The Beall Brewery Insurance safety team recently completed research that revealed consistency and scheduling as the two most important factors in brewery maintenance.
The last thing a craft brewer needs is for equipment to give out. Equipment breakdown results in time, energy, and money spent on clean-up, lost product, and frustrated customers. That’s exactly what happened to one New England brewery when a gasket gave out on a tank, sending a flood of beer out onto the brewery floor. The brewery lost the entire batch of its popular brew. It was a costly incident that points out the importance of doing regular checks on equipment to ensure that everything is working properly.
“You don’t want to lose your product because you’re not maintaining,” points out Jim Lassen of Hanover Insurance.
What Your Brewery Can Do
Larger breweries may have “maintenance technician” positions on staff. But at smaller and start-up breweries, maintenance responsibilities are likely to fall on the shoulders of the brewmaster or owner. These are individuals already challenged with a heavy workload. They are developing new recipes, keeping up with beer demand, and working with bars, restaurants, and retailers to sell the brewery’s beer to a wider market.
Consistency and scheduling are the key to keeping up with brewery maintenance. Dogfish Head, for instance, had been using a hard-copy spreadsheet system. But it wasn’t as effective as the brewery would have liked. It didn’t allow staff to track work done or schedule preventive maintenance. A few years ago the brewery switched to a computerized system. It allowed Dogfish Head to schedule routine maintenance, reduce unplanned downtime due to system failure, and maximize productivity.
Your brewery’s insurance policy includes coverage for equipment failure. What it can’t do is help you recover from the damage to your reputation if customers get annoyed because your product isn’t available, your brewery has to temporarily stop production, or your tasting room has to close unexpectedly. An ounce of prevention is worth a gallon of great craft beer! So stay on top of your system maintenance.
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.