Intelligent Solutions for Complex Assets: Breweries

5 minutes

Whether it’s delightfully creamy or shockingly hoppy, if ever there is a product that captures the essence of blending art and science, it’s beer. Brewing it — and brewing it well enough to make money from it — takes extensive knowledge, patience, care, and yes, maintenance.

For breweries, especially ones producing upwards of 15,000 barrels a year, maintenance and operations (M&O) isn’t just an oversight; it’s the whole shebang. From keeping facilities clean and running efficiently to ensuring consistency in each batch, teams need tools that can help protect and monitor the many machines involved in the delicate brewing process as well as facilitate effective communication and record keeping.

But…many breweries hesitate to adopt asset management technology, and with good reason. Whether they are started as a second career after a departure from tech (such as Seattle’s Optimism brewery that former Microsoft employees opened) and are reluctant to use such tech, deterred by the high cost of quality solutions, or simply hold the belief that the tools are just not designed with them in mind, many breweries are slow to put a connected system in place.

Below, we’re taking a closer peek at how, by putting the right asset management solution in place, breweries can create sustainable operations and perfect their craft for years to come. Prost!

3 reasons why breweries need an asset management solution

Breweries have the unique opportunity to become whatever their founders want them to be: a solution to a midlife career change, a valuable place for the community to come together, or maybe they want to be pioneers in new beer genres. Heck, some will even argue that drinking craft beer has health benefits. Whatever the intention, we’ve brewed up our top three reasons breweries need an asset management solution.

1. You want to tap into your brewery’s full potential

If you’re a brewery after growth and scale (AKA you want to expand and make money), you need to be tracking every little detail. An asset management solution can help your brewery efficiently scale operations by helping you keep detailed tabs on all your equipment, including fermenters, tanks, and machinery, ensuring that you have the right equipment to meet production demands.

As breweries grow, they produce more beer, and therefore, equipment and assets expand in number and complexity. When you focus on barrel output expansion, tracking and managing your recipes, machines, facilities, and employees becomes increasingly challenging without a proper system.

And where would we be if we didn’t mention maintenance scheduling? With growth comes the need for more frequent maintenance (and, dare we say, preventive maintenance — you can’t make beer if your tank goes down!). Asset management software can schedule and automate maintenance tasks, ensuring that critical equipment remains in optimal condition and reducing the risk of costly breakdowns. Salut!

2. Good to the last drop, and good for the environment

One great thing about the beer industry is that it cares about people and the environment.

Breweries often emphasize sustainability and reduce their environmental footprint. Some breweries even partner with cool startups with products like anaerobic digesters that can turn spent grain into energy! An asset management solution can help with sustainability initiatives by optimizing equipment usage, reducing energy consumption, and ensuring efficient operations.

Another aspect of sustainability as a concept is building something that will last long into the future. If you want your brewery assets to live their fullest lifecycle and to be able to afford to keep your tasting room (LED) lights on, effective maintenance management can lead to significant cost savings. The right asset management technology can help purport this. By properly caring for equipment, a brewery can extend its lifespan and reduce the need for frequent replacements.

Additionally, using your asset management solution to track energy consumption (and optimize it) can reduce utility bills, contributing to cost reduction and planet saving. Cheers!

3. Operational efficiency gets your hops in order

We alluded to it earlier, but equipment breakdowns can lead to production downtime, which can be costly and impact product quality. How do you sell beer if you aren’t making it? Asset management software can help breweries proactively schedule maintenance to prevent unexpected failures, minimizing downtime and ensuring consistent production.

One thing to consider is that breweries often need to manage more equipment and assets across multiple locations as they expand. An asset management solution provides a centralized system for tracking assets, streamlining workflows, and ensuring staff can easily access information about equipment status, maintenance schedules, and historical data.

A final argument in the pro column for an asset management solution is that consistency in product quality is crucial for breweries. Asset management can help monitor equipment performance, ensuring that each batch meets the desired quality standards, which is essential for maintaining customer trust and brand reputation. Cin cin!

Raise a pint with Brightly

If you can’t tell, the team at Brightly has a very soft and sudsy spot for beer. Besides contributing to charity alongside brewmasters for almost a decade, we’ve also helped breweries (including a few in our home state of North Carolina) leverage our powerful technology to optimize their maintenance and operations.

Though assets might not be the first thing you think about when having a conversation about breweries, we understand the unique nuances of manufacturing — specifically the food and beverage industry — especially as it relates to beer, wine, and other specialty products. We believe that by giving breweries access to their asset data, they can refine their maintenance and operational strategies, make more informed decisions, and keep on creating the products we all know and love.

We’ve barely scraped the barrel. Ready to learn more about how Brightly can help you give your brewery some gravity? Schedule a call with an expert today.