Software And Technology Keep Craft Beer Flowing

By: Gerald Dlubala

Better time management, production consistency and organizational excellence are just a few of the promised benefits of adding or updating the technology and software within your craft brewery. While this may not have been in the forefront of your original craft brewing dream, in order to reach your brewing goals, you will want and need to increase efficiency, production and quality by using compiled and organized data to make key business decisions. It’s critical to research and determine what you will need in order to get some of your time back to spend on your first love, that of making great quality craft beer for both your loyal and potential new beer patrons.

Adding Technology To Grow Your Brand

Mike Bianco is the Operations Manager for the Civil Life Brewery in St Louis Missouri, but as is the case in small business, he’s a wearer of many hats, including acting as the liaison between the production, distribution and sales teams.

“Up until a few months ago, our brewery information was recorded and kept on a mix of whiteboards, excel sheets, dropbox documents, google docs, and whatever else was available,” said Bianco.  “All of these mediums had to be put together to decipher whatever information we needed at the time, so researching and investing in a brewery management system that offered system-wide integration was the major focus of our technology investment.”

The Civil Life brewery needed a software system that could help them now and grow with them as they plan to increase production to expand into packaged product offerings. They are growing and need a streamlined and user-friendly product to help them along their way. They chose to go with EKOS, a company that prides themselves on easy-to-use craft business management software.

“We chose EKOS mainly because of their integration and streamlining aspect. But it was also a matter of finding functionality with someone that had extensive experience on the craft beer side of things while being available at our required price point” said Bianco.  “EKOS is visible and used by all employees. Our employees are permitted access to different dashboards depending on what role they fill within our brewery. We’ve had it up, fully functional, and in use for about a month now, and have already noticed much better planning and forecasting capabilities. We deliberately implemented the system in phases over a couple of months so we could make sure it was doing what we wanted and needed it to do before moving on to the next step. This way, we knew the system would function as advertised for our specific situation.”

Although Bianco is very satisfied with the EKOS system, he’s already looking to the future and what can be improved upon with respect to additional software and technology.

“We’ve got the brewing process down within EKOS, but we’re still lacking when it comes to point of sale integration from our tap room into our back office reporting,” he said. “There’s still a disconnect that we’ll look into getting integrated there, and for the most part, we are still a manual brew operation. There is no real brew automation currently, but that’s an area we’ll transform as we continue our growth. Down the road, as production expands further we’ll also look at a good tracking system for our kegs.”

“But one of the best advantages for us in using a package system like EKOS is its ability to integrate seamlessly with our QuickBooks functions, immediately updating and providing in-the-moment reports and brewing process information.”

Additionally, Civil Life is a big proponent of solar energy, using panels to feed into their main system to help power everything from their lights to chillers.

SeamVision Technology Provides Canning Seam Consistency

“Predictive technology absolutely increases canning quality” says Neil Morris, Co-Partner of OneVision Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of SeamVision, a seam inspection system for food and beverage canners and can makers.

“We help quality managers take preventative action before seam related canning faults bring their process to a sudden halt or worse yet, are found while the product is sitting in inventory at the manufacturing site or in a customer’s warehouse.”

SeamVision uses predictive technology to initially gather statistics about the preferred settings on canning equipment and then monitor those settings so they are consistently adhered to throughout the canning process. With SeamVision, you can see the integrity of the can seams in 3 different spots while it is being formed rather than hoping it’s being done right. The system can also detect wear patterns indicating preventative maintenance is needed. It is user-friendly and fits in with your current network environment.

“With SeamVision technology, we’re able to record machine settings and provide a process to alert the manufacturing personnel if those seam settings start to deviate from the baseline numbers, indicating a potential looming problem. The alerts are color based, using traditional red, green and amber notifiers so the responsible person can rectify a potential issue before it causes costly real-time production interruptions. This type of monitoring results in greater overall consistency and increased production uptime.”

Serious can and seam faults are nearly impossible to predict using only periodic manual checks, so SeamVision provides a system of gauges all under software control.

“We are unique in this approach,” says Morris. “Once SeamVision is set up and online, less frequent physical checks are necessary. SeamVision even checks for subtle changes that affect the seam tightness, body-hook connection, cover hook length and seam overlap due to manufacturing changes, dimensional changes, equipment wear over time or undetected interior part failure. All checks are stored for easy review and reference over time.”

Seam Consistency Critical To Quality Canning Process

“SeamVision is truly a process control helper,” says Morris. “Craft brewing is obviously popular, but with wine moving into the canning market as well, seam quality is absolutely critical. The specifications for whatever dimension can you choose to use need to remain consistent to improve shelf life, hold proper carbonation levels and guarantee a quality can tab system. SeamVision empowers breweries to do this consistently, whether on an individual basis or as is becoming more common, within a shared space that houses all of the smaller craft startups that don’t have the amount of upfront capital to do this themselves.”

Morris says “A basic SeamVision system installed will run in the neighborhood of twelve to fourteen thousand dollars, which is really a drop in the bucket to what many have spent getting to the point of starting the canning process. Now, you must make sure that the quality of the can remains consistent and the beer you’re selling is the same beer that you initially intended for the public to drink.”

A typical craft brewer may run one hundred cans per minute while running a canner about thirty hours a week. More established breweries may run as high as twenty-two hundred cans per minute.

“But any reasonable canning volume is a candidate for the SeamVision system,” says Morris.

“The strength of our system is tracking and quality consistency. It’s genuinely about getting predictive, timely information to help be proactive and avoid costly downtime within the craft beer industry.”

Intuitive Process Management Software Lets You Focus On Core Business

Jason Lippa, President and Founder of FIVE x 5 Solutions, (formerly Distillery Solutions), creates total process management solutions for craft brewers and distillers to manage all facets of their brewing or distilling operations.

Brew X 5 is the craft brewing arm of his business and is a complete package software system allowing craft brewers to monitor their entire brewing process from inventory to glass. Brew X 5 includes all of your important data and reports and is easily and readily accessible through phones, tablets, or desktop computer stations with easy to read graphics. It is completely QuickBooks compatible while providing instant access to processes and active batch updates.

“Brew X 5 is very intuitive and user-friendly, so there isn’t a need for time-consuming training or user-related learning windows,” says Lippa. “There really is no big install period. You’re up and running from day one. Brew X 5 is an all-encompassing start to finish program that allows each employee the administrative permission to monitor and access the part of the process they are specifically involved in. We don’t restrict the number of users or devices, so this is a great way to keep every employee involved and informed. Individual personnel have real-time access to the data that is relevant to them and their job function while contributing to the overall brewing process and providing management complete and up to date reports on the back end. No one has to master any programs or confusing navigational procedures.

