How to print stock (racking/packaging) labels

Breww’s stock labels are those generated in relation to a racking or packaging event. They don’t typically have a barcode on them for your own tracked containers and will only have a barcode on for non-returnable (NR) containers if they are printed after racking (and in relation to a specific racking).

For tracked containers, you can scan the container’s permanent label to assign it to a delivery - it doesn’t need to be a barcode produced during the racking/packaging process.

For information on how to rack/package your beer, see Racking (packaging beer) in Breww.

Three ways to print stock labels

1. Before racking

If you need to print stock labels ahead of racking, this can be done via the Planned packagings tab on a batch.

To avoid potential issues, we highly recommend always using this method to print labels in advance and never racking in advance the amount you think you will package.

Printing stock barcodes on pre-packaging labels

Your options selected in SettingsLabel settingsNon-returnable & smallpack stock labels will determine the options you see when printing pre-packaging labels.

Option 1: Use the unique non-returnable code on stock labels

If you have set your Barcode content option to this, labels printed will not have the stock barcode numbers (for Cask and Keg) or Packaging IDs (for Smallpack), as these are usually generated when you create the packaging. However, you can optionally choose to reserve NR numbers or a Packaging ID when printing labels before packaging.

Cask and Keg

To print pre-packaging labels with NR numbers for cask and keg, just select the Would you like to print these labels with unique non-returnable numbers? option when printing these labels.

If you choose to print pre-packaging labels with reserved NR numbers, you will need to scan the container that you’ve attached the label to during the racking process or manually select the reserved NR numbers that you’ve used, just like packaging into a tracked container.

DO NOT also include it in the Number of non-returnable containers packaged, as this will assume you haven’t used your reserved numbers, and generate new unique NR numbers.


To print pre-packaging labels with a smallpack Packaging ID, just select the Would you like to print these labels with a unique Packaging ID? option when printing these labels.

To associate the Packaging ID with the packaged beer, simply select the Packaging ID during the packaging flow or scan the Packaging ID if you are using Breww’s app.

Option 2: Use the product and batch combination barcode on stock labels

If this is your Barcode content option, there is no need to reserve NR numbers when printing labels in advance. The barcode includes details about the product and batch and, therefore, will always be the same as the barcode printed after packaging.

Smallpack labels printed in advance will always contain the product and batch combination barcode. If you are printing labels for a Cask or Keg product, Breww will ask whether the labels will be used on your tracked or non-returnable containers. Selecting tracked will print labels without a barcode (as you will scan the container’s own permanent barcode), whereas selecting non-returnable will include the barcode on the labels.

It is important to select the same Non-returnable brand for the pre-packaging labels that will be selected when completing the packaging, as the barcodes will only assign stock using the selected non-returnable container brand.

2. Immediately after the racking process on a computer (not the mobile app)

After completing a racking on the website, you’ll be taken to a racking success screen. From here, you can print the stock label, which will show an NR number & barcode for the NR containers. These will be the reserved NR numbers if they were scanned or manually entered, or newly generated NR numbers if not.

3. Any time after racking (on the website or the mobile app)

Once a racking has been completed, you can go to the batch, then the Actions tab, and find the racking action in the list. If the racking has just been done, it will likely be the last row in the table. There is a print button here.

Do you need NR barcodes on your labels?

You’ll need to decide if you want to track the specific NR containers that are delivered to customers or not (we have breweries who do this both ways).

  • If you always want to “perfectly” track which specific container was delivered to which customer (and therefore have full end-to-end traceability from ingredient to customer), you will need to print the labels using one of the options. This will need to be after the racking has been completed if you haven’t reserved NR numbers, as they otherwise aren’t generated until after it has been completed. When completing deliveries, you will need to scan the container’s NR barcode to assign it to the delivery.

  • If you are happy for Breww to automatically allocate your NR containers to your deliveries, on a first-expiry-first-out basis, then you don’t need to have the barcode on these labels. You can enable this setting in SettingsDelivery settingsAuto assign productsAuto assign non returnable casks and kegs. You can then use the “Auto assign” buttons in the deliveries area of Breww to let Breww pick an NR to use and assign it to the delivery.
    If you wish, when using this method, you can check the automatically assigned container’s batch number and make sure to deliver one from the same batch. This way, you can still maintain full end-to-end traceability from ingredient to the customer, but it’s slightly more error-prone as barcode scanning isn’t used to reduce the chances of mistakes.

