- The Church Brewing Company is one of the larger craft brew systems in Nova Scotia, with four brewery staff and two sales staff
- The company saves four hours per week per user on reconciliation alone with BrewersInsight, compared to other software, adding up to 800 hours per year across four users
- It also has a 200-person restaurant on-site employing 70 to 100 staff, making it the second-largest employer in Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Steve Crane is the head brewer for The Church Brewing Company, overseeing daily operations, developing new recipes, building community collaborations, and developing resources for brewery staff.
A passionate team deeply rooted in community
The Church Brewing Company manages production in a busy facility with multiple staff, all while spearheading community collaborations and industry partnerships. The brewery needed a solution that offered ease and functionality alongside robust and accurate data tracking around the cost of goods sold.
A trusted partnership built from collaboration
Church Brewing trusts the BrewersInsight system for more efficient inventory management, recipe development, and production management while managing packaging and sales tracking of finished products. The brewery can make better business decisions and deliver consistent quality with accurate data tracking.
A solution built for producers
Using the BrewersInsight system has allowed the brewery to elevate its operations without increasing the day-to-day workload or frustration of staff. From collaborating in a beta program to full-scale implementation of the software in the brewery, Church Brewing and BrewersInsight are optimistic about working together in the future.
“I see success in the quality and consistency of our products. But other people who rely on BrewersInsight, like our office manager or our accounting department, see success in accurate data tracking and a full understanding of our costs.”
Steve Crane, Head Brewer, The Church Brewing Company
Community-driven craft brewery
The Church Brewing Company is a brewery, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a concert venue in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, built from deep-rooted tradition and modern hands in the Annapolis Valley.
Church Brewing is a destination experience for anyone looking for the best of what the East Coast offers for the best of arts and culture, whether it be farm-to-table food, craft beer, or music.
The company describes itself as a love letter to the East Coast, promoting its products and those of other talented farmers, wineries, distilleries, cideries, and other breweries across Nova Scotia and beyond.
Finding the right solution to unlock efficiencies
The Church Brewing Company brewers and staff are hands-on and busy with production early and late in the day, making administrative tasks feel burdensome and easy to push aside. Each time this happens, the company loses valuable data.
Without a simple, real-time process for data collection, the brewery was missing opportunities to track and analyze brew cycles and uncover efficiencies in its processes. In addition, the beverage industry is governed by complex and evolving Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations, requiring accurate data tracking and reporting to ensure compliance.
Church Brewing also needed a way to reliably measure and track the cost of goods sold so it could reduce waste and cut costs. The brewery was looking to maximize efficiencies without taking on a heavy administrative load. Frustrated by a software system that would halt production whenever it was missing information, the company was seeking greater flexibility and simplicity. The ideal solution would support operations without adding obstacles.
“Sometimes things happen last minute, and we need to be flexible,” Steve says. “If we package a product at 9 a.m. and need it out the door by 10 a.m., other systems won’t let us generate an invoice until we’ve reconciled each step, which means sales can’t go out. We need to be able to make beer and get it out the door.”
A laser focus on production and collaboration
On the lookout for a new brewery management software solution, The Church Brewing Company began exploring the grain-to-glass system created by BrewersInsight.
“From the initial conversation, BrewersInsight absolutely won me over with the direction they wanted to go, and how they wanted to engage breweries and welcome our involvement,” says Steve.
The brewery was part of a beta program to help guide and consult on how BrewersInsight could best meet the specific needs of craft brewers.
“BrewersInsight so far has been the most succinct and well-thought-out brewery management software I’ve come across,” Steve says.
Preparing to implement the system was a breeze thanks to BrewersInsight handling the upload of ingredient lists, packaging supplies, and packaged product inventory so the system would be ready to use without slowing operations.
Onboarding brewery staff is also a simple, straightforward process with BrewersInsight’s easy-to-use interface and in-depth instructional videos. These elements ensure every team member can gain confidence in using the system.
A solution that supports the priorities of brewers shouldn’t be overly complicated or try to be an all-in-one business solution. In contrast, BrewersInsight is “a production management software developed by production managers, which is wonderful,” says Steve.
Flexible solution helps dedicated team unlock efficiencies
BrewersInsight provides The Church Brewing Company with a robust brewery management system that prioritizes efficiency, quality, and consistency in production processes.
“Working in a brewery is a series of one-minute tasks that are not in themselves difficult to accomplish, but become more difficult when placed in sequence with others,” Steve says. “Over 8 hours a day, 60 minutes per hour, there are 480 one-minute tasks to manage. Continuous process simplification makes these tasks easier to manage.”
With a high level of flexibility, BrewersInsight allows Church Brewing’s staff to keep operations running smoothly, even when adjustments need to be made on the spot to keep production on schedule.
“BrewersInsight allows us to be flexible on the floor from day to day without redundancies or fail-safes that quickly become hindrances,” says Steve.
Church Brewing uses BrewersInsight to easily track and manage every area of brewery operations with minimal time to reconcile and adjust information as needed. New brewing staff can be walked through a recipe without obstacles, allowing for better use of time and more effective training.
Church Brewing also stays compliant with evolving CFIA regulations built into the BrewersInsight program. “I don’t need to spend 20 to 40 hours of my week learning new regulations and adjusting all my processes,” Steve says. “As long as you follow the program, you’re going to be compliant.”
BrewersInsight offers thoughtful, responsive support to ensure Church Brewing can use the system smoothly each day. “Everyone in the brewery has their own responsibilities within the program that happen in real time. And they’ve built a real-time program for us,” says Steve.
Valuable cost savings add up quickly
Steve estimates the brewery saves four hours a week per user using BrewersInsight compared to other systems, which adds up fast, especially in its peak season.
“Instead of six hours of admin work in a week, we’re doing the same amount in two. That’s 10% of someone’s week. If you multiply that over 50 weeks, that’s 200 hours we’re looking at per user,” says Steve.
These hours add up to valuable cost savings (800 hours per year across four users) which easily pay for the cost of the BrewersInsight system.