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Blowing Rock Brewing Company has operated in Blowing Rock and Hickory, North Carolina since 2013. The brewery distributes across the state with Tryon Distributing. Blowing Rock brought on Ekos in 2016 and revamped their use of the software in 2017 after Rocky Justice, brewing manager, joined the team. Upon joining, Rocky implemented updated processes for inventory tracking and brewing functions to solidify the business’s strategy for utilizing Ekos from grains to glass.

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The brewery sends kegs back and forth between their Blowing Rock taproom/inn and their Hickory taproom and storage facility 2-3 times a week in addition to distributing across the state of North Carolina in four supermarkets plus other taprooms. This makes keeping track of kegs a tedious and stressful process. Between credit memos and client portals, the team has worked through many hurdles to keep track of expensive steel kegs.

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Blowing Rock Brewery now uses Ekos’s keg tracking system daily in addition to using Ekos to manage their inventory and recipes and keep the brewers organized. 

Rocky says the brewery went “zero to 100” when they implemented Ekos’s keg tracking system earlier this year. Blowing Rock was up and running with the system in just two weeks’ time. ‘’It’s a privilege to know where our kegs are at all times,” Rocky said. “It makes requesting kegs easier too because we’re not going to have as many question marks.” The brewery is now able to better communicate with their distribution partner to understand when they aren’t receiving kegs or are experiencing other distribution errors — no more spending hours looking for a keg by hand. “Every single day that we receive a credit for a keg we are able to load it directly in — day of — on Ekos,” Rocky said. “The dating system on Ekos is invaluable in so many ways. It’s great to have a timeline of all activity for any given keg.”

Rocky said Ekos’s inventory capabilities and recipes have made their beers more adventurous. She said that with her overhauled inventory, it’s much easier to create new brews with such an open-ended recipe formulation. “You kind of feel like you have the world at your fingertips,” Rocky said. “This program allows you to fully formulate your recipe and have it listed step by step. You can apply all of those things right into the products that you’re creating.”

Rocky also loves the new Ekos Boost interface. She said its overall look is super user friendly and reduces the stress and amount of time it takes to get things done with Ekos. “Ekos made its software with a human-based understanding instead of purely numbers,” Rocky said. “I really like how living and breathing the program has been because it’s given us a lot of ability to breathe, communicate, and streamline the brewing process from start to finish.”