More Information required in Cask QR/AZTEC codes created on BREWW

The biggest issue we have is that we use E-Casks, and on many occasions our product labels have been damaged or are unreadable which means that the Cask reference ID is the only method of identifying our casks. We have found similar cases where our ID has also been used by other breweries on E-Cask. Because we like to keep our own E-Casks otherwise we have to pay for additional casks to be sent to use, we are penalized with costs for these additional drop offs. Having this additional info with our own QR reader with the drayman will allow us to identify our own casks. I understand that this is not a big change but it will help us greatly in the future in identifying our own casks. Please can this have an urgent resolve.

What’s the limit for container codes?

Thanks for the request, Jason.

I’m sorry if I’ve missed something, but what additional information are you wanting? And am I right that you want this to be included in the barcode that’s printed on permanent cask labels (not the “stock labels” that are printed for each racking)?

I’ll need to understand this request better before I can comment on how big/complex a change this would be, to be honest.

At the moment, this is 15 characters. But I must say that attempting to embed more information directly into this barcode doesn’t sound like the right option on the surface to me, but I’ll need to better understand the request to say for sure.

well, I was just wondering if (for example) Jason’s issue is that the dray team are coming across loads of casks labelled “Fnnn”, or whatever. Might well be useful to use a longer container code like “BroadtownFnnn”. Me, I’d just slap another permanent label on, saying “BROADTOWN UPLIFT ONLY”.

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We are trying to take the choice of thinking out by the Dray person, our Dray is Eastern European and if we can scan its a very quick yes or know as to whether its ours it means there is no prejudice through language/reading barriers that exist.

I didn’t want to directly point this to language or Dyslexia barriers, but there you are. We have to be fully inclusive of all.

Ah ok, thanks. So, I don’t think modifying the actual barcode is the right option, to be honest. This leaves two other obvious options:

  1. Add extra text to the label that makes it clear it’s yours, like the name of the brewery. This would be fairly simple, but would need all casks to be re-labelled (and the dray to be able to read the name of the brewery).
  2. Add a section to our mobile app which allows you to scan any cask and see info on it (or be told it’s not found, so probably not one of yours). There’s already Spot check of casks/kegs by scanning them on the mobile app - show info, allow taking notes, ullaging, returning, etc which could play well into this.

I’m all for inclusivity (and I’m dyslexic :joy:), but presumably being able to recognise the name of the brewery that you work for isn’t too much to ask? Or do you feel that it is and scanning is easier for them?

I do think thats its important to have the additional details in the label, as we are looking to offer special needs employees an opportunity to assit our Drayman on rounds. So yes I do feel that is important Luke, as dyslexia is at the thin end of the wedge when it comes to challenges with disabilities. This would be a huge win for BREWW and your end customers as part of your inclusivity, and disabilities at work commitments in business.

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Thanks, Jason. I’m happy to adjust this feature request to be for a feature that allows you to add custom text to the labels.

I think there was some confusion before around including additional data in the barcode, when instead, you just need to add extra custom text to the label.

Can you confirm that this will cover what you’re looking for? Thank you.

No Luke, I have asked for for the information to be added universally for all Breweries in the QR code for the casks or kegs. A QR code reader will create its code from the source information given to it, and currently the QR code for each container only details the container ID. All I’m asking is for the Brewery Name and Email address to be added to the QR code source information, which are always a constant each time that a QR Code for each container is created. Hope that makes sense.

I’m sorry, Jason, but I don’t think what you’re asking for is going to work as you’re hoping.

Firstly, we don’t actually use QR codes and never have (I appreciate they look similar). Anything specifically related to QR codes that you’ve read is irrelevant. We use the Aztec barcode format (unless you’ve switched it in your account settings to Code 128, but we wouldn’t recommend this).

A QR code can be recognised by the three “position markers” (or squares) in three of the corners. An Aztec code can be recognised by the single one in the middle.

This is a QR code:

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 18.33.05

This is an Aztec barcode:

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 18.32.51

Both contain exactly the same information.

Secondly, the actual content of the barcode is vital to Breww. This cannot simply be changed to add “more information”, as it would break Breww’s use of these barcodes. There would be possible solutions for this, but they would be complex and I’m not convinced would actually resolve your request.

Most phone cameras these days will recognise a QR code when on the camera app, which I presume is what you’re referring to here. There are conventions for how someone creating a QR code could optionally choose to structure the data in the barcode, in order to help phones know what the data “means”. For example, this could be a link to a website for a food menu, or contain the name & phone number for someone to add to your contacts list. But this is just a convention, isn’t required to generate a QR code, and, in theory, could be used in a barcode encoded with another symbology (such as Aztec).

As we use Aztec barcodes, not only will these not be detected by your phone’s camera in the first place, but our current format means that we cannot easily add more information to the barcode without causing many problems.

Please forgive my ignorance; I still don’t follow how this would actually be more useful for someone with a disability or language barrier than something printed on the label itself. Unless there’s a clever app to help them, in which case we’d need to know what it is and how it works; so we can build something to work with it.

Unless I’m missing something, the best options available to us are:

I don’t feel there is a clear feature request (that’s possible) in this thread, so I’ve set it to auto-close in 7 days. I’d recommend voting for the “Spot check” feature linked to above, as I think this is a good solution.

If you disagree and want this thread to stay open, please comment before then with more information. Thank you.

Over here

This kind of thing, and Jason’s key point in all the above would maybe require container codes to be unique across all breww users. So that would probably require more stuff be encoded in the Aztec thing

Thanks - yes thats the one.
@luke the other one can be disregarded as duplicate now.

