Label printing and barcode scanning

Label printing

Which label printer do I need?

Breww generates all of its labels in two formats, one designed for thermal label printers and one for sheets (A4 or US Letter) of labels on a normal desktop printer.

We highly recommend that you invest in a thermal label printer, but understand that can be tough when you’re first starting out so the cheaper solution of label sheets is an option.

Thermal label printing requirements

Click to show thermal label printing requirements
Role Suggested item Notes Suggested supplier
Thermal label printer Zebra ZD421t (to ZD420) Thermal Transfer Other printers which can handle the same label sizes should also be suitable. See note below regarding “Thermal Transfer” vs “Direct Thermal”. Barcode Warehouse or ebay
Permanent cask/keg labels 3011159 - White PolyPro 3000T gloss polypropylene white TT label 51 x 25mm (approx. 2 x 1") You’ll need one per container you own and may need to replace them occasionally if they get damaged Barcode Warehouse
Ribbon for permanent labels 05095GS11007 - Zebra 5095 resin ribbon - 110mm x 74m (12 rolls) Make sure your ribbon is compatible with your printer choice, this ribbon is suitable for the Zebra ZD420 printer Barcode Warehouse
Temporary cask/keg labels TB00609121 - 102 x 76mm (approx. 4 x 3") DT paper label, removable adhesive You’ll need one per container delivered Barcode Warehouse
A note about label printers - “Thermal Transfer” vs “Direct Thermal”
There are two thermal printing methods: direct thermal and thermal transfer. Each method uses a thermal printhead that applies heat to the surface being marked. Direct thermal printing uses chemically treated, heat-sensitive labels that blackens when it passes under the thermal printhead, while thermal transfer printing uses a heated ribbon (the equivalent to ink in normal printers) to produce durable, long-lasting images on a wide variety of materials.

In terms of Breww, we strongly recommend using the slightly more expensive “thermal transfer” type of printer so you can use the ribbon for your permanent cask/keg labels. To keep running costs down, you can remove the ribbon and print in “direct thermal” mode using a thermal transfer printer for your delivery labels.

Having trouble with printer settings/calibration/label sizes?

Check our guide: How do I change the label size settings for my Zebra label printer?

Sheet label (A4/US Letter) printing requirements

Click to show sheet label printing requirements
Paper size Role Suggested item Notes Suggested supplier
Printer No specific recommendation “Inkjets” are usually cheaper to buy and “LaserJets” cheaper to run. A “LaserJet” printer is required for the Permanent labels, whereas the temporary labels can be printed by either. -
A4 Permanent cask/keg labels Avery L7063-20
(99.1 x 38.1mm) extra-strong adhesive heavy duty weatherproof labels - 14 labels per A4 sheet
You’ll need one per container you own (not non-returnables) and may need to replace them occasionally if they get damaged. Amazon.co.uk or ebay
A4 Temporary cask/keg labels Avery J8165-100
(99.1 x 67.7mm) labels - 8 labels per A4 sheet
You’ll need one per container delivered. Amazon.co.uk or ebay
US Letter Permanent cask/keg labels Avery 64503
(2" x 2") durable waterproof labels - 20 labels per sheet
You’ll need one per container you own (not non-returnables) and may need to replace them occasionally if they get damaged. Amazon.com or Avery

Barcode scanning

Barcode scanning is used in a number of places around Breww to reduce mistakes and increase productivity.

Barcode scanning with the Breww app for Apple iOS & Android

Breww has a native mobile app for barcode scanning. The app is available for Apple iOS and Android, supporting racking, container assignment for deliveries/collections and all other processes that benefit from barcode scanning.

The mobile app is our recommended solution for barcode scanning as it offers real-time feedback after each barcode scan (rather than barcodes being downloaded to Breww in batches). It also has the benefit of not needing to purchase a barcode scanner if you already have a supported Apple iOS or Android device.

If you don’t already have a supported device, then purchasing a smartphone may also be more economical than a USB/Bluetooth barcode scanner - just be sure the device supports the latest version of the OS to ensure good future-proofing.

