operations and customer experiences. Embracing a robust Digital Adoption Plan has become crucial for breweries aiming to stay ahead of their competition. Let’s explore the myriad of ways in which digital tools can improve your brewery.

Brewing Management Software

Digitizing the tracking of your brewing process will help connect the dots from every part of the production process so you can make smart decisions faster, easier, and with greater confidence.

Let’s say that today your brewery operates very well, and your brewers are diligently tracking each brew through spreadsheets, or printed out templates. This is great because you have a history of past batches, and you’re able to look back and make improvements based on this data. However, when manually tracking your brewing operations, this is often where the analysis ends.

Dedicated Brewing Management Platforms will capture data from each stage of the brewing process starting from ingredient management, all the way up to the sale of your beer. While managing the data from each stage along the way, these platforms will automatically generate reports for you to better understand your COGS to maximize your yields.

If you’ve never explored these platforms, I’ve included the names of 2 companies below that seem to be the most popular from the brewers I’ve spoken with:

The feature sets of these products are similar in the way that they can track both brewing operations, as well as sales. However, you’ll want to dive into both of them to see which one would be a good fit for you.

Online Ordering Portal for Wholesale Orders

If you require a business to call you or email you to place an order, you’re reducing your margins. To help streamline your ordering process, it makes sense to allow your wholesale partners to place orders on their own time, without the involvement of your team.

Offering an online portal for your wholesale partners will allow your partners to see an up-to-date inventory list when placing an order for a keg. This will save your team time as your team doesn’t need to handle the administration, and in the event, that a partner emails you with an order of a keg that is out of stock, you won’t have to go back and forth to make that order happen.

Some popular ordering platforms out there are:

Again, you’ll want to vet the software yourselves and make a decision based on your current technology stack, and the overall needs of your brewery. When possible, it makes sense to use one software that meets multiple business needs, as opposed to leveraging multiple pieces of software.

Digital Marketing for Breweries

This last one should go without saying. Having a strong social media presence is a must for a brewery. Whether or not you offer food, you are competing with all the restaurants in your area. You want your brewery to become a local destination, and you want your target audience to know that you exist! This is why thoughtfully designing your taproom is key. If your customers enjoy the atmosphere, and the brewery looks good, they will be more likely to share their experience with their followers.

On the other side of this, you need to be active on your social account, running promotions, hosting events, and giving your audience a reason to come!

Keeping up with your Digital Marketing can seem daunting, which is why we always suggest doing it in batches. If you can sit down for 30-60 minutes each week and plan your content, you’ll be golden. For breweries that already have an event calendar, most of the work is done for you! Translate the event calendar into scheduled posts to share with your audience. Remember, always tag your location, as well as any artists or groups that are coming into the brewery.

Making Digital Adoption for Breweries Easier through the Canadian Digital Adoption Program

In early 2022, the Canadian Government created the Canadian Digital Adoption Program, which was created to help businesses leverage technology to grow their business. The primary benefit for breweries entering this program is to receive a 0% interest loan from the BDC, with a 6-year payback period. The amount of the loan will be determined by your annual revenue but will be between $50,000 and $100,000.

Loan Details:

  • $500,000 – $5,000,000 in annual revenue qualifies you for up to a $50,000 loan
  • Over $5,000,000 in annual revenue qualifies you for up to a $100,000 loan
  • Loan is delivered through BDC
  • Loan is 0% interest with a 5-year term + 12 months capital postponement (total 6 years).
  • Loan must be used to implement projects outlined in the Digital Adoption Plan

Learn More about creating a Digital Adoption Plan here, or give us a call.