If you use your own tracked containers, they will always have their own unique barcode fixed to the container, which will uniquely represent them, and all three label printing methods are suitable.

If you would like to print a tracked container’s barcode on stock labels for tracked containers, you can do so by enabling the Display returnable barcode on stock labels option in SettingsLabel settings. We don’t usually recommend this, from a practical point of view, as this means the correct stock label must be matched to the correct container after printing the labels, and the containers will have permanent barcodes on them already that can be scanned instead.

Customising what is shown on stock labels with custom templates

If you go to SettingsLabel settingsCustom stock label templates, then you can make your own label templates. Having made a template, you can choose which container types should use this template. Templates use “variables” to substitute into the template the correct name of the product, expiry dates, etc.

Be careful to make sure that your custom template will actually fit onto a single label (if you make the template too big, you may have issues printing).

When making your own templates, we suggest you assign your custom template to a single container type first and make sure to test it out. The easiest way to test your template is to use a “Planned packaging” on a batch (for the right container type) and generate some labels. If you have any troubles, you can always keep your template and unassign it from any container types, so that you can keep working on the template without “breaking” any labels that you need to print.

How does Breww determine which label template will be used?

Breww will look in the following places (in the given order) to determine which template to use. As soon as a custom label template has been found, this will be used and later places will not be checked.

  • Specified on the product
  • Specified on the beer
  • Specified on the container type

If none of the above have a template set, the built-in Breww template will be used.

I’m trying to find out if I can specify if I want the BBE to be printed on the stock item label or left blank for writing on. Ideally this setting would be linked to product container type for us.
Is this a feature, or is there a work around that I can use to have cask and keg etc labels printed without a BBE at point of racking?

At the moment, showing the BBE date on stock labels is either on or off, I’m afraid. You can toggle it in Settings > Label settings. You could toggle this setting before printing for each container type, but this is obviously a bit of work. If you’d like this to be a setting per container type, please could you create a feature request for this in the feature requests section?

There are a couple of alternative features which may be a solution for you:

  • You can change the best before date and print labels via the ‘Stock breakdown’ tab on the product’s page. So if you just go here to print the labels after racking, that may be a solution for you.
  • We have a feature to allow you to specify additional best before time per customer type. This might not be what you’re looking for but I thought I’d mention it just in case! You can do this by going to Customers > Settings & tools > Customer types, then edit a customer type.

I hope this helps.

We’ve been looking at how we could operate with current functionality for a week or so and we’re aware there are developments coming for the stock labels but wondered how easy/possible it would be in the shorter term to maybe have the BBE toggle off for all labels however if a BBE date is entered manually in the override section when creating the racking have that print?

Following the conversation at Additional Information on Product Labels or Customisable Labels, we’re exploring a proof of concept for a possible fairly quick solution for you to define a custom label template per container type. This way as long as you always wanted the BBE for some container types and didn’t for others, this might cover your use case?

Or would you sometimes want the BBE shown and sometimes not for the same container type? Cheers.

Following up on this, it would be a very simple change to always include the BBE date if entered in the override section, despite having the BBE date off in Label settings.
It would be worth mentioning that there’s only a BBE override when printing labels pre-packaging or via planned packagings, not when printing post-racking. Both of these pre-racking labels don’t include container numbers etc as they’re not directly linked to an actual racked product. Have a re-read of the main article’s ‘Before racking’ section if you’re not sure what I mean. Essentially, if we went down this route and made this change for you, you would only be able to override and display the BBE date on labels that don’t show the container code/number, would this still work for you?

