Kirin To Hike Beer Output During Summer To Make Up For Quake-Damaged Plant

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Kirin Brewery Co. is planning to raise beer output to make up for lost output at a quake-damaged brewery in northern Japan during the peak demand summer season, and will decide as soon as this month when to restart the brewery, a company spokesman said Friday.

Damaged by last month’s massive earthquake and tsunami, the beer-making unit of Kirin Holdings Co. (2503.TO) has halted operations at its brewery in the city of Sendai. The March 11 disaster damaged four of 15 large beer storage tanks. The brewery’s packaging facilities and warehouse were flooded due to the tsunami. But key parts of the brewery, including much of the equipment, weren’t damaged.

Although details haven’t been worked out, Kirin believes a production increase at other breweries will be sufficient to make up for the lost output in Sendai.

Kirin hasn’t specifically decided when to resume operations at the plant, the spokesman said. But he quoted brewery President Koichi Matsuzawa as saying Thursday the company aims to roll out a limited-time beer that uses hops made in neighbouring areas from the brewery in October, as it has done in the past.

Kirin’s Sendai brewery has the capacity to turn out about 8% of its overall domestic output. The brewery ships beer mainly to prefectures in northern Japan.