02/17/2016 Shawn Patrick

Combat the Two Most Common Headaches for Distillers: TTB Reports and Inventory Control

Common Frustrations for Craft Distillers Solved  

For most distillers, TTB audits make them wish that prohibition still existed and that bathtub hooch sold in speak easies was a modern day reality.  After all, secretly distilling whiskey and competing with Al Capone himself to sell your brand on the black market is comparably easier than complying with the government regulations in contemporary craft distilling. 

Since complaining never breeds progress, a focus on solutions that cater to the complexities involved in properly managing your distillery to meet government standards is time better spent.  And luckily, modern day technology has made it easier to manage your distillery so that you can keep your focus on your craft. 

Craft Reporting Applications vs. General Beverage Reporting Applications 

Craft distilling is certain an art, and with this art comes specific regulations that distillers must not only adhere to, but also report to various government agencies.  This makes a clear need for a program specifically designed for the intricacies of the particular niches.   

Universal software solutions that tailor to the food and beverage agencies can certainly offer a level of simplicity to distillery, but a program that is designed for breweries and distilleries alike, can take the most complicated issues that craft distillers face—specifically inventory control and TTB reports—and streamline and simplify them.  

Focus on Your Craft, Not Your Reporting 

The nightmare that is inventory control and government reporting in the craft industry is not only frightening, it is downright overwhelming.  One simple slip up on a spreadsheet could end up critical—both for your distillery and your health.  So what’s the solution?  Like anything else, a one stop shop that can manage all of your needs can help free up your time as well as reduce your anxiety so that you can focus on what it is you do—creating quality craft beverages.   

Online software solutions that are making their way into the industry have reportedly helped many people in the craft distilling industry streamline their reporting process from grain to bottle.  With reporting time downsized, your focus can stay on creating a superior product that your customers will enjoy. 

Stop the TTB Nightmare 

The easiest way to stop the reporting nightmare would be to limit regulations, but like my grandma used to say, “The only thing you have to do is pay taxes and die.”  Simply put, the government will have its part in the alcohol business from now until forever, and thanks to the lack of consistency among state regulations, the federal government has to compensate for the inconsistencies.  That leaves the frustration to the distillery itself to figure out! 

End of the month TTB reports as enjoyable as a flat tire on the side of the interstate.  They take days to compile, they create unnecessary anxiety, and they afford many opportunities for errors.  Opting for a 21st century approach to reporting means gone are the days of binders full of spreadsheets and days of playing hide and seek with the information that the binders contain.   

Days spent in an office compiling TTB reports are days wasted on your craft.  With an online service, recording your daily inventory transfers will automatically populate the necessary database that helps to generate your TTB reports.


Simplify Inventory Control 

We all know that inventory control can take the joy out of craft creation.  Focusing on every grain placed into your product can become tedious and exasperating—especially when there are communication breakdowns between distiller and inventory manager.  

The common cycle of inventory management goes as follows:  purchasing and receiving, production and packaging, and sales and shipment—it’s a continuous cycle that just keeps restarting.  With a solution developed to focus on every facet of inventory control, you can manage your product and forecast future orders without spending hours tracking down distillers to ask them what they forgot to write down.   

This clear picture that a one stop cloud based software solution offer distillers creates an opportunity stay on top of inventory.   The result—inventory is constantly replenished and managers' focus can be taken away from playing catch up; thus, reducing production slow down.  A clear picture of what is being used allows better opportunity for forecasting sales. A sense of foresight will certainly help speed up production and increase sales volume. 



There is a reason that old school moonshiners hid their distilleries in the woods; they needed the necessary time and solitude to focus on their craft (and of course moonshining wasn’t legal).  But like any business that falls under stringent regulations, reporting can easily overtake the joy of the job.   

Luckily, the 21st century can help alleviate the frustrations that accompany craft distilling.  Choosing to utilize a one stop shop can grossly simplify the mountains of regulations distillers have to deal with.

Tags: Distillery Software, Inventory, TTB Reporting

Shawn Patrick

Written by Shawn Patrick