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West End Brewery gets topped up

The closure of the Swan Brewery in Western Australia signalled that an extensive redevelopment was required at South Australia’s West End Brewery, in Hyde Park.

McMahon Services Industrial and Resources Construction division was engaged by Lion to undertake the role of Construction Manager and implement significant upgrade works. The Construction Management contracting model provided Lion with a single point of contact to execute the wide range of projects, across the entire infrastructure upgrade and shutdown.

The client owner’s team was made up of McMahon Services’ key personnel, Process Design Consultants and Lion Representatives who provided a steering committee that worked collaboratively to demonstrate quality and best value for program outcomes.

The rolling project consisted of a number of stages that have been completed over almost 24 months. The redevelopment was required to accommodate increased capacity and production, including the upgrade of infrastructure and coordination of the shutdown works to assist the transition and the upgrade process.



Arguably the biggest challenge of the Hyde Park Upgrade was the design and construction of the Brewhouse and Engine Room Façade upgrades.

Facing the heaving traffic on Port Road, the site works were constantly under the watchful eye of the public with tens of thousands of cars passing by each day.

The site works on the Port Road boundary also provided challenges with restricted access due to the location of the main entry into the brewery. High volumes of vehicles and large trucks had to enter the site through this main access driveway to pass through security, and traffic management was required throughout the works, to safely manage incoming and outgoing traffic whilst also allowing site activities to continue.

McMahon Services worked closely with the project consultants and steering committee to develop the design which included the feature glass wall structure that revealed the internal brewhouse and engine room, highlighting the 85 year old kettle which was refurbished at our head office facility.

It was important for Lion to keep the refurbishment of the façade under wraps until it was ready to be unveiled, so McMahon Services constructed a completely enclosed scaffold system and wrapped the external surface with a life-size, 3D rendered image of the façade to illustrate what was being built behind the scaffold.

The visually impressive façade incorporates large 3000mm x 1500mm glass panels, alucabond cladding and recycled red bricks to reflect the heritage nature and history of the West End site.

Consideration and integration of the upcoming Shutdown was a driving factor in the construction process. As the Shutdown included structural roof modifications and bracing to facilitate the roof removal, engineering considerations were given to safeguard against the possibility of the glazing cracking due to movement within the building. This included additional steel bracing to the main structural frame in a systematic process to accommodate our works.

The food grade environment also provided challenges on site as ongoing brewing operations continued, meaning internal and external scaffolding was carefully encapsulated in order to protect the existing brewhouse from external environmental elements.




Throughout the duration of the project works, the coordination of the shutdown works was also required.

Lion provided a Master Schedule Program for the shutdown works, which planned out the full seven week shutdown to coordinate pre-works, demolition, building, installation and commissioning of the new brewhouse. McMahon Services supplied the scope of works with time durations for inclusion into the Master Schedule.

Key subcontractors TFG and Kone also provided their schedule of works into the schedule for the installation of various infrastructure items. McMahon Services was also involved in the design and construction component of various project scopes, throughout the shutdown involving scope definition and generation. Due to the flexible, technical nature and the unknown capacity of existing infrastructure, the project scope was continually evolving. This was to accommodate the removal, supply and installation of the new brew house brewing vessels and associated equipment.

The introduction of new information, additional equipment requirements and structural modifications meant that the McMahon Services’ team were able to demonstrate flexibility and provide a quick response with minimal disruption to the overall project.

West End Brewery Kettle Lift (1)

When McMahon Services commenced on site, the new brewery and associated process equipment plant had been designed with equipment already on the way from Germany.

It was a case of “make it fit and make it work” meaning many scope items were amended, changed or introduced as new to accommodate the decommissioning and removal of existing equipment and infrastructure, before the new plant and infrastructure were installed and commissioned.

The first project works undertaken was the Control Room Upgrade, which involved the demolition of a redundant legacy bar, to make way for a new control room for the operations of brewing production. All works were conducted whilst keg packaging was being undertaken less than five metres away within the same building. Given that it was a food grade area, any dust or debris had to be strictly controlled by encapsulating the work area and completing the work out of hours where possible. The adjoining control room was being used, so that meant noise also needed to be controlled and kept to a minimum.

Exact production requirements that related to data and communications specifications were not confirmed until the project was well underway, so we needed to have the flexibility to alter the works each day. Internal sound requirements were established insitu with the client and then designed accordingly.


As part of the overall project upgrade works, five new Brew House water storage tanks were to be installed incorporating extensive civil and concrete works. With delivery in a four stage process, McMahon Services completed this project in a tight access area with limited space due to the surrounding infrastructure. Working around the existing infrastructure allowed the brewing production to continue throughout the project.

Before the excavation works began on the first two foundations, the soil was tested in accordance with the new EPA legislation. The soil testing confirmed that were was contamination issues and the soil was removed.

Stage one involved some minor demolition of redundant pump and pipe structures to make room for the first two German manufactured tanks and concrete foundations.

Programming and collaboration with all project stakeholders was crucial in providing continuous brewery production, particularly Total Food Group, the company responsible for the installation of the new tanks. The one-and-a-half metre foundations were completed, and the first two tanks were installed. Once the tanks were commissioned and tested, the next three stages were undertaken in the same process as stage one.

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The next project was managed under the Waste Water Treatment Program and specifically involved the installation of a Carbon Odour Extraction System and modification to the existing Waste Water

Collection Tank. Due to public complaints in relation to pungent odours escaping from the existing Waste Water Collection Tank, a suitable control mechanism was installed.

McMahon Services worked collaboratively with the Head of Engineering at Lion to come up with an innovative solution to effectively eliminate the odour escaping. The result was modifying an existing solution implemented at one of Lion’s other brewery sites. The Carbon Odour Extraction System required the design, fabrication and installation of a steel lid that would sit above the existing water tank. Total Food Group was responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of the lid and Odour Control Systems designed, manufactured and installed the extraction component.

West End Brewery Waste Water Treatment Programjpg (2)