Washington’s Large Brewery of the Year Sees Increase in Beer Sales with Arryved

Learn how Icicle Brewing transformed its taproom service model with Arryved’s Mobile POS and QR Code Ordering

Case Study Client Spotlight

Leavenworth, Washington is a truly idyllic mountain town tucked into the Cascade Mountains about two and a half hours from Seattle. With its traditional Bavarian theme and world-renowned “Village of Lights” Christmas celebration, one may think they are in a Hallmark movie while exploring during the holidays. And while the Christmas season might be its claim to fame, the town of only 2,500 residents is visited by a steady stream of tourists year-round due to its proximity to an abundance of outdoor activities such as river rafting, hiking, skiing, and more. It goes without saying that Leavenworth also hosts one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the country. 

In 2010, the founder of Icicle had an epiphany – the town needed a craft brewery to join the numerous wineries and German-style bars and restaurants that line the downtown streets. So in April of 2011, the doors of Icicle Brewing Company opened, and the growth since has been exponential. Now, Icicle distributes their beer across the state, and has earned numerous awards including Large Brewery of the Year at the 2023 Washington Beer Awards and a trophy case full of beer-specific medals – like a GABF Silver medal and two World Beer Cup medals (Gold and Bronze). 

The taproom itself has gone through its own growth and changes over the years. Originally starting as just a single main bar with additional patio space, it now encompasses a downstairs bar, an upstairs level filled with tables, and even seating pouring into the street during the summer months. While this growth was exciting, it had come with its own set of challenges. 

Long Lines and Forgotten Cards 

Since opening the taproom, Icicle’s service model was simple – guests would walk up to the bar to order beers and food items, and return for each item after that. And the brewery’s last POS system, Square, met the needs of this service model and provided a simple, user-friendly system for staff.

The problem? As the taproom and brewery continued to expand, so did the lines at the bars, particularly during busy seasons. 

Their POS system also required credit cards be kept behind the bar in order to start a tab – a small task that quickly became a major pain point for brewery staff due to the high percentage of non-local patrons. 

“We’d average about 10 left-behind cards a night,” said Jessa Butler, Icicle’s taproom manager. “It became quite the hassle because a lot of people that come here live out of town, so they’d request we mail their cards to them, or hold onto them until they returned months later.” 

A New Goal 

Heading into 2023, ownership gave Jessa a very straight forward goal – sell more beer in the taproom. 

“Our CEO challenged us to sell just one more beer per every fourth customer.”

But to meet this goal, she knew the current POS system wouldn’t cut it. The taproom had simply outgrown it and maxed out its capabilities. So, she embarked on a hunt to find a new system to not only help meet the immediate needs of the business, but one that would be a partner in growth for years to come. 

“I looked at Toast and a few others, but ultimately there was so much that Arryved offered that was super attractive to us,” Jessa said. 

Optimizing the Service Model and Exceeding Expectations 

Two of the biggest selling points for Jessa and the Icicle leadership team were Arryved’s OpenTab QR-code ordering system and the Mobile POS handheld devices that staff now walk around the taproom with. These features have helped shape the brewery’s ideal flexible service model. 

“We still want people to come to the bar to chat with our beertenders and ask any questions they might have when they first walk in, but we wanted to make it easier to get that next beer.” 

She said that Icicle’s CEO loves to say that he will always get another beer if he can get it while sitting at the table, having a conversation with friends, but likely won’t if it means he has to get up and walk away from the conversation. And they’ve found this to be true for their customers as well. 

We’ve sold A LOT more beer. Since launching with Arryved in February 2023, we’ve definitely exceeded our goal of one more beer per every fourth customer.
Jessa Butler, Icicle Brewing Taproom Manager

Needless to say, this well exceeded the challenge placed on the team to sell one more beer per every fourth customer. By allowing customers to order from team members walking around, or through the QR codes around the brewery (when the brewery has QR code ordering enabled), patrons no longer have to leave their table and wait in a long bar line, which could deter them from getting another drink altogether. 

And that pesky left-behind card problem? Not an issue with Arryved. With Arryved’s card on file capability, staff simply swipe the card to start a tab at any station, hand the card back to the customer, and watch as customers keep ordering on the same tab no matter where they order from next. Customers were able to be fluid throughout the brewery, continue ordering at their leisure, and receive their beers faster than ever. 

Advanced Reporting and Time Savings

For Icicle, another key selling point of Arryved was in the brewery-specific reporting functionality of the system. 

“It’s been so impactful being able to take relevant and usable data to the brewers,” Jessa said. “I’m able to tell them we sold this amount of this Pilsner in a specific amount of time, or this Hazy kicked faster than this Hazy…” 

She continued on to say that she also analyzes reports that compare how certain beers are selling in-flights vs. full pours, and looks at other reports that help her compare on-premise vs off-premise sales. 

“These weren’t things we were able to easily look at before Arryved.”

But the back-end functionality doesn’t stop at reporting. With Arryved’s automatic tip pooling functionality, Jessa has cut her time spent doing weekly payroll in half. Not to mention, her floor supervisors no longer have to manually enter the information into the system at the end of each night, leaving them more time for other impactful tasks. 

A Bright Future With a Committed Partner

“Over the past few years, we’ve worked on transitioning from a tourist-brewery to a brewery that people actively seek out for great beer, that just so happens to be in a tourist town,” Jessa said. 

And while there have been numerous factors that play into that transformation, Jessa believes Arryved is the perfect partner to help Icicle continue its journey of growth and success. 

She said that changing a POS system was no small task, but that the Arryved team have made the transition as painless as possible, and been easy to work with and helpful every step of the way. “We get responses to our questions almost instantaneously, and everyone we talk to is super cool and helpful,” she said. 

“Overall, it’s been a challenging year, but we are thrilled with the results [of switching to Arryved] and feel great about the future.” 

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