Brew X 5 handles all functions throughout the brewing process:

  • Operations, including recipe and batch information, vessel volume information, and product streams throughout the process, allowing quality product repetition.
  • Inventory levels with automatic purchase order levels, and information on customer and supplier management.
  • Sales tools to generate forecasts, invoices, fill orders, check available inventory and customer statistics.
  • Production planning by optimizing vessel usage and needed material forecasting.
  • Barrel profiles, blending statistics, finishing notes and inventory. Keg tracking is available by customer or type.

Over time, Brew X 5 provides insights derived specifically from these statistics that help the owner understand and manipulate things to increase efficiency and eliminate single points of failure in the manufacturing process.

“With all the individual uses for the single components of this software, the end result can be pure brewing magic,” says Lippa. “Organizing and analyzing all the data from all departments provides compliance reports, daily production logs and operational reports as well as customized metrics like brew loops while simultaneously tracking quality.”

The Brew X 5 program came about because Lippa saw a need.

“One of the main benefits of our software program is that it solves the problems that any manufacturing company has. Management has so many balls in the air that if anything does fail or break, by the time you find out about it it can be too late, costing time and money. With Brew x 5, you have all this operational information and control under one roof, so to speak. It is literally the heart of the brewery, handling manufacturing data and analysis but also allowing you to pull specific information as needed from an easy to use single source.”

Parent company Five x 5 Solutions started out in the craft spirits industry and has expanded to craft breweries through a controlled growth program. By doing it this way, Lippa believes they have better offerings and interfaces than their competitors. As to the future, Lippa says that they’re just going to listen to the needs of the customer, letting that be their focus.

“Data is king, and we are helping companies collect information and produce meaningful reports that drive key business decisions. That’s the way that we’ve been most successful. We let our customers draw our roadmap, looking at everything up through point of sale integration. Most customers don’t have a clearcut answer as to what they want or need this data to do for them, so we keep things simple to use while providing the most powerful results. By live syncing with QuickBooks, we allow the owner to stay focused on the core of his business.”

Brew X 5 also provides exemplary support, averaging an eleven-and-a-half-minute solution through their completely in-house support team.

“We pick up the phone,” says Lippa. “We believe in this type of support because software and technology used within a manufacturing environment like brewing is truly a partnership.”

Brew X 5 is offered in monthly packages if the customer just wants to test the product, but Lippa believes that with complete technology and support systems like Brew X 5, reciprocal long-term commitments are best for both parties.

“Our main goal is to enable business owners to get and remain educated on how their business is run from the inside out.”

How to Choose the Right Packaging Machine for Your Brewery

By: Alyssa Ochs

©Mitch Wojnarowicz Photographer
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co in Brewerton NY for ABC Creative group, Schneider Packaging Equipment Co and OEM Magazine


Craft beverage consumers are often quick to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a beer by its packaging. The quality of beer comes first and foremost, but how a beer looks on retail shelves can also drive or sink a brewery’s profits. Packaging machines are useful to breweries for many reasons, including efficiently and attractively packaging beer and cans in cartons. Depending on the size of a brewery’s operations and its goals, these machines range from small hand machines to huge mass production models.

Uses of Brewery Packaging Equipment

These days, very few breweries are packaging their products by hand. Manual processing isn’t fast enough to keep up with demand, but unlike mechanization in the wine industry, there isn’t a strong stigma regarding breweries using machines.

For breweries, packaging equipment comes in the form of case packers and uncasers, can cartoners, case erectors and partition inserters. Innovative companies have developed robotic case packers to pack products into cases and trays, as well as multi-lane diverters to configure cans in the desired format for multi-packs. It may save time and labor if breweries use cartoners that convey, collate, and package cans into multi-pack cartons that are built and glue-sealed.

Meanwhile, other packaging machines work as case and carton sealers, stretch and shrink wrappers, and label applicators. Wrap-around tray packers are commonly used for beer bottles and cans, tray-formers are used for rollover locking, and open-top glue trays are used for 24-count trays of bottles or cans. Large brewery operations typically rely on fully integrated systems that include many of these features including product conveyors, uncasing, single-filling conveyors, lane dividers, dividing wheels, star wheels and sealing equipment.

Benefits of Packing Machines for Breweries

In the early stages of operations or for small and niche breweries, manual packaging may be the preferred operational method, or at least a good starting point. Packaging bottles and cans manually can serve as a preliminary method before growing and saving up for a more automated system. Temporary and transitional packaging services are available for breweries looking to outsource this type of work. However, having your own packaging line typically saves money in the long run and gives brewers greater control over their products.

Packaging machines provide breweries with speed, consistency and efficiency on their packing line, saving employees time and the brewery money. Packaging machines also help a brewery reduce packaging costs, ensure a more consistent appearance, and promote good hygiene to prevent beer contamination. Consistent, well-placed packaging can reinforce and strengthen a brewery’s particular brand and help establish brand recognition and loyalty among consumers.

Top Packaging Machines in the Industry

Packaging machines are used in a wide variety of industries, including food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, industrial products, and non-food consumer goods. In a market with so many choices, some companies now cater to the highly specific needs of breweries.

Based in Brewerton, New York, Schneider Packaging provides case and tray packaging, case sealing, palletizing, and complete end-of-line solution services for its customers. For the beverage industry, Schneider’s gable top packing solution is the stand-out solution designed to run at speeds matching the fastest filling systems. Meanwhile, Schneider incorporates FANUC robotics to create flexible palletizing solutions to meet facility and production requirements. The latest innovations used include ProAdjust technology to increase uptime, patent-pending Intelligent Illumination to maintain case packers, and the proprietary OptiStak software to optimize and simplify pallet generation. Other industries Schneider serves are dairy, food, industrial/chemical/household, paper, personal care/cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and plastics.

Douglas Machine Inc., a packaging solutions company based in Alexandria, Minnesota, specializes in high-quality automated packaging solutions for paperboard, corrugated and shrink-film. Douglas is a 100 percent employee-owned company that has installed more than 9,000 machines in at least 30 countries.

“Douglas provides paperboard horizontal cartoning, RSC, and wrap-around case-packing and tray, shrink, pad/film and film only packaging machinery for the brewery industry at a variety of line speeds and configurations,” said Brenda Larson, Marketing Communications Manager at Douglas Machine.

Meanwhile, in Eugene, Oregon, PakTech is a full-service manufacturing company that delivers environmentally sustainable packaging solutions to the craft beer industry.

