Demystifying the Elusive “Standard Operating Procedure”: The SOPs that Saved Our Breweries and What You’ll Want to Know About Them

Craft Brewers Conference 2021
Location: Denver, Colorado
Speakers: John Bryce, Gary Nicholas, Riley Seitz

Anyone who has been part of opening a brewery will tell you that that the actual opening was the easy part. Maintaining positive momentum during an ever-changing set of market conditions and operational challenges is where the real difficulties are found. What will make or break a brewery is the ability to adapt to these challenges, and one of the most significant challenges is keeping consistency over time. Inconsistency can present as variable flavors, quality issues, or production inefficiencies, all of which have negative effects to the financial bottom line.

A critical tool for establishing consistency is the use of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Unfortunately, these often get lost in the day-to-day nature of brewery operations, or become a project for a tomorrow that never comes. This presentation brings together three industry experts to lay out a template for establishing and maintaining an effective SOP program. This starts with understanding how SOPs fit into an organization and recognizing the business case for them. The next step is learning how to create a foundational set to build upon, how to coordinate SOP management across larger organizations, and how to adapt to changes so that your program remains in tune with the current needs of your brewery.

Attendees will be able to see actual programs from active breweries and walk away with templates and a system that can be customized and implemented immediately.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the Beginning: How to use tools such as Trello to reduce the barriers to entry and make SOPs a set of easy, approachable, and exciting tools, rather than an intimidating and boring process Working at Scale: How to coordinate SOP management across a multi-departmental, high-volume brewery to preserve SOPs as active, living documents that drive innovation instead of becoming reflections of an obsolete past Bridging the Gaps: How to adapt and manage phases of growth by identifying the changing needs of the brewery, communicate these as a business case to senior leadership and owners, and then progressively implement needs-based solutions

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