Wayward Brewing launched their W Seltzer line of hard seltzer in October 2020 — one of the first brands in Australia to do so. At the time, seltzer was brand new in Australia, with international behemoth White Claw arriving in Australia the same month that W Seltzer launched. Wayward’s head brewer, Shaun Blissett, spent over a year perfecting the recipe until he created one he could be proud of. “Getting [this seltzer] to the production stage has been the most challenging research project of my brewing career,” he said. “But I’m really happy with the result, so it was all worth it.” In Australia, there is a heavy tax on ready-to-drink cocktails. Since W Seltzer is produced by brewing from a cereal, the W Seltzer team is able to avoid the heavy ready-to-drink tax on their seltzer and bring a competitively priced product to market.
Before using Ekos, the team at Wayward was growing fast and needed a system to track everything. They found that using whiteboards for production was inefficient and inconvenient since employees needed to be standing in the brewery to see the plan, so they chose to begin using Ekos in 2016. On any given day, there are hundreds of moving parts to be organized and in place in order to run a brewery efficiently. “I don’t actually know how we would have grown to this size as efficiently without Ekos,” said Shaun.
Wayward Brewing had already been using Ekos for years to manage their production and inventory for beer, and that made it easy to expand into seltzer, which has grown to become one of their largest products.
By having all of their data centralized in a single system, the W Seltzer team can generate the insights they need to stay on top of their production and plan for future growth. Ekos tracks their Cost of Goods Sold from raw materials all the way through the finished product. They are able to easily pull that data and make sure that they are pricing their products in a way that preserves their margins. “The system knows every single drop of beer or seltzer and reports all into one place,” said Shaun. “Everything works seamlessly and efficiently.”