“Our handles are simple to grab, carry, and remove your product using a 100 percent recycled handle,” PakTech Sales Manager, Keenan Hoar, told Beverage Master Magazine. “PakTech’s minimalistic design and extensive color options highlight your brand and eliminate the need for obscuring artwork with other types of packaging.”

Hoar also said PakTech offers automated application versatility for flexible production requirements.

“You can apply the handles by hand if you’re a startup or have a limited volume requirement,” he said, “or you can utilize their automated applicators ranging in speed from 120 cans per minute to over 1,500 cans per minute if you have a higher speed operation.”

 Accutek Packaging Equipment Companies, Inc. is headquartered in Vista, California but has locations in Irving, Texas and Fort Myers, Florida as well. One of the largest privately-held packaging machinery manufacturers in the U.S., Accutek is a leading manufacturer and developer of complete turnkey packaging solutions. It offers consumers everything from filling to capping machines, conveyors, labeling and sleeving machines, and complete packaging systems.

Vice President Drake Chocholek told Beverage Master Magazine that Accutek often helps start-up companies make the best decisions for their operations. By partnering with a company experienced in this field, brewery owners can better assess whether potential packaging machines are easy to maintain, clean, adjust and upgrade.

“For example, a lot of new producers don’t know there are different grades of quality for glass bottles, or they may not know about bottle washers or rinsers used for cleaning containers before filling,” Chocholek said.

To take this a step further, Chocholek told us about the essential checklist his company uses to help new customers understand their full scope of operations and to make packaging simpler and more affordable.

“After we find out the product and container sizes, we ask them what their budget is, how fast they want the machinery to go, and if they’re in the market for more than one piece of machinery,” he said.

What Breweries are Using and Why

Aaron Williams of Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia told Beverage Master Magazine his brewery specializes in brewing balanced beers for weeknights that pair well with food. Monday Night Brewing opened up its second facility, The Garage, in September 2017 to feature its barrel-aged, sour, and experimental beers. This addition came with an upgrade in equipment.

“We recently upgraded to a 24/4 CFT canning line that we are running at about 250 cans per minute,” Williams said. “We use hi-cone rings packed into trays because it uses the least amount of packaging.”

Meanwhile in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Marble Brewery’s president and brewmaster, Ted Rice, told us about the packaging system that his team currently uses.

“We use a 12-head CFT for canning,” Rice said. “From the CFT, the 12-ounce cans run to a Switchback cartoner for six or 12 packs. The cans can also run to an American Canning Machine PakTech applicator.”

However, finding the best options for machines that carton beer bottles and cans seem to be more of a challenge for breweries.

“Right now, we don’t do any bulk beers in cartons but are actively looking at machines to handle this in a more automated system,” Williams of Monday Night Brewing said. “There are many machines, but it doesn’t seem there is a clear winner based on conversations with other breweries. We currently hand-package our limited sampler packs.”

Douglas Machine may have the solution, however, since they offer a variety of cartoning machinery models that fit a wide range of canning and bottling line speeds and pack configurations.

“For lower speed lines, the intermittent motion Vantra offers an unparalleled speed of 40 plus cartons per minute with range capabilities offering of four to 24 count flexibility,” Larson said. “For higher speed lines, Douglas offers the Spectrum in many models for mid-high-speed lines with speeds up to 250 cartons per minute. The Vantra and Spectrum Center Select offer flexibility to run different diameter and height cans, while the cost-effective Spectrum Center Select offers mid-high-speed capability on a single can diameter capability at a very cost-effective price.”

How to Choose the Right Packaging System

As with every decision made in a brewery, owners must make considerations before investing in a packaging system. Short-term and long-term costs, ease of ongoing maintenance, opportunities for customizable design, integration with existing bottle and can filling systems, as well as choosing the correct machine size are only a handful of things to analyze before purchasing.

Breweries can also reduce their carbon footprint and sustain more eco-friendly operations if they choose packaging products made from 100 percent recycled materials.

“Our products provide an end market for recycled HDPE, helping the economy and environment by providing jobs and keeping plastics out of the landfills and oceans while providing a second life for recycled HDPE plastic,” said Gary Panknin, PakTech’s Sustainability Officer. “Our handle recycling program also provides the opportunity for breweries to participate in keeping our products in the recycling stream and out of the waste stream.”

According to Panknin, 102,592,428 milk jugs were kept out of landfills and repurposed into PakTech handles in 2018, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. “In total, we have diverted 338,267,223 milk jugs from entering the waste stream, kept 20,973 tons of plastic out of the landfills and oceans, and saved 17.90-acre feet of land from being used as landfills for waste,” he said.

PakTech’s system isn’t merely a sustainability badge of honor, however. “The PakTech applicator makes our line far more efficient, and our operators do not experience wrist fatigue from manually applying the PakTech,” said Rice of Marble Brewery. “Having the Switchback cartoner allows our brands to have a clean billboard on the shelves. Using the PakTech allows us to run smaller volumes of seasonals in shrink sleeve cans without designing a carton with its associated costs and minimums.”

Williams of Monday Night Brewing suggests brewers ensure that any company they partner with for packing is credible and trustworthy.”I think the key is to really do your homework and ask around,” he said. “Find out who uses the equipment you’re interested in, what the manufacturer support is like, and if the manufacturer really will stand behind it for the long term. I’ve talked to many breweries that got a great up-front price on their equipment only to find the supplier didn’t really stand behind it.”

With this in mind, Mike Brewster of Schneider Packaging Equipment advises breweries “to do their due diligence on what they foresee their operation looking like in the future. Today, more than ever, consumer trends in the marketplace are changing at a rapid pace. With that, it is critical to align with a manufacturer who offers flexible and scalable solutions to assist you as your operation encounters changes.”

Concerning functionality, Hoar of PakTech said that his team looks at the fill rate when helping a brewery choose the right application for its operations. “It is extremely easy to manually apply PakTech carriers, yet the feasibility of doing so is all dependent on volume,” he said. “It is necessary to look at the cost of utilizing employees to apply the handle against the return on investment of our automated solutions.”

Hoar emphasizes the importance of packaging presentation as well because “by focusing on originality and creative expression, breweries have turned artwork into brand identity.” He also points out the need to know your brewery’s customers and consider portability and sustainability when choosing packaging products because many customers care about these things.

“We understand that many customers have a ‘pack it in, pack it out’ mentality, and we need to support the idea of a circular economy in any capacity,” Hoar said.

Finally, Larson of Douglas Machine recommends that breweries consider future packing patterns and configurations when specifying packaging systems for canning and bottling lines.

