Once Upon a Time, My Brewery POS….

Hi-Wire taproom manager, Kindsey Bernhard, gives a sneak peak into why she loves (and depends on) their brewery POS.

Guest Post
Hi-Wire guest post

The most important type of technology used in a brewery taproom is the POS system.  I’ve been working as the taproom manager at Hi-Wire Brewing’s Louisville taproom since we opened at the end of August 2021. Our brewery POS made opening the taproom incredibly smooth and dare I say, easy. 

As a taproom manager for Hi-Wire, our brewery POS is an integral part of Hi-Wire’s success. With three taprooms in Asheville and four satellite taprooms outside of Asheville, a brewery POS that is able to work together with multiple locations is important. There are many reasons I love (and depend on) the brewery POS we use at Hi-Wire. So when deciding on a POS for your brewery you should consider the following things, I promise it will make your job easier, like it has mine. 

Easy to Navigate and Learn

One of the most important things when it comes to a brewery POS is how easy it is to use and navigate. A POS should not be full of unnecessary buttons and options that confuse your staff. It should be straight to the point, so if someone hasn’t been properly trained, they could still use it. 


This is especially important for your front-of-house staff. If your bartenders and waitstaff can learn how to use it quickly, that is so incredibly important, especially during the onboarding process. One of the hardest parts of training new hires is teaching them how to use your POS. 

When I hired my staff at Hi-Wire, all of them had used a handful of POS systems; Square Toast, Aloha, Clover, etc.,  but not the one we were using.  When training your staff to use yet another brewery POS it’s important that your POS isn’t overwhelming to them like the others they’ve used. It’s even better when after they learn how to use your brewery POS, it’s the easiest and their favorite.

Unnecessary buttons or options, and confusing layers can only hinder your staff’s use of the POS. On a busy night at the brewery, they don’t want to be searching different pages and menus to find something. Your POS should be straight and to the point. Clear menu and button options. Ask yourself, how long does it take to start someone’s tab with the items included? If it’s more than one minute, your POS is too confusing. 

Another important part of learning the POS is going through a training process with a POS expert. When choosing a POS system, see if the company has an option to train with an employee of the POS system. The best way to learn the system is to learn from an expert. And it never hurts to go to employees who have used the system before to get a refresh on some parts of the system that aren’t used as much. 


While it is incredibly important for the front end of the POS system to be easily navigable, it is very important that the back end is as well.  The back end portal should be user-friendly without an overwhelming amount of options. 

As a taproom manager, you oversee multiple parts of the taproom. While keeping track of your sales is incredibly important, it’s not your entire job. When I need to check package beer sales or an employee’s hours for the week, I need to get in and out very quickly, so I can focus on my next task at hand. While there should be a lot of options, the layout should be designed to easily navigate those options with menu and drop down buttons. That makes it easy to get in, get the info you need, and move on. It can be incredibly hard to learn a back-end portal if the layout is confusing and not well organized. There are many times when I am in the middle of something and I am asked to pull up information from our brewery POS. Being able to do that quickly is incredible. Look for a POS that keeps both its front facing and back facing steups clean and easy to navigate. It’s key to perfecting your POS. 

Data Collection

Data collection: It’s important. If you own your own business, then you know this. But what you might not know is the data you are missing out on with the wrong POS. Seeing daily, weekly, and monthly sales is important, but what other reports are there to see and analyze?

  • What’s your best selling beer during the week vs. the weekend
  • Are your sales between 11:00pm – midnight on a Friday or Saturday worth it to be open?
  • What is the average check size? Are there ways you can increase this amount?
  • What is the average tip rate during the week vs. the weekend

There are so many questions that your POS can answer that will help make you a successful business and increase your bottom line. 


Every brewery is different. A customizable brewery POS is important in setting up how you want to sell your product, and how you want your POS to collect that data. Being able to personalize your POS home screen specific to your business and what you sell also helps with making your brewery POS user-friendly for your staff. 

From section titles, like “BEER” to “CLOTHING” to “TO-GO BEER,” being able to name the buttons yourself is very helpful. If tracking ounces of beer is important information you want to collect, a customizable POS can help with that by adding different size buttons under each beer. You can add all the size pours you offer without making it overwhelming by putting the most popular pour sizes first (16oz, 8oz, 4oz, 1oz). For merch and other products with sizes, you can add size buttons (S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL) to make inventory management easier. 

Hi-wire gear

Online Store

Online ordering and curbside pickup was rarely something breweries or restaurants focused on until the pandemic. Even though the shutdowns have ended and are unlikely to return, curbside and online ordering is here to stay. People have fallen in love with the ease and convenience of ordering ahead. 

Many consumers have come to really enjoy the easy ordering process online. Whether they are running errands and have a child in the car, or on the way home from work, ordering ahead of time and quickly running inside to pick up your order makes people love the flexibility of online ordering. Having a POS that allows you to have these options is important and crucial to your success. 

Like many breweries, Hi-Wire relied on online ordering and curbside pick-up during the shutdown, and we’ve continued to offer this option. People love it. 