Enterprise-level barcode scanning

Breww’s mobile app for iOS and Android offers exceptional barcode scanning support on low-cost, readily available devices. For larger businesses who are looking for dedicated barcode scanning devices with “hardware” barcode scanners, Breww supports Zebra devices running a recent version of Android with DataWedge version 6.3 or higher.

If you don’t already have a device, we recommend the Zebra TC22 or TC27 with the SE4710 scanner and 8GB/128GB memory.

Device name Internet connection Zebra part number Purchase
TC22 WiFi only WLMT0-T22B8ABD8-A6 Barcode Warehouse (UK)
TC27 WiFi or SIM card WCMTB-T27B8ABD8-A6 Barcode Warehouse (UK)

You can buy these devices from any supplier of your choice, so feel free to search around and find a good deal. We suggest the suppliers listed above only as we have had a good experience with them in the past and found their pricing good at the time.

Speak to your supplier for recommended accessories, such as the Protective Boot (part number SG-TC2L-BOOT-01).

If you already have a Zebra Android device, simply download our app from the Google Play Store and check if it works with your device - you may well find it does! If the app works with your device, you are welcome to use it, of course, and we will do our best to support other suitable Zebra devices, but we cannot officially guarantee support for any devices other than those listed above.

Barcode scanning using a conventional USB/Bluetooth barcode scanner

All of Breww’s barcode scanning tools are also supported in our main web-based application via the use of a USB/Bluetooth barcode scanner. Depending on your own workflows, you may find that the web-based application with a dedicated barcode scanner is a better solution for you, but we do not recommend this approach. Our suggested devices can be found below, however, any device that supports batch mode should work with Breww.

:warning: With the quality of barcode scanning in our mobile app, using a conventional USB/Bluetooth barcode scanner is no longer recommended. You can still see our old guidance on scanner options if you expand the section below.

I have an old scanner that cannot read Breww's barcodes

We offer support for two types of barcode, which you can choose to swap between in your Label Settings section of Breww:

We highly recommend using the “Advanced 2D” format and our mobile app, but if you prefer to use a separate barcode scanner, you’ll need to ensure it supports reading 2D barcodes (in this case, “Aztec”). If you’re unsure, you can print a single label and test your device. If your device does not support the “Advanced 2D” format, you can change your settings in Breww to use the “Basic 1D” format.

I'd like to buy a legacy barcode, show me the options

Entry-level option - Honeywell 1202g Voyager

Suggested supplier - Barcode Warehouse

:warning: Warning - this device does not support Breww’s “Advanced 2D” barcode format, so we recommend using our mobile app or the Zebra DS3678-HP device below, where possible.

Click to show setup instructions for Honeywell 1202g Voyager
Setup instructions
  1. You’ll need to enable “Batch Mode” by scanning the below barcode. This is only needed once for the initial setup. This scanner cannot read barcodes from most screens, so you’ll probably need to print this out to scan them.
    Setup barcode
  2. Whenever you need to scan barcodes in Breww, follow the relevant instructions on which barcodes to scan and in which order. This is very important.
  3. When you’ve finished scanning the barcodes, ensure the cursor is in the correct input box for the barcode data, put it back into its cradle or scan the ‘transmit’ barcode below and you should see all the barcode data entered into Breww for you.
    Transmit barcode

Advanced device (future-proof & rugged) - Zebra DS3678-HP

Suggested supplier - Barcode Warehouse

Click to show setup instructions for Zebra DS3678-HP
Setup instructions
  1. You’ll need to enable “Batch Mode” by scanning the below barcode. This is only needed once for initial setup. This scanner should be able to read the image from your phone/computer screen.
    Setup barcode
  2. Whenever you need to scan barcodes in Breww, follow the relevant instructions on which barcodes to scan and in which order. This is very important.
  3. When you’ve finished scanning the barcodes, ensure the cursor is in the correct input box for the barcode data, put it back into its cradle and you should see all the barcode data entered into Breww for you.