“Too often, brewers will select machinery based upon their immediate pack patterns or speeds, therefore buying a machine that cannot handle future pack patterns and speeds due to a lack of flexibility in some machinery offerings,” Larson said. “Additionally, the robustness of machinery is critical as brewers grow their operation and volumes increase to the point they need to add production shifts. It is imperative to consider the design and build design to ensure that a packaging system they purchase is robust enough to run multiple shifts, seven days per week. Initial low costs are long forgotten when experiencing poor or inconsistent performance.”

Customization Fosters Innovation: Choosing the Best Brewing Tanks

By: Tracey L. Kelley

Head Brewer Joe Kesteloot of Peace Tree Brewing Co. in its Des Moines, Iowa-based innovation brewery. Photo courtesy of Peace Tree Brewing Co.

The long game of brewing isn’t always obvious in the glass. Some producers spend up to two years evaluating what to brew and what equipment will craft the best product. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, but for brewers eager to get started or respond to an expansion demand, it’s critical to have a long-term mindset to produce creatively with fiscal responsibility.

When choosing tanks, especially fermentation tanks, there are numerous questions to answer before snapping up a standard model and placing it in the rack. The equipment in the brewhouse reflects as much about your approach as the end result: attention to detail and processes, ease of production and quality standards.

Patrick Mears is the sales and marketing manager for Marks Design and Metal Works, operating in Vancouver, Washington. Since 2008, Marks Design has specialized in designing custom stainless steel fermenters to brewers’ unique specifications but also fabricates brite tanks, cider tanks and other stainless steel vessels. Mears told Beverage Master Magazine the brewer’s personality, and approach helps inform his company to meet your needs.

“We’ve happily helped many groups who didn’t have a clue what they needed other than a produced volume and a budget. However, our expertise can be more useful if you’ve had a chance hammer out your vibe,” Mears said. “I know that sounds crazy, but it tells us a lot! Are you nerdy about beer and want extreme control over every aspect of the process and log all the data to look for trends? Are you super laid back and simply want to provide your neighborhood with an alternative to Applebee’s? Do you want to be innovative, or are you looking to perfectly reproduce old world beers?  Your brewhouse is an extension of you.”

For new producers, knowing what’s needed beforehand can be difficult. Evaluating potential tank requirements by nebulous considerations of volume, beverage, processes and other factors sometimes makes the choice more challenging.

  Joe Kesteloot is the head brewer at Peace Tree Brewing, Co. based in Knoxville, Iowa. Peace Tree, established in 2010, now has three taprooms in Iowa and an extended retail presence. They produced approximately 5,500 barrels in 2018. Kesteloot agreed the decision is tough, especially when “you don’t know what your flagship beer(s) may be yet,” but offered particular sources of insight. “It helps to get out in your market and talk to your potential customers, and weigh that information with your strengths. If you have a distributor, you ask what the market needs are. You can also look at the current market trends, but those trends are always evolving.”

Brewers should consider tank choices and sizes by determining, “some multiple of the brewhouse size,” said Bryan Boynton, Ph.D., brewer for Snake River Brewing, a brewery and pub located in Jackson, Wyoming. Established in 1994, Snake River is the state’s oldest brewery, and they now sell their beer throughout the U.S. The company produces an average of 8,000 barrels annually. “A 15 barrel brewhouse would lead to 30 or 60 barrel fermenters, bright tanks and serving tanks.” He suggested, “top manway tanks are ideal for all brewing styles, and especially important for ease of dry hopping; and tanks with racking arms that can rotate in the tank are ideal again for all styles, allowing for ease of transfer and filtering.”

Another consideration that factors into tank selection is the potential for multi-purpose use. William Stacy is the managing director of THIELMANN, a European company with U.S. headquarters in Houston. THIELMANN has produced containers for all types of products for more than 275 years, now with a particular focus on aseptic stainless steel tanks and kegs. In his brewery visits, Stacy said he’s continually impressed with the way producers ask double-duty of the company’s fermenters to maximize their investments.

“Some popular applications for our fermenter include brite tank, carbonation vessel and also a yeast propagation vessel. Large breweries use it for running small batches and test samples, and some even as a serving tank,” Stacy said. “This versatility and competitive price allow for the breweries to afford accessories and customization for the applications they require.”

Kesteloot sometimes takes this approach in the brewhouse. “One of my small-scale tanks doubles as a fermenter and a brite tank. However, I always transfer from fermenter to brite: I don’t ferment in it and leave it in there as brited beer. That tank rotates as one or the other function,” he said. “With most of my beers, I like to make sure they are off as much yeast and sediment as possible before serving or especially packaging.”

“I personally believe using fermenters as unitanks provides the most flexibility,” Mears said. He suggested buying the same amount of tanks as if you were pairing with brites, “but all the tanks would be conical fermenters. This way, your production doesn’t have to slow down because one of your brites are still full—you can just flip the fermenter to brite mode.”

While Boynton believes tanks can be multi-purpose in some instances, he offered a word of caution: “A fermentation tank doubling as a serving tank only works for certain styles of beer,” he said. “Most styles don’t allow for this combination. The removal of old yeast, dry hops and sedimentation that will push through to a consumer usually needs to be avoided.”

Stacy added that some producers intending to diversify their product lines often shop for tanks that can provide the most versatility. “Similar to root beer, sparkling or bubbling water is another offering brewers are moving into—filtering the water and just adding C02 to the tank prior to canning or bottling,” he said. “This is why we encourage brewers to think ahead about tank use and talk with their vendor about what type of kit specifications to accommodate other needs.”

Peace Tree Brewing Co. also crafts root beer, and often uses existing tanks for the process—but carefully. “We have designated hoses, carbonation stones and filler parts for root beer only. Many of those flavors can carry over to other brews, so we keep those pieces of equipment completely separate,” he said. “Even a mixing tank other than our brew system is used for root beer ingredients. Any tank used for root beer goes through a rigorous cleaning to remove any residue. This also applies to any sour beer we make with wild yeast.”

“If I Knew Then What I Know Now….”

The camaraderie of the brewing industry means the portal to quality information is always open. We requested our experts provide candid insight into tank, fitting and equipment decisions, and how they influence processes.

Boynton of Snake River Brewing stressed the significance of many factors. “Pressure Relief Valves (PRV) are very important for safety. If possible, buy tanks that are larger than expected brews to allow for a vigorous fermentation and not clog PRVs—which can lead to an explosion with grave consequences,” he said.

“Also, temperature probes that control the fermentation temperature need to be placed where one brew from the brewhouse is within its contact. If the first 15 bbl brew goes into the 60 bbl fermenter and doesn’t reach a temperature probe to turn on the cooling system, you have an uncontrolled fermentation,” Boynton said. “Finally, ease of cleaning without shadows, which are areas that the clean-in-place system doesn’t connect with well; and multiple zone cooling controls are the most important.

