BrewOptix Founder Elizabeth Hanfman

Before beer gets to a bar or liquor store, there’s a whole process that takes place between a distributor and brewery with lots of little details to figure out.

Elizabeth Hanfman is well aware of these. Having started as a server in DuClaw Brewing Company’s brewpubs and worked up to running day-to-day operations and sales as the Rosedale brewery’s VP, she learned the ins and outs along the way. She also learned that it’s a pretty chaotic process, shifting between phone calls, texts and emails, and between different team members.

Looking at the problem with Jay Grieves, who she worked with on software when he formerly ran IT for DuClaw’s brewpubs, it appeared to be a place where tech could bring some more efficiency.

“We just thought there would be a better way to streamline all of that information in one place where everyone would access,” Hanfman said.

BrewOptix is designed to be that single place. The platform is launching this month after a period of beta testing.

The web-based software tracks orders, sales and inventory. It offers a self-service portal where both the distributors or retailers a brewery works with can place orders. There are tools to manage all of the orders. It’s based around, “How do we make things a little bit simpler in getting that information out to the distributors and getting the information of what the distributor needs back to the brewery,” Hanfman said.

One key feature, per Hanfman, is that the types of packages that distributors can choose from aren’t hard-coded, so there is flexibility for breweries in how they want to set up the size of the options and branding based on one’s business model. It also helps to organize orders that are all on different cycles and once the orders are placed by a distributor, emails are sent to everyone who needs to know.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.