Edit: It’s now possible to reserve container numbers when printing labels via a ‘Planned packaging’ and print the container barcodes on these labels

That’s incredible quick and helpful response thank you!
Yes we’ve played around quite a lot now (on our 3rd demo) so have differentiated between the pre-packaging, the pre racking labels and the post racking features.
With my limited understanding and reading I think it would be OK not having the container code/number on the label as we’d just use this for inhouse canning case labels that need a BBE (our draught doesn’t at rack point).
With further research/training it might be that existing features can be utilised i.e. delivery labels etc but I haven’t really got my head round those yet and how we’d effectively utilise them.
I’m in that pre purchase/implement stage of can we transfer or adapt our current established processes
to make it work and then fine tune our processes maybe further while using and when we understand better all the available features.
Cheers for your tolerance, would be great to know this simple feature could be accessible from the get go to get my brewery mgrs sign off.

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No problem at all. In fact, I’m sure this little tweak would be helpful for other breweries as well as for your own testing, so we’ll look to implement this very soon.
If you did need a demo of any other features, feel free to get in touch about this and we can book something in.

We’ve now implemented the quick tweak to allow you to override the BBE date even when the general setting is turned off. I hope this helps!


Im struggling to get my Dymo Labelwriter 450 printer to the stock labels,
Its as if the label size isn’t supported - any ideas?
We use 70mmx54mm labels .

Or can anyone reccomend a label printer that does work with it ?

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The maximum label size for the Dymo Labelwriter 450 is quite a bit smaller than Breww’s label size. You might be able to get your computer to “scale down” our labels and use the Dymo printer, but this isn’t something we can officially support or recommend, to be honest.

We recommend the Zebra ZD420 Thermal Transfer printer, but in theory, any printer that can print 4"/110mm wide labels should do the trick. In addition to Zebra, Citizen and Brother also make good quality label printers intended to print labels of this size. More on our recommended labels/printers can be found at:

If you’ve any questions on this, please let us know :+1:

We will be using NR labels on all our products and will have to print them prior to any packaging - logistically it’s impossible to print them post packaging, we’d need to unstack all the packaged items, affix a label, then re-stack them. A run for us can be 600 cases followed by 60-75 kegs - which at present are labelled as they’re packaged.

So content that there is a work around for pre-printing NR labels - however we don’t know exactly how many will be packaged until we’re done; at present we print off xxx numbers of labels +/-10. If we do this with Breww, will the system see it as items missing, ie we print 120 keg labels and only package 117?

Hey Bristol Brew team,

Great question! No, you can absolutely, reserve 120 non-returnable keg labels/numbers using the function to print labels in advance of racking and decide to rack only 117. The act of reserving labels doesn’t affect your stock levels; it is only setting aside those specific non-returnable numbers.

In Breww, each non-returnable keg is assigned a unique sequential number. For instance, the first non-returnable keg you rack would be labelled as NR-1, and so on. Let’s say you reserve numbers NR-100 through NR-220 for your 120 expected rackings but only end up racking into NR-100 through NR-117. The unused NR numbers (from NR-118 to NR-220) won’t be reused for any other kegs. The next non-returnable keg you rack would simply be labelled as NR-221, with the unused numbers remaining reserved but not impacting your stock count.

I hope this explanation clarifies things. Feel free to reach out if you have further questions!

@connor-fry - thank you for the reply (I think I sent you the same question twice - apologies).

So we can just add the actual packaging total to stock, then as they are scanned out to customers this will count down and the non-assigned NR numbers will just remain in the ether not bothering anyone.

No problem at all! That is correct, so long as when you rack the 117 non-returnable containers in your example, you use the 117 non-returnable numbers you applied, as shown in the screenshot above under the header cask and keg. This is done by either scanning, entering or selecting them. That associates the reserved NR numbers (as that is all they are up until that point) with racked stock. The remaining 3, as you said, will sit harmlessly in the ether of Breww, and the 117 can now be scanned out to customers.

Hey all,

We’ve found a returnable container that was racked on Breww but never physically packaged. How do you suggest we stock adjust that item out, without impacting our destruction report as the beer was never produced? I can’t undo the racking action as the vessel is in use and some of the containers in that racking action have already been sold.


Hi Alice,

This is a really good point, currently you would need to make the stock adjustment and add a note when doing so that the stock was never actually produced, but I fully understand your point here, and so long as that specific container from a single racking action has no duty actions logged against it, I agree that an option to undo a single container from a racking action even if one of the other containers has been sold should be possible. I will bring this up with the team to see if we can improve handling this situation in the future, but for now, you’ll need to stock adjust this.