When asked what he wouldn’t do again, he replied: “No side manway tanks would have been purchased, and there was no need for conditioning tanks.”

Kesteloot of Peace Tree Brewing Co. seconded Boynton’s reference to temperature probes. “Probe location in fermenters and brite tanks are important. If you’re brewing multiple brews in a single fermenter, make sure the temperature probe is able to read the first brew, or maybe add multiple probes,” he said.

He also explained why tank shape and cooling jackets might matter to your processes. “We look at height-to-width ratios and cone pitch. Yeast can react differently in certain shape vessels. The right cone angle is necessary to collect healthy yeast,” Kesteloot said. “Even the way the cooling jackets are spaced or separated can help with certain applications. If you’re packaging from a brite tank and unable to finish the tank, the cooling jackets need to be located in the right spot to keep beer cold until packaging can resume.”

He added that learning how to accommodate Peace Tree’s expansion pointed to one crucial detail: “Anticipating the amount of cold storage we needed was a big challenge. It seems like we could always use more. Maximize the efficiencies in your processes as much as possible, so you have more wiggle room to be flexible later.”

Manufacturing experts Mears from Marks Design and Stacy from THIELMANN highlighted a fundamental but critical factor: bad tank quality reduces output and increases contamination.

“We offer field services in addition to tanks and systems, and have spent many field hours fixing tanks from other manufacturers that took shortcuts during fabrication or used low-quality material,” Mears said. “Within the past year, we fixed four 240 bbl fermenters at a single location! The tank manufacturer took shortcuts during fabrication, causing cracked welds on the inside of the tank within just a few years of purchase. Those cracks not only caused the tanks to leak precious revenue but also put the tank at risk of producing off-flavors due to the now unsanitary environment.”

Stacy echoed choosing a quality product and encouraged producers to “specify in tank selection aseptic characteristics and polished welds. This assures breweries that if operated properly, these aspects can reduce the risks of contamination. THIELMANN tanks, for example, are a fully aseptic design for easy cleaning with a simple spray ball,” he said. “We’ve recently seen some poorly-welded vessels in breweries and wineries. This substandard welding and lack of polished welds allow for severe risks with contamination.”

Invite the Vendors to Come to You

The nuts and bolts of tank decisions come down to what your vision is, and how well you communicate this to your equipment vendors.

Each producer has a different purchasing method—some buy tanks outright, using finance options that make sense within the guidelines of individual business plans. Others may lease or rent—an especially popular choice for seasonality spikes, short runs or additional product lines.

What does the typical fermentation tank cost? It depends. Establishing a base of $6,000-$7,000 or more per unit provides a launch pad, but what if the tank is multi-purpose? A standard brite tank may start at $2,500, but be as high as $6,000. Does this leave more wiggle room for additional equipment or change what you’ll produce? Should you utilize a turnkey system and work from that for a while?

Mears told Beverage Master Magazine that customization is what saves money in the long run. “The biggest mistake I see over and over is a brewer simply sending an email or filling out an online form and asking for a standard quote on a system,” he said. “If you take the time to have a conversation with us, we can put together a real quote that fits your specific needs. Explain what you really want, and if it isn’t in your current budget, we can help you decide what comes now vs. later.”

Stacy added: “We find budgets are a large factor, especially for new breweries. I would suggest they ask about the versatility of the systems. To be able to buy one piece of equipment and get three or four different uses out of it is a rare find,” he said. “For specification purposes, we have added many of the popular fittings and connections to make a tank a versatile, multi-use vessel. We also can customize the manways and connections to meet the specific needs.”

Producers that take advantage of customization find it allows for better operations. “We had vendors come to look at our space, and scale our square footage vs. ceiling height to maximize the most volume possible,” Kesteloot said. “They also examined our layout to see if things were going to flow from tank to tank, to packaging and out the door.

Based on increased demand, Boynton at Snake River Brewing said the company scaled up as needed. “We have a hodgepodge of tanks purchased through different sources.  The new large 60 barrel tanks we purchased are very nice.”

While no one can predict the future, these experts suggested using your objectives to determine tank needs. “Right now, with the popularity of IPAs, there are many specialized tanks for dry hopping as well as techniques for dry hopping in standard tanks,” Kesteloot said. “Breweries are using this equipment to maximize flavors and aromas. These are some things we’ll take into account in future expansions. We may even go backward in some applications and add some old, traditional methods.”

Maximizing budget. Providing quality products. Preparing for growth. It’s incredible to think your tank selection is a primary catalyst to accomplish these and other objectives. So take time and let the experts walk you through a set-up that fits your needs. “It’s important to brewers to be innovative, but it’s also important to be consistent and crank out the moneymakers,” Mears said. “Why not have a system that can do both?”

CLOUD COMPUTING: HOW CRAFT BEVERAGE COMPANIES BENEFIT FROM HAVING DATA AT THEIR FINGERTIPS

By: Wade Huseth, Baker Tilly

As a craft beverage manufacturer and business leader, you’re probably familiar with the term cloud computing – but may still have questions about the benefits, costs or risks associated with “moving to the cloud”. This article will answer some of those questions and demonstrate how cloud computing can positively transform your business from the inside out.

What is cloud computing …and why does it matter for my business?

In its most simple form, cloud computing is the use of a shared resource on the internet to store, manage and process data. The cloud allows unique users to access the same software application from any device, anywhere, at any time. Information is easily updated and shared between team members without the need to print files, manually input reports or be in the same physical location.

As an example, take a moment to imagine this structure in place for your accounting processes. With data available in the cloud, your accountant can access and adjust your records in real time.

So, why should you care about cloud computing? The threat of being left behind for one. Cloud computing is quickly becoming a new organizational norm. Emerging research on the topic speaks for itself.

  • Nearly 90 percent of all financial decision makers are already aware of cloud computing and the overwhelming majority believe cloud computing brings quantifiable business benefits critical to the success of their organizations.
  • The cloud is the new normal for enterprise applications, with 70 percent of all organizations having at least one application in the cloud today.
  • Wikibon is predicting enterprise cloud spending will grow at a 16 percent compound annual growth (CAGR) run rate between 2016 and 2026.
  • Business/data analytics and data storage (both 43 percent), so critical in the competitive craft beverage industry today, are projected to lead the decision for cloud adoption in 2019 and beyond.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

How can cloud computing improve my business?