Connects with Other Tech

Your POS is one of the most important types of technology you will use in your taproom, brewpub, etc. However, the ability to have it connect and work with the other technology you use can really enhance your business.

From merchandise to beer inventory, having all the different technologies work together can really increase your bottom line. For example, if your POS is saying you’ve sold a certain amount of beer, but your draft inventory tech is saying another amount, you’re clearly losing beer. Having these two techs working with each other can help diagnose problems and save you money. 

Hi-Wire has multiple taprooms, so keeping up with merchandise inventory can be very difficult. The only reason we can keep up with our merchandise inventory and sales is our ability to connect our brewery POS with Ekos, a software that “helps craft beverage makers streamline inventory, production, sales, and accounting with one affordable business management software.”  

When I have to count inventory each month (and yes, that means every sticker, button, koozie, shirt, etc.), I pull reports from both our brewery POS and Ekos. It makes understanding merchandise sales and inventory count easier each month. This also helps us see our losses, and decipher where those might be coming from. WIthout the integration of our brewery POS and Ekos, our merch inventory and sales would be, well, a disaster. Do you know how many shirts we have throughout our seven taprooms? A LOT.  

Dynamic Tab Functionality

You want your customers to always feel empowered whenever they are in your business. One way to empower guests is giving them the flexibility to pay the way they want to without holding up their service experience. 

The main ways people pay their tabs at Hi-Wire are with cash and credit. However, having flexible POS tab management so guests can choose how to pay for what they ordered is key. Two of those options are splitting and merging tabs. 

The Hi-Wire Louisville taproom is a large, open space which invites large groups. These large groups usually want to start one tab with the intention of splitting it up at the end. This not only makes it easier for the party guests, but also makes it easier on your bar staff. They don’t have to look up each person’s tab name, but just the one for the party. Having a brewery POS that allows easy tab splitting is important for your staff, but more important for the guest experience. It empowers the customer and how they want to pay.

Another instance I see that happens a lot in the taproom is somebody wanting to pay for another person’s tab.  In this case, this is where the merge check option comes in handy. It is a lot easier for your bartenders to merge two tabs than it is to delete items off a tab and add them to another. I’ve had to do this on a previous brewery POS. Not only did it take a long time, but it resulted in an error. Whether I added the wrong items or forgot to add a beer, their merging functionality was not ideal. The merge check option on our current POS saves time and avoids confusion and mistakes. 

It’s all about flexibility and making sure customers are happy when they leave your taproom. Splitting and merging tabs doesn’t happen often, but when it does, my staff is prepared to use the functions. It’s a seamless experience for both my bartenders and customers, which leaves everyone happy. 

In addition to flexible payment options, being able to easily add discounts or comp types is important when you have Black Friday sales or Happy Hour pricing. Everyone loves a good deal, right?

Hi-wire mistake friendly


We all make mistakes no matter how hard we try to avoid them. The term “human error” has been created for a reason. Mistakes can happen on the busiest of nights and on the slow ones. Mistakes can happen with your most veteran staff or your new ones just learning the system. When deciding on a brewery POS, make sure that it is mistake-friendly. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Can you easily delete items off a tab
  • Can you easily void a payment and issue a refund? 
  • What happens if I close out the wrong person’s tab
  • How easy is it to return and or exchange the wrong size shirt?
  • Can your POS function while the internet or Wi-Fi is down?
  • Is customer service easily accessible if you can’t figure out how to fix something?

As a manager, it’s hard to leave the taproom, especially in the early days of being open. Your mind is thinking about all the mistakes that can happen, specifically with bartenders using a new brewery POS. A mistake-friendly POS helps make leaving at night a little easier. You know that if something does happen, they can easily fix their problem or call customer service. 

I didn’t say this means you aren’t watching the live feed on your cameras or constantly texting your staff. 

Customer Service

Of course customer service is important. Really great customer service can set one POS system apart from the other. When deciding on a brewery POS, look at the kind of customer service that system offers. Is there 7 days/week support? Are there detailed FAQs on the website? When you call customer service, who answers the phone, an actual person or a robot?

Like I mentioned previously, mistakes happen. Having a great customer support option really enhances your POS experience.  

Wrap Up

Your brewery POS system is important. There is no debate. While choosing the right brewery POS is important for your business, choosing the right one for you and your staff is even more important. 

My staff loves the brewery POS we use at Hi-Wire, which is Arryved POS. I believe my staff would be happy regardless of the brewery POS we used, but I know it makes their jobs easier using the one we have now. The wrong POS system can hinder your bartender’s performance and results in more unsolvable mistakes. There are many more reasons to love your POS, but these are the ones I’ve found most crucial. 

About The Author:

Kindsey Bernhard is the Taproom Manager at Hi-Wire’s location in Louisville. She also hosts a podcast called Boys Are From Märzen, which is a craft beer podcast featuring women in the industry. In her free time, Kindsey loves spending time with her dogs, Oberon and Otto.

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