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5 Must-Have Apps for Your Distillery

08/7/2018 • Shawn Patrick

Most distilleries run on rather slim margins, and even if they are deep in the black, it isn’t like they are overflowing with personnel. The big, corporate distilleries have foreign investors throwing millions into their stock. Craft guys and gals have their dreams and lots of coffee. That is why they need to take every edge they can get and productivity apps can be exactly that. 

Here are some of my favorites. There are several apps that do close to the same thing, and any preferences ultimately come down to how using it clicks with you. Experiment and find which ones work best. 

1. HoochWare’s Blending Calculator

This comprehensive distiller’s calculators is must have for every distillery.  It helps you crunch the necessary numbers to make your craft spirits perfect.  Need to figure out some blending combinations?  Look no further.  The app has options for just about anything you can think of. 

  • Decrease spirit’s proof by volume
  • Decrease spirit’s proof by weight
  • Increase spirit’s proof by volume
  • Increase spirit’s proof by weight
  • Blend two spirits by volume
  • Blend to spirits by weight

No matter what you are trying to configure, HoochWare’s app can do the calculations to make it right. Better yet, it's available on Apple and Android, and it's free. You don't need to be a client or pay any subscription fee to use.

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2. Dropbox

Dropbox is a very popular cloud-based file sharing app. It works great across all platforms and devices, so your resident Apple-lover who has it on their iPhone can easily share files with someone using a Windows-based PC.

Dropbox can also generate a download link for content that can be sent to people not signed in on the other user's account. Another attractive feature about Dropbox is that they take the least intrusive stance on your files. Some services terms and conditions claim exclusive rights to anything you store in their cloud. Dropbox claims the minimum licensing rights needed to legally take your files and share them the way you need them to be shared. 

3. Square

If you'd like to accept credit cards at your distillery or tasting room, Square is a great app to have. There is no monthly fee, and the percentage they take per transaction is low. (2.75% on a swipe, and 3.5% plus $.15 on manual entry). It’s secure, portable, and you get the money in your account by the next business day. Clover is another service like Square if you're interested in comparing. For small businesses these services beat going through the complexities of obtaining a merchant service provider and buying a $300 or more card reader.

4. Slack

Part of running a business is effectively communicating with the people you work with. That can get complicated though. Between vacation days, sick days, and jumping from email, text, and various messaging services, it can be a real hassle getting important announcements out.

Slack is an instant messaging platform that allows users to chat and share files in an easy to use format. There is no limit to the number of users that can be included, and public and private chat rooms can be made in a snap. Most businesses using Slack say they send less internal emails, need fewer meetings, and saw an overall increase in productivity. It sure beats pinning announcements to that bulletin board in the back and hoping people read it.

5. MailChimp

Email marketing probably plays a big part in your distillery’s business strategy. MailChimp is one of the better tools to help manage mailing lists and emails out there. The app lets you build and customize email templates and tracks performance, so you can see when an email hits the right note with people. It’s free for the first 2000 subscribers/12,000 emails, which is great if you’re just starting out.