We’re glad you asked. Here are a few ways cloud computing can positively impact your operational, financial and organizational goals:

  • Scalability
  • Reduced IT and operational costs
  • Enhanced efficiencies through automation and collaboration
  • Information mobility and accessibility
  • Greater visibility into your competitive advantages
  • Increased productivity
  • Disaster resistance

Scalability: Successful craft brewers are growing at an unprecedented rate and the ability to scale on an as-needed basis is one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing. Accelerated business growth typically leads to growing pains and missed opportunities resulting from the mismanagement of more data, infrastructure and customers. The right cloud computing solution will grow alongside your business to meet market demands and accommodate growth as technology shifts, revenues grow and your business needs evolve.

  Reduced IT and operational costs: When it comes to budgeting for infrastructure, the cloud eliminates hefty upfront costs for computer hardware and licenses. Instead, you pay a monthly software subscription based on usage that can be adjusted over time. Cloud computing allows craft beverage companies to work with business professionals with expertise in areas where your team may be

lacking from a skill set standpoint. It allows you to share information in real time for consultation in areas you would rather outsource such as CFO services, IT, human resource management, sales analytics, accounting, and payroll / performance compensation so you can focus on what you do best which is brewing quality beer. Cloud computing isn’t just good for business – it’s good for the environment, too. In one example, the U.S. General Services Administration reduced server energy consumption by nearly 90 percent and carbon emissions by 85 percent after switching users to a cloud solution.

Enhanced efficiencies through automation and collaboration: Craft business owners are always looking for efficiency savings and implementing a cloud solution means you can say goodbye to manual entries or physical backups to secure data. For example, cloud-based accounting software typically automates processes by importing transaction data on a real-time basis. The cloud computing model empowers team members to collaborate and share information beyond traditional communication methods – allowing multiple facilities and/or taprooms to co-manage production, raw materials, packaging levels and distribution scheduling.

Information mobility and accessibility: Information mobility and accessibility are two major benefits associated with the widespread adoption of smart phones and tablets across the global workforce. Cloud technology gives business owners access to critical data and reports on the go with anytime-anywhere access for quick and more informed decision making. In today’s market as a craft beverage manufacturer, it is critical to maintain ongoing communication via a CRM tool not only within your own sales team but with your distributor partners to ensure opportunities are addressed quickly and everyone is executing as planned. As a business leader, you can customize authorities and grant individual user access through a comprehensive authorization process.

  Greater visibility into your competitive advantages: Taking it one step further, the ability for craft beverage companies to access data in real time also makes that data more useful in identifying trends, comparing results to industry benchmarks, monitoring key performance indicators and, ultimately, being a better business partner to your distributors and retailers. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reported that 74 percent of cloud computing businesses feel they have a competitive advantage.

 Increased productivity: The blend of increased collaboration, added efficiencies, enterprisewide visibility and more informed decision making can only lead to one thing: more productivity. In fact, a survey by Frost & Sullivan found companies that invest in collaboration technologies increased productivity by as much as 400 percent.7 Cloud solutions allow employees, service providers and senior leadership to devote more time and energy to achieving strategic business goals. In some cases, it can also free up resources for the other ongoing capital investments required from beverage companies such as marketing, point of connection materials, event activation, research and development and employee training.

Disaster resistance: Paper files and hardware systems run the risk of being destroyed by natural disasters like fires, hurricanes and earthquakes. While cybersecurity remains a top concern for potential cloud adapters, losing important data to a disaster can completely devastate your business. Cloud technology recovery methods mitigate this risk by securing a copy of your data in a centralized server location, should a natural disaster occur.

Data Security

What’s the catch? Is security a concern?

Cloud security is a hot topic, and rightfully so. Critics argue the risks of turning your data over to an external provider need to be taken seriously, and data security is the leading concern for IT professionals when it comes to cloud computing.8 Additionally, a mere 23 percent of organizations today completely trust public clouds to keep their data secure9 and many surveyed professionals attribute a delay in cloud adoption to a lack of cybersecurity skills.

There is a widespread misconception that keeping IT operations in house is safer when, in reality, a third-party firm may be more capable of looking after your data. Unlike the IT management process a typical craft beverage company has in place, third-party providers offer devoted cybersecurity professionals with relevant technical credentials and a business model focused predominately around data security. As a result, they bring the expertise required to handle (and alert clients to) threats that include data breaches, insecure interfaces, system vulnerabilities, account hijacking and malicious insiders. Third party providers also keep up with the latest technology and industry developments, bring best practices forward based on interactions with other similar businesses, don’t require a benefits package including vacation and remove the threat of leaving with critical intellectual property such as recipes or brewing process insights.

Cloud Computing: Next steps

Okay, I’ve bought in to the benefits of cloud computing. Now what?

The majority of businesses hire an external consulting firm to help implement a cloud strategy.Working with an outside service provider gives you access to A) the latest and greatest technologies, B) industry specialists with an objective opinion and C) a reduction in both risk and cost.

Look for a firm that will work collaboratively with you to demystify the cloud to help your business thrive while making you a more informed and – as a result – more successful business leader throughout the process. Though the main focus may center on how cloud computing integrates with your financial reporting, cloud computing extends across many areas and is not limited to accounting functions.

Going beyond the basics, your chosen firm should assist you in understanding your data and leveraging it to make better business decisions. Every beverage company is different, so you should handpick a cloud solution customized to your unique needs and use that platform to transform what was once static accounting data and boring operational and sales statistics into a robust business management dashboard.

Business intelligence through analytics – dashboards – help identify trends, benchmarking comparisons, investment choices, planning opportunities and, most importantly, what your next business move should be. The beverage business is becoming less predictable with fewer loyal consumers. Staying a step ahead of your peers in this rapidly changing environment is critical to maintain a competitive advantage and realize long term success.

Cloud computing is more than just a technological fad. It represents the future of business and can transform your data whether it be sales, marketing, inventory/production or accounting records into a useful business tool.

  Wade Huseth is a partner with Baker Tilly and has more than 26 years of experience in providing financial accounting advisory services to companies in a variety of industries. Wade also leads the Advantage practice firmwide and specializes in leveraging best-in-class technologies and industry expertise to deliver customized accounting, finance and operational assistance to clients of all sizes

KNOCK, KNOCK! LIQUOR STORE AT YOUR DOOR IN 60 MINUTES OR LESS

By: April Ingram

Don’t want to leave the party to pick up the missing ingredients to make your signature cocktail or to try a new recipe? Wish you had options to save time, or you don’t want to head out into the elements to go pick up your favorite alcoholic beverages? Canadians can now enjoy greater options for their alcoholic beverage home delivery, including a wider selection of craft beverage products with Drizly.

