Dude! Where's My Keg?

I was recently talking to a brewer at a guild event explaining how our software platform works and we started discussing kegs. He said 6 months ago they had 64 and now they were down to 16. They had somehow lost track of 48 kegs worth close to $5000! 

If they had been using our software, they would know exactly where the kegs were at all times and who owed them the replacement cost if they had disappeared. I showed him how we track kegs on the invoices that are created on our system and that we keep a running total of credits and deposits for review at any time.

Kegs go missing for a variety of reasons. Stories include converting them into trash cans, an apartment stool, coffee table and a lighting fixture. There is also the scrap metal market. An empty keg weighs 30 pounds. Depending on the material that the keg is made out of; aluminum, tin or stainless steel, an empty keg is worth $15 to $55 in scrap.

Back in 2016, the Brewers Association estimated that keg loss costs each brewery between $.46 and $1.37 per barrel of beer they produce. At that rate, keg loss cost craft brewers in the United States upwards of over $33 million in 2015.

Do you know where your kegs are? Contact us for a full demonstration of our software platform.

Distributors Need to Change


Traditional beer distributors find themselves at a crossroads. As brewers proliferate and inventories of beer build, consumers become ever more promiscuous. The result is that brewers find ways to go-to-market without distributors using new technologies that promise to dramatically change how sales and distribution happen. Distributors are realizing that this is not like the ‘old days’.

What are distributors supposed to do? Wait for these changes to overwhelm them?  Wait for the ‘Amazon-of-beer’ (or maybe Amazon itself) to slowly but surely take their suppliers and customers?  Or should they lead the inevitable transformation of the industry and position themselves as a 21st-century distributor and profit and grow from these changes?  

Becoming a 21st-century distributor starts with understanding that a distributor needs to be able to support all types of go-to-market strategies of brewers and purchasing strategies of all the retail channels in their market area. Not just the traditional 3-tiered model with what has been the backbone of the industry for so long. As many are discovering, the traditional model is not where all the growth is and, with the explosion of new beers and brewers, the strategy of signing up as many brewers as possible and waiting for the cream to rise to the top doesn’t work anymore. It is too costly and distracting. A 21st-century distributor will provide services to all sorts of suppliers and retailers.  Whether brewers want to self-distribute and are looking for a pickup and delivery service, or want to assign some, but not all, of their target markets to a distributor, or they even want to split distribution by product (where legal), the 21st-century distributor will be there to provide professional services with profitability for everyone. They will become the linchpin to the next iteration of the U.S. beer industry. Just like they were for the last one – the craft beer movement itself.

In order to become a 21st-century distributor, distributors will also need to adopt 21st-century selling and supply chain technologies to lower their cost base and increase the overall efficiency of the industry. The technologies and platforms specifically for the U.S. alcohol industry are just starting to emerge for everything from one-stop-shopping for retailers, online selling by brewers and distributors, logistics and delivery, invoice tracking and compliance. 

The most advanced of these provide all this on one platform at a much lower cost than buying the pieces separately or as add-ons to existing software. AmericanCraftBrands.com platform is one such offering. We have created the first of its kind integrated and permissioned (private) platform to connect all 3 tiers of licensed players. An ecosystem for, by, and with the licensed participants that allows them to bring regulatorily-compliant e-commerce to all forms of transactions between them.  It is the first step in a longer-term roadmap to create a permissioned blockchain ecosystem for the industry. 

The only way to make sure that the coming transformation benefits those who helped build the craft beer industry is for change to come from within, which requires a change in the mindset of distributors. Making the change and accepting the new go-to-market strategies that brewers are creating is a tough choice for distributors. It means changes in operating procedures and, maybe, more importantly, adopting new technologies that allow them to profitably support all those new go-to-market strategies. The good news is that AmericanCraftBrands.com provides the technologies to transform the distributor business model and thrive in the new world.


Press Release April 2018

April 2018

By: Karen Laverty - Greenough

New Online Marketplace for Craft Brewers, Distillers and Vintners Will Change Beverage Industry

AmericanCraftBrands.com brings new opportunity for thousands of craft makers, distributors and retailers nationwide.

BOSTON – April 18, 2018

A new online platform, AmericanCraftBrands.com, is a first-of-its-kind secure marketplace for commerce between craft makers (brewers, distillers and vintners), retailers and independent distributors. The regulatory-compliant business-to-business (B2B) marketplace changes the historic three-tiered distribution model by reducing barriers while creating new and better growth paths for craft makers. It provides a dynamic, trusted, and level playing field not just for these artisan makers, but for all parties. AmericanCraftBrands.com is the first offering from Ninkasi Technologies, a software platforms, services, and support company dedicated to beverage industry makers and the independent distributors and retailers who work with them. Ninkasi is led by an experienced team with decades of technology, supply chain, marketing, and sales expertise and an advisory board with more than 120 years of combined experience in the craft beer industry.


“AmericanCraftBrands.com is Ninkasi Technologies’ first implementation of a roadmap for a permissioned, end-to-end platform to manage the complexities of the U.S. alcohol industry to improve sales and execution and help smaller players survive and thrive,” said Jeff Slater, CEO and president of Ninkasi Technologies. “Yes, this will be disruptive for some, but it will certainly be a boon for craft makers, not to mention those forward-looking distributors and retailers who understand the looming disruption and the tremendous opportunity this offers them.” Electronic selling, invoicing, compliance record-keeping, inventory tracking, keg deposit management, multi-layered delivery approaches, and the ability to manage complex multi-state territory arrangements are just some of the features of AmericanCraftBrands.com. The technology allows craft makers the freedom to focus on what they do best: making great product. Likewise, retailers and distributors can do what they do best: provide customers with a variety of the country’s best beers, wine and spirits without having to build excess inventory or overstock their shelves.

Dean Palmer, president of the Global Brewer’s Guild

“With AmericanCraftBrands.com, Ninkasi Technologies is streamlining a notoriously complex system and opening the marketplace in ways that benefit makers, retailers and consumers who want choice,” said Dean Palmer, president of the Global Brewer’s Guild. “I was blown away when I saw the platform. It delivers on its promises and I believe every craft producer could benefit from using it.” AmericanCraftBrands.com will be launching shortly in selected states with full national expansion throughout 2018 and 2019. For more information about the marketplace and to obtain a subscription, visit www.americancraftbrands.com. Karen Laverty Greenough This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 617-275-6516

Continue reading

Retailer Demo Video

April 2018

By: Danny Connelly, CMO

Retailer Demo Video

In our first video, we wanted to show craft beer retailers a new, more efficient way for them to order the brands they want. Our software platform is easy to use and provides the licensed retail account with the ability to control the order placement and select from several delivery options, giving them better control over their inventory. We chose a great team from wizMotions to create a whiteboard animation to tell the story. Hope you enjoy the first of a series of videos we will place on our site. Cheers!

Continue reading

More Articles …

Ninkasi Technologies Ninkasi Technologies

Powered by
PO Box 635, West Hyannisport, MA 02672