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Downstream Brewery - Work in process case

Downstream Brewery (B)
Lawrence Grasso and Cindy Moeckel


1. In answering the following questions, give C.D. sufficient details so that you can retire from this job in the near future and C.D. can continue without you.
? Using three processes of Boiling, Fermenting, and Shipping, what journal entries should be made to record this period's activities?
? What is Downstream's income statement for the period?
? What is C.D.'s cost per barrel?
? What is the value of the inventory?

2. Prepare a written response following the Case Study response format (issued under separate cover).

Case Study

The small faucet to the right of your desk emitted a sputtering sound and bursts of white foam, rather than the liquid gold you'd become accustomed to. Well, I guess that means I can retire the Downstream Brewery file, kegs and all, you thought. You could not have been more wrong. Well, technically, yes, you could. But this was wrong enough, be-cause as you turned off the tap you had installed in your office, you noticed a distraught C.D. Cervesa entering your office door.

It had been about six months since you had last seen C.D. Cervesa of Downstream Brewery fame. You had set up a system of job order costing, given C.D. a brief training session in how to keep it working, and taken delivery of the product you'd settled on as your fee. Sure, money would have been nicer. But once you'd installed the refrigerator and tap, entertaining prospective clients was much cheaper. Your business was picking up. Even your assistant was happy since your paychecks were showing less elasticity at the bank with the increase in business. You had figured the rest, as they say, would be history. But here was C.D., back again, and you could tell at once that this was not a social call.

"Remember those contract negotiations I talked to you about?" C.D. asked. "Well, armed with the numbers from the accounting system you helped me set up, I went into negotiations feeling pretty good, but when I came out, my entire business had evaporated! When I figured out what it was costing me to fill the Lowerbrow contract, I jacked up the price to include a 40% profit. Not gouging certainly, when you consider that they turn around and get closer to 60%. But they did not see it that way, and can-celled the contract.

They said I was 'too small to deal with.' Can you believe it? I bail them out when they're short, now I want a fair price and I'm too small to deal with!"

"What about Olde McIrish?" you asked.

"Oh yeah, that's even worse! Listen to this. Olde McIrish told me that they've decided franchising is the way to make big bucks. They're opening a series of fran-chises in the Rocky Mountain and Western regions, calling them McBreweries. Can you believe it!? McBreweries, for gosh sake! They offered me the Phoenix area fran-chise, but I'll be a rag picker before I do business under a golden spout with the notice "Billions of Gallons Sold."

"I decided to rely on my local reputation as a quality operation and to try cranking out my own brand of ale. So for the last three months, I've been making Froth, as I call it and selling it out of a friend's pub.

"Can you help me figure out what it costs me for each barrel I brew? I keep thinking that it should be just the same as when I was brewing for Lowerbrow and Olde McIrish. But things are a little different now. E.E. Phlunke and I (no other employees) just keep the production of Froth going constantly. We always have some brewing, some fermenting and some cooling. We don't have contracts to finish anymore. I'm baffled at how I can tell exactly what my costs are when there is always some brew in the process. I learned my lesson the last time around, and I want to keep track of my costs right along. I knew you were just the one to help me because you did such a great job last time, so I brought all my cost information in this box here."

["If you learned your lesson, C.D.," you wondered, "why did you vanish for six months, only to reappear three months after dramatically changing your business - with an orange crate full of little scraps of paper?"] C.D. left you a complimentary gallon jug of Froth and the pile of papers. You harkened back to Oliver Hardy's complaint "Anoth-er fine mess you've gotten me into!" But unlike Ollie, you did not have any Stan Laurel to serve as a contrapoint to your competence. Looking at the stack of receipts and oth-er scraps of paper on your desk, you figured you understood how someone must feel when the pie lands SMACK on the old kisser - a mess indeed. The circus life still was unappealing, but the navy was beginning to look like a viable alternative to a career in accounting. After you got through C.D.'s information, you went by the brewery and filled in some blanks in your picture of what had been going on.

From the bits of flotsam in C.D.'s orange crate you were able to learn the following:

Cash Receipts
1944 half-kegs (972 barrels sold at $50 each) $ 48,600

Cash Disbursements

Malted-Barley Extract (2,000 lbs @ $2.10/lb) $ 4,200
Wheat Extract (1,000 lbs @ $2.75/lb) 2,750
Hops (240 bushels at $10/bushel) 2,400
Brewer's Yeast (50 bricks at $2.80/brick) 140
Water (116,667 @ $.0009/gal) 105
Half Kegs (200 @ $15) 3,000
Keg Washing Machine 12,000
Payroll (including taxes and benefits):
C.D. Cervesa 8,000
E.E. Phlunke (520 hours) 5,200
Gas and Electricity (25% Gas) 160
Rent 3,000
Excise Taxes ($10 per barrel sold) 9,720
Miscellaneous Manufacturing Costs 130
Miscellaneous General & Administrative Expenses 2,285
Loan Payments:
Principal 0
Interest 3,600

Total Cash Disbursements $ 6

Beginning Inventories

Barley extract (500 lbs) $ 1,050
Wheat extract (100 lbs) 275
Hops (4 bushels) 40
Yeast (5 bricks) 14

Downstream Brewery had fulfilled its contracts with Lowerbrow and Olde McIrish at the end of last quarter. There was no work in process or finished goods on hand at the end of the last quarter. At the very beginning of this quarter, C.D. Cervesa had purchased an additional 200 half-kegs, making a total of 1000 half-kegs to hold the Froth production. Since Olde McIrish would no longer be cleaning and returning the empty half-kegs, C.D. also purchased a $12,000 machine to wash and sterilize the kegs. All equipment, including the half-kegs and the keg washing machine was depreciated on a straight line basis over 10 years with no salvage value.

The $12,000, one-year insurance policy that Downstream had prepaid remained in effect during the quarter. Ninety percent of C.D.'s time was still devoted directly to brewing ale, and the remainder was spent dealing with general and administrative duties.

You toured the warehouse and learned more about the brewing process, and about the stage that C.D.'s product was in at the end of the quarter. To keep things straight in your mind, you made a chart of the entire process.


Boiling Department Fermenting Department Shipping Department

Add extract, Remove Add Remove
hops, water hops yeast yeast Ship

boil with gas cool with elec. ferment with elec. cool with elec. clean kegs and refill
(8 hrs.) (16 hrs.) (3 days) (4 days)
(15% elec.) (50% elec.) (25% elec.) (10%elec.)

C.D. estimated that about 30% of all labor was required for the Boiling operation, 60% for the Fermenting operation, and 10% for cleaning and refilling the half-kegs. You discussed the ins and outs of overhead allocation and decided that all overhead items should be allocated based on direct labor cost. You noted that other than the keg washing machine, no additions had been made to the $130,000 worth of brewing equipment you remembered from your previous engagement with Downstream. At the end of the quarter you did an inventory, and found that C.D. had one batch (12 barrels) that had just completed boiling and needed to have the hops strained out (virtually complete in the Boiling operation), and one batch in the middle of the Fermenting oper-ation (the yeast had already been added). The recipe for each 12 barrel batch of Froth calls for 20 pounds of barley extract, ten pounds of wheat extract, one brick of yeast (each of which can be used in four batches), two bushels of hops, and 372 gallons of water. Ninety-six half kegs (48 barrels) that had just been filled and stabilized were in the refrigerator ready to be taken to the friend's pub where it would be sold.


Solution Summary

I have completed the computations, analysis of cost per barrel, income statement, and value of ending inventories. The outline and ideas to get the case write up started are in a separate word document.