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Dunbar, Belhaven, Brewery Lane, Belhaven Brewery

Bottling Plant (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dunbar, Belhaven, Brewery Lane, Belhaven Brewery

Classification Bottling Plant (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 308748

Site Number NT67NE 136.01

NGR NT 66538 78328

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Dunbar
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian


Photographic Survey (April 2010)

The Belhaven bottling plant was surveyed prior to dismantling as part of the RCAHMS Threatened Building/Industrial Survey Programme.

Information from RCAHMS (MMD), July 2010.

Field Visit (2010)

Belhaven began bottling in the 1960s and was upgraded in the 1990s and early 2000s (new bottle rinser, filler, palletiser, conveyor all computer controlled.The Bottling Plant was closed in 2010 when bottling was relocated to St Albans by Green King, the owners of Belhaven.

The bottling plant process: The bottles arrive by truck into the courtyard. The pallets of one use glass bottles were removed to the Bottling Plant buildings by fork lift truck onto the six layer Bulk Glass De-palletiser (DP084283-4). The bottles then moved (in upstanding position) onto the conveyor (DP084285-8; Kensal, Luton, England) to the 60 head Simonazzi Rinser and Filler machine (DP084291; DP084294; DP084302) where the bottles were single-line filled (using a Hilge pump) with the relevant batch product (from 180ml -1 litre sizes) taken from the Bright Beer Tanks (DP084289-90). (1)

Up to 500 bottles per minute could be filled (or 180, 1 litre bottles per minute) in this plant. The air was sucked out the bottle and carbon dioxide added. The bottles then passed to the Crowner (DP084294; DP084300-01) where the metal tops/caps/crowns were added and crimped at fill head. The bottles then passed the Bottle Inspector (Heuft machine - the fill detector, DP084292 and DP084296) to check that the level of product in the bottle was correct. If a bottle was too low it is punched out the line automatically.

The bottles then passed along a conveyor (DP084293; DP084294-5) to the Pasteuriser (DP084297-9). The conveyor passes various tanks including tanks containing Bromgard Activator (controls microbiological growth in the multi-metal bottling system), two Cellar Tanks and a 5 barrel capacity 82 psi pressurised vessel which was out of use. The pasteuriser heated the bottles in a two- deck pasteuriser for 20 minutes at 60 degrees centigrade (20 pu) and for an hour at 10 degrees centigrade. They then pass to the Accumulation Table (DP084303) and then to the bottle drier (DP084305). Next, the line passes by the Krones machine (DP084304; DP084306) or Capsulator which applies glue to the front and back of the bottle and thence to the Labeller (second hand) and the printer which added time stamps, ‘best before’ date (Julian code) etc.

The labelled bottles then passed through an inspection area (DP084308), the Filtec fine level detector (DP084308) and thence to the Riverwood (boxing up; Riverwood International, Espana/Atlanta Georgia, USA)) or shrink wrapped in trays. There was also a hand-packing area for certain products. The material then passed to the Involvo machine (Swiss-made packaging machinery; DP084310-11) which had several lanes which allowed packing configurations. The rest of the line consisted of printers for printing onto the boxes/packing combinations, shrink wrapper, the case turner, barcode labeller to the Lita palletiser (DP084312-313; Implenti di Palettizzazione, Italy) which packed the boxes/packages into larger batches for transport. A board indicating the packaging arrangements was also kept in this area (DP084307).

The bottle sizes filled at Belhaven were:

180ml Gold Label

250ml Tennents Lager

275ml Sweetheart Stour

330ml Oak Aged Beer

500ml Belhaven products

550ml Tennents Lager

568ml Tennents Lager (pint)

1L (litre) Stella

(1) There were five, Bright Beer Tanks (BBT) adjacent to the Bottling Plant. Two of the BBT hold 180 barrels (29,457 litres or 51,840 pints) and three held 150 barrels (27,547 litres or 43,200 pints). BBT 1-3 are non-Belhaven brewed brought in by tanker, and BBT 4 and 5 are beers brewed on site. BBT 1-4 thus were for bottling and BBT 5 fed the kegging area via an underground pipe using compressed air. Nitrogen for the filter room, bottling and kegging also brought in at this point of the building. See also DP084338.

Visited by Miriam McDonald, RCAHMS, 2010.


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