Tracking "Spirited" Barrels



Minden Mills Distilling is part of Foley Family Wines, a Sonoma Valley-based portfolio of highly acclaimed wines since 1996 and represents the expansion of Foley Family Wines into the spirits business. Located in the heart of Carson Valley close to the Nevada-California border, Minden Mills Distilling produces its own new brands of bourbon, rye, American single malt and white spirits from locally sourced, sustainable grains.


Barrels are a critical asset to the spirit making process and need to be tracked according to John Crumbley, Barrel and Blending Manager with Minden Mills. Crumbley states that not only do the barrels themselves need to be tracked, but important sensory information needs to be monitored as the spirit matures.

He goes on to explain that each barrel has unique characteristics which can affect the final product, including the type of wood, its age, previous contents and even the specific location within the warehouse where it's stored. "By tracking these details, we can maintain consistency and ensure high quality spirits," he said.

When looking for the right identification product, Crumbley and his team needed a durable tag to withstand the same environmental conditions the barrels themselves did. In addition, the bulky radio frequency identification (RFID) tags they previously tried weren't ideal for the application.


Crumbley looked to Metalcraft, an Iowa-based identification products manufacturer, for assistance. Working with our Inside Sales Team, he decided on Metal Barcode Nameplates because of their reputation for durability and reliability, even under harsh conditions. Crumbley added the intensification option to the nameplates to ensure barcode readability for more than 20 years outdoors. Crumbley really appreciated that guarantee. "Some of our barrels can last 10 to 20 years," explained Crumbley. "It's nice to have peace of mind that the tags will last through the life of the barrel."


Crumbley reports things have worked great so far with the durability and versatility of the product being great for the application. "The slim profile makes it very easy to use and track," he said. "If someone is looking for a product to last a long time with no flaws, I'd highly recommend it."

For more information on this application or RFID products that can meet your organization's needs, please contact Metalcraft at 800-437-5283 or [email protected]

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