7 Spanish honour for Heineken employee CagGari modernisation progressing well Mützig in Rwanda Hugo de Sitter, brewing consultant for Greece and Italy: Bottling lines in Pedavena and Massafra also being renewed Heat wave He's a familiar figure at our breweries in Italy and Gree ce. He can regularly be seen strolling through the entire brewery and taking a good look at all aspects of the bre wing process. Hugo de Sitter is one of the brewing con sultants working for Heineken Technical Services (HTB). What does he do exactly and how does he go about it? A portrait of a biochemistry graduate whose work for Heineken often takes him into other specialised fields. J ack-of-all-trades Visits and samples A little bit of everything Mr. C. van Es, head of Legal Affairs at Heineken Nederlands Beheer B.V., was presented with a major Spanish royal distinction on 12 October by the Spanish Ambassador in the Netherlands. He was awarded "la Encomienda de la Orden del Mérito Civil" as proof of gratitude for his contributions to the good relations between Spain and the Netherlands. Over the past fifteen years Mr. Van Es has represented the Heineken organisation in Spain on several occasions. "As an interpreter and negotiator" is how he 'describes his work there. In the 'seventies Mr. Van Es conducted negotiations with several Spanish sherry houses on behalf of the Dutch Spirits and Wine Group. From 1983 onwards he was closely involved in arranging Heinekeris participation in the Spanish El Aguila breweries.To put the new organisation "on the right track", Mr. Van Es lived and worked for a year in Madrid as secretary to the Board of Directors of El Aguila S.A.The King of Spain awarded the official Order of Merit to Mr. Van Es as a token of appreciation for his work. The large-scale modernisation of Birra Ichnusa near Cagliari (Sardinia) is progressing wellAt the moment the workmen are busy renovating the machines and equipment.The brewery's office section is now ready. Next year an extension of the cellars is planned, "but the final results of the facelift will in fact not be visible until two years from now", says Mr. L. Mengoli, Dreher's production manager. In Pedavena, too, there's plenty of refurbishing work going on.The bottling line for one-way bottles has been demolished and a complete new filling line is currently being installed. Testing of the line is planned to start early next February, so that the line will be ready for the busy season which begins in March. From that month onwards all the Dreher breweries will be operating at full capacity to keep abreast of the growing demand for Dreher and Heineken beers during the summer months. The bottling line for returnable bottles in Massafra is also being tackled. A fortnight ago bottling operations were stopped on this line. Two-thirds of the line will be overhauled this coming winter. The upgrading of this line is likewise scheduled for completion in February, which is when the peak (summer) season also starts for Massafra. The remainder of the line will be modernised next year. During the past summer the^^th of Italy in particular sweltered through a prolonged heat wave. Did that hot weather have any consequences for the production? "We were able to continue production as usual. Our brewery in Macomer (Sardinia) did have some difficulty for a few weeks because of a shortage of water, but that was soon solved, thanks in part to the willingness of the local population to cut down on their water consumption", explains Mr. Mengoli. And yet Dreher did have to import Heineken beer from Holland, though not because of production problems arising from the heatwave. "Demand exceeds our maximum brewing capacity every summer, so we simply have to import Heineken beer", says Mr. Mengoli. "I try to think along with them" De Sitter: "You could say that 1 act as an agent of HTB in Zoeterwoude for our Greek and Italian breweries. I give advice on problems in all sorts of fields, as long as they relate to the production of beer. My work ranges from raw material to finished product, and that also coverssay, packaging materials" Twelve years ago Hugo de Sitter graduated from university as a biochemist. After his military service he joined Heineken (in August 1977). A training course of some eighteen months taught him all the tricks of the brewer's trade, not forgetting the skills of the craftsman. "Part of that training Hugo de Sitter (far left) on a visit to the Dreher brewery in Cagliari on the island of Sardinia. The test panel is assessing a Heineken brew. course involved, and still involves, working as a trainee for two to three months at a small brewery in West Germany. I was a jack-of-all-trades there and worked my way through all the departments in the brewery. That gave me a great deal of on the job experience and taught me that it's wrong for a graduate to live high up in an ivory tower and look down on how a brewery operates." After his training one of De Sitter's first assignments was the practical implementation of the Amstel Light brewing process. ("Anice job, but one that took up a lot of time."). He also served as consultant to the breweries in the Pacific and the Middle East. After that he worked for a year as quality control manager for the Tiger and Anchor brewery in Singapore. As brewery technological controller his next 3Vz years were spent working for Nigerian Breweries Limited.Today he is a brewing consultant, his principal countries being Italy and Greece. De Sitter also handles special projects, such as the technological consequences of the launch of Amstel beer in Norway. It's Hugo de Sitter's job to look round the breweries in Massafra, Popoli, Macomer, Cagliari, Pedavena, Patras, Thessaloniki and Athens and identify problems which might have an adverse effect on the quality of the beer (both Heineken and Amstel, as well as the local brands). De Sitter doesn't merely sit at his desk in Holland and look for solutions to these problems. "Once a month at HTB we receive samples of the various products from each brewery and we can gather a lot of information from them on the basis of taste tests and analyses. However, it's very important that each brewery is visited by the consultant once or twice a year, with the result that on average, I travel for about one week in every month." Whilst at the brewery, De Sitter tries to solve problems and give advice on quality improvements. "Perhaps I'm sometimes seen as an intruder meddling in their affairs. In such cases it's up to me to make it clear to them that I'm there to find solutions to their problems. I can't know everything, but I do try to think along with them" "A brewing consultant knows about all facets of the brewing process. He must be able to judge the quality of the malt or the standard of the installations in the brewhouse, but his areas of attention also include aspects like a good adhesive for the labels and the quality of the crown corks. If the problem is really tricky, we can always call in the help of the many specialists at HTB", says De Sitter, who finds that the great diversity is one of the most interesting features of his job. "If I come across something in a relatively unknown area, I really delve into it, digging up old reports and having a chat with the specialists. And if in the end I'm able to give a useful recommendation that leads to good practical results, that gives me a lot of satisfaction. What's more, a recommendation like that can sometimes be put to good use in other countries as well.That's why effective communication is essential between the consultants in our department". "Basically, Irepresentthe Greek and Italian breweries at HTB in Zoeterwoude". Mützig beer has been available in the African country of Rwanda for the past 6 months. The brewery in that country decided to introduce Mützig to give consumers an alternative choke besides Primus beer. Sold as a premium beer, Mützig is obtainable in the 65-cl bottle. The launch was backed by publicity in the form of radio commercials and big posters.

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Heineken International Magazine | 1987 | | pagina 7