What about my existing barcode scanner?

We recommend using our app for iOS and Android. However, Breww should be compatible with all barcode scanners that can support “batch mode”. In batch mode, the scanner will collect a number of scans together and finally submit them in one batch to Breww. If you have a different scanner or any issues with our recommended scanners, please get in touch with the name and model number and we’ll see if we can help you get it working with Breww.


All labels, printers and barcode scanners recommended on this page are just recommendations. You should be able to use any compatible alternative.

We provide some links to other websites/suppliers, which we hope are helpful. If you use them, you do so at your own risk and we hope you have a good experience. We’ve only suggested suppliers that we’ve personally had good experiences with in the past and receive no commission (or similar) for suggesting them. They should be considered as suggestions only and not recommendations. For hardware, if your budget is tight, we’d also recommend checking eBay for a good deal. The hardware recommended is very reliable and we have a number of customers who’ve purchased 2nd-hand devices for a great price and been very happy with their purchases.

Hi, we would just like to check we are buying the right products. Are the Permanent cask/keg labels used for beer name, gyle etc, which can be removed when returned, and different beer name, gyle is being racked into it?

Hi John,

The labels generated for racked casks/kegs (beer name, gyle, etc) are the “Temporary cask/keg labels” labels. Each time the cask/keg is returned this label will be removed and released with a new one when racked into again.

The “Permanent cask/keg labels” are intended to be stuck onto the casks permanently to record that the cask is F01 for example. You’ll keep these on the casks permanently and only replace them if they get damaged or come off. You may not need these at all if all your casks/kegs are already labelled.

I hope that makes sense, but please let us know if there’s anything else you need.

Hi Luke. I have uploaded our own casks and kegs into the system, but now need to download barcodes to send to our permanent label printer. How do I do this please?
Cheers!
Alex

Welcome to the community George!

You can print your labels by going to containers > Click ‘view all’ on either ‘containers’ or ‘non-returnable containers’ > print container labels.

I hope that helps but let me know if I can assist with anything else.

Hey there! Is it possible to print cask or keg labels from an iphone? We have a zebra printer that I can connect to but when I press print in Breww it doesn’t come up with the option for printing or an ability to save the files so we can print.

1 Like

This should be possible if you load Breww within Safari, but it’s not possible within the Breww app yet. If you’d like this, could you post it as a feature request?

In Safari, when you have the label showing (this should just open up as it does on a computer), you can use the “Share” button at the bottom (it looks like a box with an arrow coming out of the top) and you should be able to print it from there.

Cheers!

Hi, can anyone help with printing container labels? I’m trying to save the print file to email to another brewery who has a thermal Zebra label printer and has kindly offered to print them for us, the label file saves as a non recognised / unsupported file format type.

This sounds like you might be saving the webpage (that looks like the PDF) rather than the PDF itself. When viewing the PDF in your browser, go to print it but change the print destination to ‘Save as PDF’, then click save. Let me know how you get on!

I’ve been advised that the recommended Zebra printer is not compatible with MacOS. Barcode Warehouse have advised this option as an alternative:
Brother TD-4520TN Thermal Transfer 300dpi Label Printer
(Brother TD-4520TN | The Barcode Warehouse UK)

Anybody used this printer or can Breww @Luke suggest a MacOS compatible option.

Thanks Adam. I’ve not heard of our recommended printer not being MacOS compatible before :thinking: But The Barcode Warehouse should be experts in this area.

I don’t see any reason why the printer that you’ve linked to wouldn’t work (but it’s not been specifically tested by us) :+1: As long as it can work with your computer, print labels up to at least 4 inches wide and has “Thermal Transfer” support, you should be fine.

Hi Adam
I also just found out that the zebra printer is not compatible with MacOS so am also about to order the brother option.
Please can you confirm if you went ahead and ordered it and whether it worked for you?

Hi Ria, not yet no… it’s on the to do list, just haven’t got to it yet. Would be interested to hear your feedback.