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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beer rationed after brewery damaged

Beer rationed after brewery damaged

Last updated 05:00 13/04/2011
Some beer supplies have been rationed after a central Christchurch brewery was hit in the earthquake.

Lion Nathan corporate affairs director Neil Hinton said the St Asaph St brewery suffered "quite a bit of damage", forcing Dunedin and Auckland plants to take on much of the Christchurch site's work.

Engineers were still assessing the damage, he said.

Hinton said it would be "a couple of months before we've got a really clear picture of what the future holds".

The company was "coping with demand nicely", but supplies of some beers brewed only in Christchurch were "very limited".

"It's taken us some time to get back up to speed. We are still having issues supplying [kegs of] Guinness and Kilkenny, but they should be resolved by the end of the month."

The company managed to retrieve kegs of Guinness from the brewery in time for St Patrick's Day celebrations last month.

Yesterday, cranes moved a nine-tonne evaporator machine from a severely damaged building to a "not quite so damaged" warehouse nearby to allow some production work to restart at the site.

While no brewing was possible in Christchurch, Hinton said, beer transported from Dunedin could be processed to provide malt extract.

It was not a long-term solution, but the company needed to supply customers and fill international orders, he said.
Christchurch staff had been relocated, with some working at Dunedin and Auckland breweries and others operating from a temporary warehouse in Hornby.

The sales team had moved to new offices at Tower Junction, Hinton said.

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