I’ve discussed this at length with Connor. The issue isn’t really the AZTEC code as it doesn’t work the same as QR, but instead like a barcode which is simply read as an input. The current format of AZTEC code used in BREWW provides 12 digits, if that is an Alphanumeric Code with symbols thats 72 possible characters per digit. So essentially giving 72 to the power of 12 unique combinations. Should be enough for everyones kegs to be unique.

Really this is about 2 things -

  1. The need for ALL current users of BREWW to either already have unique codes (we started up with Hideaway0001 - we’re only small and unlikely to have >9999 containers) or to have to completely re-label and assign their entire keg stock. This isn’t going to be an easy task.

  2. The need for BREWW to attribute each code to an owner. This would be a huge table which would need to feed into the set up of all users so that the keg status is updated in the right profile.

To have a code which works the same as a QR code in that it has a longer string and can carry the info, would mean a pretty large/complex AZTEC code, which could remove the need for the large reference table but would have the additional info to assign to the unique brewery.
This would however pose a challenge should keg stock be sold to another brewery as the code would continue to point to the old brewery. This is where the reference table using unique codes is better as its much easier to update.

Assuming neither of these is possible at this point in time, the only real way in my mind to be able to do this would be to create a ‘mid layer’ which the Customer scans to assign the brewery first, then scan the keg.

Unfortunately, I just don’t think thats going to be a viable solution as if there are multiple brewery kegs at a customers site, this means that the customer could forget to assign the brewery between scans and send the wrong kegs back. Also, it’s not a very streamlined experience.

My suggestion would be a phased roll out.

Breweries which already have unique codes and those willing to change in the immediate term should have their codes in the reference table allowing the customer to request an uplift.

BREWW standard codes which have been used as default should be encoded so that when a customer scans them, they get a message informing them to contact the Brewery Direct and therefore maintaining the same service as now.
If and when a Brewery wants to recode and use this feature, BREWW should be able to assign a unique ID from the available ones in the reference table.

I guess the issue (and I’m sure to be corrected if I’m wrong :slight_smile: ) is that the Aztec is (currently) encoding the actual container code as configured by the user? So, for example if your container codes look like Firkin_nnn, then that’s literally what gets encoded in the Aztec. The obvious way of doing it might be to increase the size of the Aztec payload to include a producer identifier (assigned by Breww for uniqueness - I bet you a pound they’ve already got one :slight_smile: ). Giving something like {PRODUCERID}|Firkin_nnn

This would obviously require (a) embiggen-ing the Aztec to allow for the producer ID (a bigger matrix on a bigger label), and probably (b) loads of changes under the hood impacting all the areas that involve container scanning.

Dan’s concern about “should keg stock be sold to another brewery” - would normally be resolved by the new owners re-labelling containers. That’s what you have to do with new ones now, typically.

It’s probably going to be better to come up with a new, separate feature, perhaps requiring a new, separate, additional label (or maybe an addition to delivery labels?, but they wouldn’t be permanent :frowning: ) affording a “Scan this code for [insert your new features here]” function.

@luke I note this topic is on 2 threads now. I’m keen to keep some of the detail I’ve put in and would be super happy to contribute to the dev/testing of this feature. It would be a game changer for BREWW Trade store users as well as for those of us who have our own fleet.

Sorry, does this string of comments now mean that BREWW are going to update the AZTEC codes to include Brewery IDs or is there another solution for us poor breweries trying to get their casks back.???

@Jason, the admins have set this thread to auto-close. I guess the thinking is that this isn’t a sufficiently clear / implementable FR. If you don’t want it to close - i.e. use it as a place where the community can refine the FR, or that you consider your original FR clear enough, - then you can keep bumping it with comments while it gathers more votes. Me, I’d say that if you have a feature that you need, and that others are going to need - write that up as a FR - should maybe leave the implementation up to the Breww Devs.

At the moment this thread has wandered off into implementation details (I’m guilty, above) that might support a couple of Features It’s all very interesting, but it’s not what Breww really need from us here.

I did suggest that you might want to think about slapping another label on. You know, like those big orange SIBA labels?

Agreed Jon. A sticker atop the original would solve the issue. I mentioned it as ours are etched.
I think that with what the guys are saying about the AZTEC codes working for other parts of BREWW does create a limitation which may be a blocker for making the codes bigger.
There are enough unique codes from 12 digits for all our stock I think. :+1:

Thanks everyone for your input, but I must say that Jon has hit the nail on the head with this comment :joy:

I’m still not clear what is wanted as an end result in this thread, if I’m honest (sorry, if I’m missing something). The original post was about adding extra info to a barcode, but to me, this is also an implementation detail, and I need to understand the following:

  • Who would be scanning this barcode?
  • When will they do it?
  • How will they do it (the Breww app, or just the built-in camera app, etc)?
  • What would they want to see or do next?
  • What else would happen (would the brewery be informed of something)?

To me, Customers to be able to scan container barcodes to request uplift/return of casks/kegs and reorder is a clear feature request (and I think it’s a great idea).

Spot check of casks/kegs by scanning them on the mobile app - show info, allow taking notes, ullaging, returning, etc is also a great suggestion and clear in what’s needed.

The ideas in this thread possibly overlap with those requests, but that’s not really what was asked for originally and, to me, what was asked for originally still isn’t a clear feature request. I think that what is wanted by @jon-kyme2 and @dan-wright is covered on those other feature request threads, but I might be wrong.

@jason-bayliffe, if you can answer my bullet-pointed questions above then hopefully I can understand your request better and can look into it further for you. Thank you :smile: