Alias, derived & guest beers

Breww is extremely flexible and understands the different types of beer you have, in terms of how they’re produced. It’s important to ensure you set up your beers correctly to get the most out of Breww, so here’s a guide to the different types of beer in Breww and when to use them.

In Breww, we separate out the following different types of beer:

  • Standard beers (AKA just “Beers”)
  • Alias beers
  • Derived in vessel beers
  • Derived at packaging beers
  • Guest beers

Standard beers

This is likely the majority of your beers and should be used for the following (unless they are a better fit to alias or derived beers):

  • All beers that you brew yourself
  • All beers that you brew on behalf of others as a contract brewer
  • All beers that are your product, but another contract brewer brews on your behalf

Standard beers have all the normal features that you’d expect - you can create recipes, batches, manage your brew day, fermentation analysis, etc.

Before creating your standard beers in Breww, it’s worth reading through how alias and derived beers work to ensure you set your beers up in the best way possible. Please note: We highly recommend not creating duplicate single-unit products (such as smallpack singles and single kegs) that are built of the same component stock of an existing standard beer product. These products should instead be created as either alias or derived products to ensure stock is calculated accurately.

Alias and derived beers

Keep reading for a full explanation of the differences between an alias beer and a derived beer, but for a quick reference as to which you need, please see the diagram below:

graph TD
    Q1[Are there extra ingredients/stock items added to the beer vs the standard/base beer?]
    Q1 --> |Yes|DB
    Q1 --> |No|Q2[Do you want to keep distinct stock levels of each beer?]
    Q2 --> |Yes - separate stock levels|DB
    Q2 --> |No - share stock pool|GB[Use an alias beer]
    DB[Do you need to plan batches with their own recipes\n or add ingredients when in vessel?]
    DB --> |Yes|DBV
    DB --> |No - ingredients added when packaging|DBP
    DBV[Use a derived in vessel beer]
    DBP[Use a derived at packaging beer]

If you’re still not sure if a beer should be an alias beer or a derived beer, then please keep reading.

Alias beers

An alias beer in Breww is when you have a standard beer that is sold under 2 (or more) brand names, but the beer itself is identical, and you’re happy for the stock of both brands of beer to be one combined number. You can then sell both brands, as different names (and even with different ABVs) and your customers have no idea that these two “beers” are the same.

This is ideal when you have, for example, an IPA that you sell all year round, and for a local beer festival, you sell a “Festival IPA”. The content of the bottle/cask/etc is the same, but you put a different label on it (rebadge) just before the sale. You initially keep it as your “IPA” and only at the point of sale do you relabel it as “Festival IPA”.

It should be noted that Breww will not keep a stock distinction between your “IPA” and your “Festival IPA”. If you have 10 casks of “IPA” in stock, you also have 10 casks of “Festival IPA”. Selling a cask of one, will reduce the available stock of both to 9. If you have auto-assignment and auto-assemble settings enabled for your deliveries, Breww will treat both products on the order as the same. (For distinct stock levels, see “Derived beers” below).

You cannot ever brew an alias beer. You always brew the standard beer and package it into the standard beer. The alias beer will simply pull stock from the standard beer.

Setting up an alias beer product (products sharing a single stock pool)

  • Go to the base “standard beer” (by ProductsBeersView beers) in Breww.
  • Click the “Add new alias” button in the alias & derived beers tab.
  • Once the alias beer has been created, you’ll need to create the alias products.
  • Head to the product page for the standard beer product you want to create an alias product for.
  • Go to the “Alias products” tab and add the alias products, selecting the alias beer you just created, to allow you to sell the beer under the other name.

Derived beers

Derived beers are similar in concept to an alias beer, but there are some key differences. We’d recommend a derived beer is used instead of an alias beer when there’s something different with the beer itself, such as additional ingredients or further processes that are applied. The primary difference is that the stock levels are kept distinct. There are two types of derived beer, Derived in vessel and Derived at packaging.

Derived in vessel

Derived in vessel beers should be used when you have a base beer that you make additions to whilst the beer is still in vessel. They are ideal to use when you need to plan a batch of the derived beer on the batch schedule and unlike derived at packaging beers, derived in vessel beers can have their own recipes, although they are never brewed directly. You always start with at least one standard beer and then use a batch of the standard beer as a starting point for the batch of the derived in vessel beer.

There are two ways of starting a batch of a derived in vessel beer. The first is by going to the planned batch of a derived beer and clicking Start batch. You are then able to choose which vessel containing this derived beer’s base beer will become this batch.

In the example above, the 500 L of Batch 9 in BT2 will become this new batch of the derived in vessel beer.

The second way of starting a derived in vessel beer is by splitting a batch between vessels during a transfer. If you split a batch between multiple vessels, Breww will provide you with the option to turn the transferred volume into one of your planned batches of the derived in vessel beer.

With either method, if you have any recipe associated with this derived in vessel beer, you will then be able to follow the recipe stages as with a standard beer batch.

Derived at packaging

Derived at packaging beers are best used when the additional ingredients or processes are only done at the point of packaging, which can be added as component stock items to each derived at packaging product. An example of a derived at packaging beer would be when you have a standard “IPA” that you sell, and at Christmastime you offer a “Christmas IPA”, which is your standard IPA beer but with the addition of a flavouring syrup at the point of packaging.

Unlike alias beers, when you are packaging (racking) a batch of the base standard beer, you can package it directly into the derived beer product. This means that (to use the example above), you can brew a batch of your IPA, and when it comes to racking the beer, you can package some as your “IPA” and some as your “Christmas IPA”. At this point, as with all rackings, you can record the stock item (flavouring) that was used for stock tracking and costing purposes.

If you packaged 10 casks of the “IPA” and 10 of the “Christmas IPA”, you’d see 10 of each in stock (20 total). If you then sold a cask of the “Christmas IPA”, the stock available for that would drop to 9, and the “IPA” would remain at 10. This is the most significant difference between derived at packaging beers and alias beers.

You may also choose to use a derived at packaging beer over an alias beer, even if the actual beer is identical, but you want to keep track of the stock levels differently. For example, you package them into bottles with different labels.

It’s also possible to convert the stock of a base beer to its derived at packaging beer or vice versa. To do this, go to the product you’d like to convert and click ActionsConvert stock between related beers.

Setting up a derived beer product (products with separate stock pools)

  • Go to the base “standard beer” (by ProductsBeersView beers) in Breww.
  • Click the “Add new derived” button in the alias & derived beers tab.
  • Head to ProductsNew productand create a new product just like you would a normal product (a derived product doesn’t “sit” under the standard base product as alias products do).
  • Simply pick the derived beer from the list of component packaged beers when creating the product.

Guest beers

Guest beers in Breww work completely differently to other beers and this should be used when you simply buy in someone else’s product and wish to sell it on, with batch tracking. Guest beers will never go through a brewing process in Breww. They can also be used for other products (such as cider) where you’d like the same functionality to apply. Duty will never be charged for guest beers.

Setting up a guest beer

  • Create your “Guest beer” in ProductionBeersNew beerGuest beer. This step is optional, but if done will allow for better grouping and display of guest beers on the Breww Trade Store (and other benefits within Breww itself). This will act as a group around the associated stock items and products.

  • Go to the Stock items section and create a Stock Item with the type of Guest beer. Although optional, we recommend filling in the extra fields associated with guest beer stock items that link the beer to the “Guest beer” created in the prior step and the associated container type. To receive your stock of the guest beer, you use Purchase Orders and Inventory Receipts, just as you would for your ingredients, packaging, etc.

  • To sell the guest beer, you can create a Guest beer product which is linked to the guest beer Stock Item. The products’ stock level will always match that of the Stock Item, and it can be sold on orders and delivered to customers just like with other “Stock item” products, such as glassware.

  • Creating a guest beer product is done by navigating to ProductsNew productGuest beer. This will open the Guest beer product creation screen where you can choose from a dropdown any stock items, which have been set up as Guest beers stock items and the quantity per product.

    Once this is done you will guided through the two further screens for basic and additional product details and the product creation will be complete.

Guest beers will also show in your All sales report found in ReportingPrebuilt sales reports, with their respective volumes included, which also makes them different from standard stock item products which do not have an associated volume.

1 Like

We use Sellar to process/input all of our orders. how would that work for the ‘guest’ beer or swaps?

Hi Ian,

Thanks for raising this on the community! Just to clarify, is your question how can you sell your own beer to another brewery at 0 cost as a swap, or how to sell a Guest beer that you have received from another brewery? Breww will allow you to facilitate either by mapping the Sellar product to either your own beer or a guest beer product in Breww, depending on which of these you are trying to achieve, but the cost will always be given to Breww from Sellar, so you will need to ensure this is set up correctly based on your intent for the customer purchasing.

If you haven’t set up any Guestbeer products in Breww before, you may want to check out our 📘 Introduction to products guide, which has more information.

Let us know if you have any questions at all.

1 Like