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JIRA As a Beer Inventory System


I use JIRA a lot at my job. I use a bunch of the Atlassian products every day, but JIRA is my favorite. At work, we track all of our internal issues in JIRA, plan and track all of our developement in JIRA, and conduct all of our client-facing support in JIRA and JIRA Service Desk.

About a year and a half ago, I found this series of blog posts on the Atlassian Blogs network about using JIRA as an asset management system. We were currently looking around for a way to inventory all of our assets in anticipation of a move to a new office building. The bulk of the enterprise-level asset management suites start well north of $10,000 and would take a serious time investment to get started.

We already had JIRA in our environment, why not give it a shot?

Well, it worked great. Our system as it stands now has over 800 assets in it spread over 3 countries and 2 continents. It has been a really great implementation for us and has proven to be uniquely flexible in a way that most other systems we looked into were not.

But how flexible could it be, really?

The Beer Problem

I have a problem. I like to collect things. The collections tend to get a little out of control. It started when I was younger with baseball cards and Legos. Then it was sneakers. I worked at Footlocker just for the discount so I could feed my habit. Most recently, my collecting efforts have been focused on craft beer.

I buy beer faster than I can drink it. I lose track of what I have. I have 4 refrigerators or freezers in my house. They all have beer in them. It got out of control.

The Solution

At some point it dawned on me that the solution to my beer problem was looking at me in the face each and every day. I could use JIRA for my own personal beer inventory system. It works for laptops and monitors, why not cans and bombers too?

So I set off and signed up for my own JIRA Cloud account and got going. We use hosted JIRA at work, so at the very least this would give me some insight and experience into the differences between hosted and OnDemand JIRA solutions. This is like continuing education.



The Setup

Getting this setup did not take too long at all since I already had gone through this twice now having setup the asset management system at work and once for a client as well. So I created the custom fields specific to craft beer, added them to the appropriate screens, and started adding inventory:


Next I needed a workflow since the standard “ToDo, In Progress, Done” wasnt going to cut it. I do some beer trading occassionally, and I have given some beer away too, so I needed a workflow that accomodated those actions. Oh yeah, and drinking it to. I do that.Workflow

The “To Be Inventoried” status lets me add beers quickly, and the fill in the details later before officially putting them “In Stock.”

Each workflow transition has a screen that allows me to update how many beers I have left after drinking (each unique beer is assinged to an issue, and then multiple beers are denoted in the quantity custom field on the beer issue) and if they moved to a different fridge.Transition

Last, I setup a dashboard so that I could keep track of everything:Dashboard

The dashboard lets me see what I have in stock, what I have designated as something I need to drink now (can’t let those IPAs go too long) and what beers I still need to add details for.

Going Forward

So far, this has worked great for me. It has not stopped me from collecting, but I have a much better idea of what I have now (and unfortunately what I don’t.) I’m already working on another project for wine and spirits (where did all this bourbon come from?)

I plan on working on some sort of display for the main beer fridge, maybe using the Wallboard Plugin or maybe just the dashboard on a fridge-mounted iPad. I have also looked into using Service Desk to make adding beers easier right from the fridge.

After all that, I think it’s time for a beer. Going to have to check my “Drink Now!” filter.



I'm just curious, how many beers do you own? :o

zack Rising Star Apr 03, 2017

Right now, about 125 different beers, and around 200 total. I've slowed down on the buying side of things; trying to focus on the drinking side. :)

Like Dave Liao likes this
Monique vdB Community Manager Apr 03, 2017

Zack, does your collection include any of my favorites, Pannepot by De Struise or Westlvleteren XII? 

zack Rising Star Apr 03, 2017

Monique, it did at one point, but those didn't last too long before they transitioned to "Drank."

Monique vdB Community Manager Apr 03, 2017

Yeah I have the same problem with my inventory management of those particular beers. :) 

If you ever feel you have to many I could take a few off your hands ;)

MattS Rising Star Apr 06, 2017

Fun! Is this the same content as from last year?

zack Rising Star Apr 06, 2017


Yep. Was testing out the Article functionality of the new community with some shameless reposting. ;)

Hahahaha! Great article and very creative. I need to look into this. I don't have as much inventory, but still run into this issue. 

Realy clever idea, Zach. Well done. This totally hits home for me as I'm another craft beer snob (from the great PNW) and struggle to determine what I have at any given point and most importantly, what needs to be consumed sooner than later. IPA FTW!

So I am real green to JIRA and this is what I have been looking for but instead I am going to use an hardware test equipment inventory check list.



I'm not a big fan of beer tbh, but there's been a few I don't hate. I try new ones from time to time.

You should have some sort of custom field system that lets you detail what the beer is like... dark vs light vs fruity? Is there such thing as fruity beer? I need to find a fruity beer now.

Then you can make filters and hand someone a list of suggested beers based on flavor or quality or price!

I need to figure out now how to apply Jira to my video game collections...

Pyramid has an Apricot Ale that is a fantastic summer (hot weather) beer.  For some unknown reason, it doesn't taste as good in the winter.

Apricot Ale sounds amazing! And most "stringy fruits" (peaches, apricots, mangos, there's a word for this but I've forgotten it) are very summery, I love 'em.

Apricot Ale is the only beer my mom would drink (at least until she was 91...), and it is the only beer with fruit that I've found that I like.

Amazon sells it, but it is currently unavailable.  They maybe only make it is the summer?

It's a seasonal fruit. Wouldn't be surprised.

@zack Would you be able to share a bit behind of the scenes? New to Jira, looking to make an inventory management system for some department equipment and it seems like this is exactly what we would need.

zack Rising Star Jun 20, 2019

@Ryan Nacker It's been awhile since I set this up, but happy to answer any questions you have about your potential setup! I actually did implement this as an inventory management system for employee hardware at a previous job, and it translated nicely to that.

@zack Thank you. I can't view your images posted because they are blocked, will try to get past that.


Did you make this with a plugin, or did you start with a default workflow and went from there?


I'm just a bit confused about how you stored and updated the quantity.

Deleted user Jul 04, 2019

curios also about the update of the quantities?

zack Rising Star Jul 05, 2019

@Ryan Nacker @[deleted] 

For the quantity, I pretty much just made a number field and manually updated the quantity manually on the workflow screens. It wasn't ideal, but for this purpose, it did the job.


I did this all with the default tools available to Jira. No plugins.


If I was to recreate this today, I would probably take a look at implementing this with Insight from Riada. 

Deleted user Jul 08, 2019

thank you Zack! really appreciate it! @zack 

Zak, I'm sorry to ready you've had trouble managing to drink all your beer! I'd be happy to help clear the backlog!

Dave Liao Community Leader Oct 27, 2021

@zack - could've sworn I commented here before! Just wanted say I love the article.

While Jira isn't ideal for certain use cases (in my experience), beer inventory is definitely an appropriate one. And with the Jira mobile app (circa 2021), it's actually possible to inventory without toting your laptop around with you.

FYI I'm friends with one of your old coworkers, and he mentioned this article to me!

Like Kelly Arrey likes this


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