In Canada, liquor laws are regulated by each province individually, and some have permitted home delivery of wine beer and spirits for decades. The original alcohol delivery service, Dial a Bottle, was taking orders by phone and delivering bottles before apps or even the internet existed. Today, the home delivery marketplace is flooded with options that make home delivery of alcohol nearly as easy as Uber Eats, and the competition is fierce, leading to lower delivery fees and extra service perks. E-Commerce companies are working with the complete inventory of local, leading liquor retailers and delivering them within 60 minutes to adults of legal drinking age at their homes and even to their offices.

Amazon for Liquor

Drizly, a pioneer and the world’s first and largest alcohol e-commerce marketplace is now launching their services in the city of Vancouver, the province of Alberta, and throughout 26 U.S. states. They’ve been called the “Amazon for Liquor” or “Uber Liquor,” and their approval to operate in Vancouver has been noted as quite the accomplishment, considering that legislative regulation has so far prevented the actual Uber from being allowed within the entire province. Drizly has already been serving consumers in parts of the neighboring province of Alberta for over two years.

Drizly works with local retailers, including Liquor Depot, to bring adults of legal drinking age a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits, with delivery in under 60 minutes through Drizly.com and the Drizly app.

By providing access to inventories from local retailers in each market, the service gives customers a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits at reasonable market prices. In addition to a wide variety of adult beverages, Liquor Depot’s range of popular soft drinks, juices, ice and other mixers, are also be available on the Drizly platform. Customers schedule a delivery or in-store pickup. The Drizly’s mobile app and website are deep wells of information, offering cocktail recipes, pro tips and popular adult beverage trends.

Delivery in Vancouver is a flat $4.99, and customers have to purchase a minimum of $20 worth of products from Liquor Depot and Liquor Barn to qualify for delivery.

Simplified Age Verification

Alcanna, formally known as Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., is North America’s largest publicly traded alcoholic beverage retailer and includes a chain of more than 240 stores operating in Alberta, British Columbia, Kentucky and Alaska, with both Liquor Depot and Liquor Barn under its banner. They carry a vast selection of craft beers, ciders and spirits, some of which are not available in provincially run liquor stores.

Although other liquor delivery services exist in the area, Drizly’s verification software ensures that liquor is kept out of the hands of minors. Age verification made the service even more appealing to Alcanna when it was looking for a platform to sell its products on demand.

“Vancouver has been thirsting for everything that Drizly facilitates, not least online access to our vast inventory, an intuitive shopping experience and the convenience of delivery in under an hour. It’s a win-win in every sense of the term,” Fran Coons, Vice President of Operations at Alcanna said in a press release.

By equipping retailers with technology that can verify age and identification, Drizly helps business owners protect their liquor licenses. Their retail partners are provided with a device to scan barcodes on official forms of identification. Drizly’s proprietary ID verification technology enables delivery personnel to verify IDs with accuracy that goes well beyond a manual review. The scans collect the customer’s name, date of birth and the ID expiry date, and the device can determine whether the ID is authentic. Once age and identity are confirmed, the scanned information is deleted from Drizly’s records, so there is no concern about collection or storage of personal information. Retailers aren’t required to use the device and can choose to use the scanner for every delivery or only when employees suspect the customer is underage.

Regulations

Provincial regulations alcohol delivery services are required to follow under their licensing agreement do not allow delivery services to store liquor themselves. Instead, they must take orders from a verified adult, then purchase the order from a retailer or general merchandise liquor store licensees such as Liquor Barn or Liquor Depot, and deliver the liquor to the adult who ordered it at a place where it is lawful to store or consume. The delivery service license in Alberta is considered a Class D liquor license and costs $200 annually. In British Columbia, licensed establishments are permitted to sell their products online and deliver them to customers only between 9:00 am and 11:30 pm and orders must be delivered on the same day they were placed.

Additionally, in British Columbia, anyone involved in the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages is required to complete “Serving It Right” training.  Serving It Right is British Columbia’s mandatory self-study course that teaches licensees, managers, sales staff and servers about their legal responsibilities when serving alcohol, and provides practical techniques to prevent problems related to over-service. This training is extended to and required for alcohol delivery personnel as well.  All Drizly delivery drivers are Liquor Depot and Liquor Barn employees, so they go through the same training as in-store staff, knowing how to recognize whether someone should not be served and when a customer may be a minor.

Stop Contamination at the Door With Disinfectant Mats

By: Nelson Jameson

PRESS RELEASE

CONTACT: Melissa Pasciak | Director of Marketing

m.pasciak@nelsonjameson.com | 715-387-1151

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stop Contamination at the Door with Disinfectant Mats™ from Nelson-Jameson

MARSHFIELD, WIS., December 19, 2018 – One step beyond the ordinary sanitizing footbath, Disinfectant Mats both clean and sanitize footwear before workers enter any processing areas, or anywhere you want to limit the spread of contamination.

While ordinary footbaths don’t provide any scrubbing action to keep users from tracking sediment back into a clean processing environment, Disinfectant Mats feature hundreds of flexible rubber fingers to clean dirt particles from footwear. Constructed of a heavy-duty rubber that won’t sag or allow solution to run out, Disinfectant Mats allow users to wipe their feet while simultaneously lowering the sole of the footwear into the sanitizing solution. The finger design then lets contaminants settle undisturbed, while the footwear contacts clean solution only, and then steps off the mat clean and sanitary.

To learn more about preventing cross-contamination in your plant with innovative selection of Disinfectant Mats and accessories, visit nelsonjameson.com or call one of our product specialists today!

2400 East Fifth Street, P.O. Box 647 | Marshfield, Wisconsin 54449

Amorada Tequila – the Essence of Passion

By: Nan McCreary

For many Americans— as well as others throughout the world — enjoying tequila means downing a shot of the spirit with a dash of salt and a slice of lime. To Terray Glasman, founder of Austin-based Amorada Tequila, the drink is much more than an alcoholic beverage. Rather, it’s a reflection of her culture, with memories of food, love, laughter and celebrations complimented by the special juice from the agave that flourishes in the hills surrounding Jalisco, Mexico. From these memories — and respect for tradition — Glasman created an ultra-premium spirit to be sipped and savored, much like fine wine, packaged in beautiful hand-crafted bottles, each a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Born in Mexico City, it was Glasman’s Mexican roots, and frequent trips there for her telecommunications company, that inspired her to jump into the tequila business. “When I traveled to Mexico, I found myself always going to the agave fields and thinking, ‘I really love tequila, and what’s available in the U.S. I don’t like,”’ Glasman said. “I am very picky about tequila. I don’t want it to burn; I want it to be smooth and tasteful.”

