Located in beautiful Malibu, California, Malibu Brewing Company is the area’s first brewery. Malibu Brewing opened the doors to its taproom in September 2022 but has been distributing draft and packaged beers for over a year. Owner Ryan Ahrens has been a homebrewer for many years, and he noticed after moving to Malibu that the area didn’t have a single brewery — he’s now changed that. The brewery offers a six-beer core lineup in addition to a food menu designed with the beer in mind.
As a team of industry veterans, Malibu Brewing Company has a strong handle on the organization and day-to-day operations of a brewery. With that knowledge, Malibu’s team was on the hunt for a brewery management software that would help their brewery make the best business decisions possible and keep the team organized as Malibu Brewing opened the doors to its taproom.
Malibu Brewing has gained visibility into the business, boosted its cross-team collaboration, and set itself up for future growth with Ekos.
Jason Steffenauer, Malibu Brewing’s director of operations, says having systems set into place before opening the taproom has allowed the team to build strong habits and work more efficiently together. Data is a daily driver for Malibu Brewing: from inventory to sales and more, the team benefits from understanding how the business is doing and what trends are emerging as the brewery dives into on-premise sales. Plus, Ekos helps the Malibu Brewing team collaborate and work more efficiently with their data. The team is able to reconcile numbers from in-house and distribution sales in Ekos and ensure they’re getting their numbers right the first time.
With a team of industry vets, Malibu Brewing is already off on the right foot when it comes to communication. Ekos ensures the conversations team members have are informed by data with cross-team visibility that leads to better collaboration overall. “Ekos is helping us make better decisions from a communication standpoint,” Jason said. “We have all worked for other breweries, so we have a pretty good sense of an effective way to communicate with each other. Ekos gives us the foundation to build our conversations on and gives us the ability to draw on data to make better decisions.”
Ekos’s inventory management features are an important part of the data that the team touches every day. Full visibility into the brewery’s inventory allows Jason and Director of Sales Alan Harvey to make better business decisions when it comes to sales and distribution. Jason and Alan knew they needed to conserve inventory when the brewery opened its doors in September to keep up with demand. With Ekos, they have been able to make important choices about their distribution strategy. Plus, Jason says Ekos gives the team a clear picture of their costs and will contribute to their pricing strategy when the time comes for distribution. Malibu Brewing is able to “nail down” what each beer costs them to produce — essential data to know as they enter the world of distribution.
Jason is looking forward to what the future holds for Malibu Brewing as they grow into distribution, continue amplifying their taproom, and make the best beers they can with Ekos at their side. “I know that we’re capable of doing so much more than we’re already doing on both the food side and the beer side,” Jason said. “Bringing that excitement to our fans and our followers in the people that are joining us in the taproom is what I’m really excited about.”