Victoria tech start-up helps craft brewers with new app

For small craft brewers, losing kegs can mean a barrel of trouble. That's why Victoria entrepreneur Ryan Stratton, founder of Craftt (pronounced “crafty”) developed a new app to help craft brewers.

App helps small craft brewers track some of their most expensive assets: their kegs

Disorganized, missing and misplaced kegs can be a real nightmare for craft brewers, says Ryan Stratton. That's why his company, Craftt, developed an app to help brewers keep track of them. (James Cridland/Flickr)

Victoria has become something of a craft beer mecca, and it's also becoming a mecca for tech companies doing innovative things.

Ryan Stratton, founder of Craftt (pronounced "crafty"), wants to combine those two things with apps that help craft breweries build better supply chains.

"Other beverage manufacturers, like wineries, are typically packaging their product and storing it for a number of months or years in some cases," he told All Points West host Robyn Burns. "But breweries have rapid turnover in their products. Their kegs, their bottling lines are constantly working. It's kind of like organized chaos."

Craftt's apps give each keg a brewer uses a unique barcode that allows the brewers to track those kegs as they are cleaned, filled and shipped to their destinations.

Stratton says the idea came from early keg-loss troubles his brother experienced when he started his craft brewery, Bridge Brewing Company, in North Vancouver.

"We put something together for him and the reception we got from other craft brewers was really great," he said.

Stratton says tech companies like his are well positioned to succeed in Victoria.

"We looked at other markets like Vancouver to move the business to, but with the technology schools that are here, like University of Victoria, the other large technology companies that are in town, there's a really great start-up culture here," he said. "We're not looking to move to Vancouver any more or move to the [Silicon] Valley."

On Feb. 12, CBC Radio hosts Robyn Burns and Gregor Craigie will moderate a town hall and panel discussion called Victoria 2.0 about the tech sector on South Vancouver Island. Highlights from the event will be aired on All Points West on Feb. 12 and On The Island on Feb. 15.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Taps and apps: Victoria company develops app to help craft brewers


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