Asahi Breweries to reopen Fukushima brewery in June

Asahi Breweries to reopen Fukushima brewery in June

Asahi Breweries plans to reopen its damaged Fukushima brewery next month as it seeks to ramp up beer production for the key summer months.

Asahi said yesterday (9 May) that it is working to restart operations at the Fukushima brewery in June. In March, the group was forced to abandon brewing at the plant due to damage sustained in the powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan. The brewery lies outside of the exclusion zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Several of Japan's largest brewers have reported damage to facilities following the earthquake. They face a race against time to build up supplies ahead of the peak summer selling season.

Asahi said that it would use extra night and holiday shifts at other facilities around the country to compensate for production shortfalls in the disaster area. The group will prioritise its core brands, particularly Super Dry.

The extent of the earthquake's financial impact on brewers remains patchy. However, late last month, Asahi reported an initial JPY6.9bn (US$84m) charge related to the disaster, almost double its profits for the first quarter of the year. The group's domestic beer sales fell by 3% in the three months to the end of March.