It took Glasman five years to find a distillery that shared her passion for making tequila the “old way,” that is, a tequila with no additives – that would express the flavor of the barrels, and nothing else. Together, she and the distillery crafted a recipe made from 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, which is the gold standard for purists in the tequila world. They selected plants that grow in the red volcanic soil in the Highlands, which generally produce sweeter and smoother-tasting tequilas, with definite floral and citrus notes. As a rule of thumb, the Weber Blue Agave takes five to eight years to mature. Glasman’s recipe specifically calls for waiting eight years before extracting the juice of the Piña, or pineapple, inside the agave.

Once Glasman mastered the formula, she began to design a bottle that would “reflect the love of the product” inside of it. “Amorada stems from the word enamorada which means ‘in love,’” she told Beverage Master Magazine. “I wanted to create a bottle that everyone would love, a bottle that was not only strikingly beautiful but also something people could use after they’ve consumed the tequila, be it a decanter or a container for flowers or a candle.”

The patented, visually-stunning bottles are available in cobalt blue, amber or red, depending on the style of tequila inside. Every bottle is hand-crafted (with the exception of the hand-blown red Anejo bottle), hand-etched with Glasman’s signature, and hand-labeled. The Anejo bottles are also filled manually since no two bottles are alike. “The bottles have come a long way to get to your table,” Glasman said. “A lot of love and passion has gone into each bottle, and each has a unique personality. I love admiring each bottle and their beautiful imperfections.”

Amorada Tequila made its debut in 2014. Currently, the company produces three types of tequila: a Blanco, a Reposado and an Anejo. The traditionally unaged Blanco comes in a cobalt blue bottle, and, according to Amorada Tequila’s descriptors, “the pure essence of agave gives way to subtle pineapple and earth with pepper and vegetable lingering momentarily.” In an amber bottle, the Reposado is “rested in once-used French Cognac barrels for up to eight months. When this Reposado first hits the tongue and palate, vanilla, brown sugar, earth and oak marry and linger for several seconds. In the moments after, these aromatics give way to an assemblage of intense almond, clove and cinnamon on the nose.” The Anejo is “aged for a minimum of 18 months in both Bourbon and French Cognac. Ample vanilla and oak are prevalent when first sipping this complex Anejo, but only linger for several seconds before transitioning into tobacco and caramel. As these flavors dissipate, rich butterscotch takes over and coats the glass.”

In addition to these three tequilas, Glasman is producing an Extra Anejo, which ages for 44 months, first in Cognac barrels, then in bourbon barrels and finally in Sauternes barrels. The tequila, which will be released at the end of 2019, will be bottled in a stunning handcrafted black bottle, which is the final stages of design.

Tequila to Savor

Amorada Tequila is not something you shoot in a bar. This is tequila to savor. “Every flavor profile in our aged tequilas come from the barrels themselves,” Glasman said. “There are no sugars, or other flavors added.”

Glasman uses virgin synthetic corks to prevent oxidation or impurities which could compromise the flavor. “When you drink the Blanco,” she said, “you get the true essence of the agave plant. Good tequila always starts with the Blanco.” As a testament to its quality, in 2017, Wine Enthusiast gave Amorada Blanco a 4-star plus rating. One reviewer said, “This Blanco tequila is superb! The fact that it’s not filtered gives it a delicious, floral aroma and a full, bright, buttery, earthy taste. This tequila is a throwback to how real Blanco tequilas should be made – traditionally. Makes for a delicious margarita as well! Not to mention how beautiful the hand-crafted, cobalt-blue, ‘heavy’ bottles are!”

For Glasman, this pat-on-the-back validates her theory on the proper way to drink tequila: treat it like a fine wine. Similar to wine, you open the bottle and allow the tequila to breathe, then pour it into a glass and swirl and sniff to appreciate the aromas fully. Finally, you taste the tequila, and enjoy it slowly, one sip at a time. Tequila, like wine, can also be artfully paired with food. As both a tequila and food aficionado, Glasman regularly works with her team of experts, Austin bartenders and chefs to create menus for tequila dinners. Her favorite pairings include Blanco with seafood, Reposado with steak and Anejo with desert, preferably chocolate cake. For tequila lovers, Glasman includes a rotating list of tequila recipes on her web page, www.amoradatequila.com.

Ever the entrepreneur, Glasman is always alert for opportunities to market her tequila. When big distributors wouldn’t take on her product, she decided to self-distribute and acquired a distribution license so she could sell to restaurants and liquor stores herself. “It’s a lot of work, but I love it because we get to know our customers.” Glasman has also managed to develop a relationship with Total Wine & More, and now has her product in all of the company’s 335 stores. Most recently, she was able to enter China through the Alibaba Midnight Pitch, an Austin event where small business people pitch their brands to Chinese markets. “They only accepted 10 percent of the products,” Glasman said, “I felt like I’d won the lottery.” Currently, Glasman is preparing patents and trademarks so she can distribute in Mexico.

A Champion for Women

As one of the few female tequila makers in the world, Glasman has a special affinity for reaching out to women. “I’m a woman in man’s world,” she told Beverage Master Magazine, “but I’m a champion for women, and believe in doing what I can to empower them. My bottles are made for women. Men like them too, but they’re more interested in the tequila inside.” Glasman’s goal, she said, is to let women know that tequila does not have to be harsh. “I want to educate people that there are tequilas you can sip — like ours— that can be enjoyed like a good Cognac or a fine wine.”

Glasman not only considers women to be her target audience, but she is also committed to supporting those in need and has created a non-profit, the Amorada Love Movement (ALM), where five cents of each bottle sold is donated to helping single mothers. “When I started Amorada Tequila, one of my goals was to give back,” Glasman said. “I wanted to create a company where people love the product and love the bottle, and at the same time help other people.” Besides promoting ALM, Glasman is very active in the Austin community, and donates tequila for charitable events, whether they’re for pets, foster children, or veterans or, as she said, “anything that has a cause in Texas, whatever the need, within reason.”

A passion for tequila, a passion for art and aesthetics, and a passion for empowering women are the defining principles behind the success of Terray Glasman and Amorada Tequila. “I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Glasman said. “When I used to travel to Mexico with my telecommunications company, I always remembered the beautiful occasions of multiple families coming together for parties and gatherings, and I remembered the tequila, which is central to the culture in Mexico. Making tequila brings back memories of my life and when I traveled. I also found myself helping women in need. With my business — producing tequila — I can support both of those passions simultaneously. I truly believe that in this world you can’t take anything with you when you leave, but at least when I leave, I will know that I’ve left something meaningful behind, and that’s a beautiful feeling.”

For more information on Amorada Tequila, visit their website at www.amoradatequila.com