Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München

The Staatliche Hofbräuhaus München (Munich Brewery) is a Bavarian institution that can combine traditional brewing craftsmanship with the latest technologies and trends, Bavarian lifestyle and international orientation. The worldwide success of the 'Hofbräu München' brand requires optimised internal logistics processes. KAUP contributes a special attachment for this.

Head first into the container

In addition to the quality and taste of the beers, two things have contributed to the worldwide recognition of the 'Hofbräu München' brand: the house of the same name at the 'Platzl' in the centre of Munich and the Oktoberfest in the Bavarian capital. In order to accommodate the growing popularity of the two letters 'HB', the brewery is pushing ahead with its internationalisation and exports its beers to over 40 countries. A licensing and franchise system ensures that Munich beer is drunk in China just as it is in the USA and Brazil. But how does the beer get to its destination if it is not brewed locally in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law and the specifications of Hofbräu München? With reusable kegs.

Container loading by hand

The kegs are loaded in standard ISO containers in the brewery's new logistics centre, built in 2013. This was done by hand in the past. It took four HB employees up to four hours to correctly position all the kegs and fill the container. The Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München wanted to significantly accelerate this loading process in order to reduce the costs for downtimes.

The handling task can be described in this way: Six kegs (2 side by side, 3 in front of each other) should always be picked up in one loading process and transported into the container to be filled. The height of the kegs is the only varying factor. Diameter and structure at the top of the keg are always the same, whether it is a 50 litre keg with a height of 600 mm or a 30 litre keg with a height of 400 mm. It must be possible to repeat the loading process multiple times: three times side by side and up to five times on top of each other. A particular challenge is the small distance of about 350 mm between the topmost drum and the container ceiling. The kegs are then placed in front of each other. 

Best head first - in half the time

The solution for the handling task at Hofbräu München is both simple and complex. As the kegs are not transported on pallets, the conventional attachments - fork positioners and multi-pallet handlers - are out of the question. Likewise, clamps, mainly drum clamps and keg clamps, cannot be used because the required number of kegs could not be placed in the container to be loaded. Therefore a special solution is needed to master the task. A special solution that grips the load from above - i.e. head first. 

KAUP has developed a new type of clamp to pick up the reusable kegs. The main components of clamp 0.5T099 - also known as beer keg gripper - are the six spreading devices with two spreaders each. These devices are arranged on a boom which is lowered onto the kegs from above. Once positioned, the spreaders extend and pick up the load. Inside the container, the forklift, a Toyota Traigo 48, drives to the designated place, lowers the kegs and releases the spreaders. A fast, effective loading process. The process is additionally accelerated by the sideshifter with increased sideshift stroke 2T151P-C. Why? A special feature of this sideshifter is the ability to move its load beyond the forklift contour up to the wall of the container. As the boom of the beer keg gripper is hooked into the sideshifter, the kegs can also be set down directly at the container wall.

The beer keg gripper has profoundly changed container loading in Munich-Riem. Today a container can be loaded in approx. 90 minutes - the loading time has been more than halved. Only two HB employees are needed for this - previously there were twice as many. And it does not matter how large the kegs are - 50 litres, 30 litres or 20 litres.


The Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in Munich (Hofbräu München) can look back on more than 400 years of history. Founded in 1589 by Wilhelm V, Duke of Bavaria, the brewery is today one of two Munich breweries still in Bavarian hands. Today, around 130 employees contribute from Munich-Riem to the success of the brewery, which produces around 340,000 hectolitres of beer per year. Hofbräu München is internationally active with licensees and franchisees in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Head Office: Munich, Germany
Branch: Beverage industry

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