Whereas all previously existing Japanese breweries have been relatively large and located within the main industrial belt (along the southern and eastern coasts), the Kirin Hokuriku Brewery is located in a more rural area on the other side of the country, and is small by Japanese standards (having a design capacity of 1 million hl/year). In order to blend in with its relatively unspoilt surroundings, the brewery buildings were designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, while the grounds are laid out as a park with recreational facilities and a bar/restaurant, and are open to the public all year round. A system of walkways with information displays allows members of the public to view the brewery itself without disrupting production. The brewery features a single line brewhouse (brewlength 1000 hl), fermenting tanks totalling 40000 hl, maturation tanks totalling 120000 hl, two filtration lines for 400 hl/hour, and packaging lines for 600 bottles/minute, 1350 cans/minute and 270 kegs/hour. The warehouse features automatic storage and retrieval of goods, two covered vehicle loading areas (6 bays each) and a display screen for instructing the fork lift truck drivers. Although the more tedious and laborious tasks are fully automated, a sufficient degree of human input is required to enable the brewery staff to play an active part in the production, packaging and distribution processes. The "humanization" of the working environment also includes a much greater degree of noise abatement (soundproof machine covers, sound absorbing wall and ceiling panels, etc.) in the packaging hall than is usual in Japanese industrial premises.
Keywords : brewery construction design equipment production