Limited Product Inventory - Good or Bad?
BareWolf Brewing recently brought a problem they are having to my attention - and my reaction was being thrilled for them. They have almost entirely run out of product inventory. I do not see where having limited amounts of cash tied up in unsold inventory as being a terrible problem. I actually believe that product inventory is an expensive liability to have on a balance sheet for a company, particularly an early stage company.
Their product is high quality craft beer with a very limited shelf life. BW uses high quality and expensive ingredients, rotates inventory continually, and constantly releases new product versions. They particularly choose to stay away from preservatives, hence the focus on short shelf life. So, having sold out substantially all of their product , with the exception of the lines in the tap room, is not such a bad problem to have now, is it? Patrons come to the tap room to find out what is new and to try these new versions.
BareWolf has recently been brewing new flavor versions for their next release and today they are kegging / canning to replenish inventory - see photo. This allows the brewers to expose their creativity and passion for their craft - true craft brews. These guys are nuts about their passion for quality and making the best beer possible. BW also uses a portable canning line that provides for their inventory on a further variable cost basis. They can beer approximately every 5 weeks. They have not tied up significant amounts of capital in equipment that is only used periodically. There is another lesson to be learned here for prospective brewers.
As a consumer, today means that there will be a really good inventory replenishment, a new set of beer flavors to experiment with and taste, and a ready supply of takeout beer for an upcoming fall weekend. Good for all!