BeerRun: A Cloud Based Inventory System for Breweries

Port City Brewing Co., a small craft brewery outside of Washington DC, has fully embraced the cloud which has helped streamlined its internal operations. Using a cloud app named BeerRun, employees can track and update the company’s inventory with just a few swipes.  Port City Brewing has only been in business for three years.

In those three short years, the founder Bill Butcher has overseen the upstart brewery’s transformation from a small startup business into a full-fledged microbrewery that is constantly reevaluating the way it does business. While the day to day operation of the microbrewery is still labor intensive, Butcher has looked to the cloud in order to make administrative tasks easier and more cost efficient.

When a Port City Brewing employee receives a shipment of hops, BeerRun allows the employee to update the inventory in real time. BeerRun also summarizes and tracks each keg, bottle and package that enters or leaves Butcher’s facility. BeerRun is designed to help manage distribution channels which are the lifeblood of small craft breweries.  Butcher mentions that before using BeerRun, “There was a lot of duplication of effort, a lot of reinventing the wheel.” Noting the concerns that other startups have when expanding their enterprise, Butcher went on to say, “Once you get a certain amount of production you need to have more sophisticated tools.”

Jonathan Reeves, head brewer at Port City, can brew up a special batch of his most prized beer recipe and automatically deduct the ingredients from the inventory on his mobile device.  Once these ingredients have been deducted, supply chains can be triggered that automatically order more ingredients for the beer. In the past, Port City’s growing pains were on display as the brewery actually ran out of grain due to inconsistent spreadsheets. Since using the BeerRun cloud based inventory system, Port City Brewing has been able to know the exact metrics of its operation which has enabled the upstart brewing operation to continue growing at an exponential rate.