Perfecting beer and other alcoholic beverages
Brewery Energy Manager
Production Headquarters, Okayama Brewery
Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
- Please tell us about your current job (responsibilities, challenges, rewards, etc.).
- As a brewer, I am responsible for a variety of tasks at a brewery, including daily quality control and the introduction of new products and technology. Kirin produces about 1.8 million kiloliters of beer annually. That's equivalent to 5.1 billion 350 mL cans! There are many things that we need to take into account when producing good beer. Raw material production amounts vary from year to year. Yeast conditions fluctuate. Seasonal air and water temperature changes cause slight changes in beer taste. We have to evaluate the product with our five senses, perform chemical analyses, and together with accumulated data, decide the manufacturing conditions for each batch. We produce 100 kiloliters at a time, so it is a huge responsibility, but at the same time it gives me a chance to prove my skills as a brewer.
- How is the knowledge and experience gained at Tokyo Tech being utilized in your current position?
- At Tokyo Tech I conducted research on fungal genetics, which is not related to my present work, but the process has not changed at all. "Show interest, set a goal, draw the path to your goal, and execute." My academic supervisor provided the necessary resources and pointed me in the right direction, and then allowed me to independently experience the process. That really boosted my abilities. I also found great friends through extracurricular activities at Tokyo Tech. These friends, now active in a variety of industries, are a great source of inspiration. The amiable yet competitive atmosphere at Tokyo Tech allowed for a great deal of personal growth.
- What are your future goals?
- I have been a fan of beer since my university days, so perhaps I was destined to work in beer production! Using the skills I have accumulated, I would like to contribute to market growth both domestically and internationally, and create new alcoholic beverage categories. The alcoholic drinks market in Japan has been shrinking forover the years, and stiff competition further complicates things. Still, as a person dealing with beer every day, I believe there still is undiscovered potential in beer and alcoholic drinks.
- Please write a message to students aiming for Tokyo Tech.
- The excellent research, facilities, fellow students, and professors at Tokyo Tech combine to make a very special atmosphere. I recommend that you take control and design your own study experience exactly the way you want it. As you move on from university, you can continue customizing your own life. Do this with confidence and you will make yourself an important, sought-after member of society.
Junichi Furukawa (from Kagoshima, Japan)
- Brewer, Okayama Brewery, Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd.
- Employed by Research Laboratory for Brewing, Technology Development Department, Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd.
- Master of Science, Department of Life Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology
- Bachelor of Science, Department of Bioscience, Tokyo Institute of Technology
- Enrolled in 7th Academic Group, Tokyo Institute of Technology
The content of this article was accurate at the time of the interview.