Monday, 11 January 2010

Beer giant to axe European jobs

The world's biggest brewer, AB InBev, has announced it will cut around 10% of its workforce in western Europe "to reflect falling demand for beer". That should really read "falling demand for over-promoted fizzy industrial lager". The number of jobs lost will be 800 from a total European workforce of 8,000. Of the 800, 263 jobs will go in Belgium alone. Workers at the Jupiller lager factory were so enraged by the announcement of job cuts that they took two managers hostage for several hours on 8 January.
There are likely to be job cuts in Britain and Germany as well. A spokeswoman for AB InBev said consumer demand for beer had fallen consistently in recent years. She added: "Western European consumers are drinking differently and AB InBev needs the right commercial focus". She said Belgians were drinking a "more diverse range of premium beer in lower quantities."
In which case, why doesn't the producer of Budweiser and Stellar Artois get the message, fill its mash tuns and coppers with good ingredients and produce beers with aroma and flavour? Could work a treat. The group's sales in Belgium fell by 2% in the first nine months of 2009.


Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

It was bound to happen. I feel sorry for the workers that will loose their jobs, but when such a poor product is produced they are at risk.I now buy mostly local beers apart from some Duval and trappist beers. We have informal get togethers in friends houses where we smoke and try new beers. but never any of this In Bev stuff.

11 January 2010 at 22:52  
Blogger MoondogAle said...

Well, that's hardly a surprise. InBev (nee Interbrew) has been closing local breweries left, right and center and when they took on Anheuser-Busch's massive debt, it was clear that it was just a matter of time before jobs would be lost. Incidently, when Interbrew closed Whitbread Brewery in Cheltenham, I vowed to boycott all Interbrew/InBev/AB InBev beers. A boycott that remains in place. Not that Whitbread were angels by any means, but when they closed, a huge chunk of the Cheltenham culture closed with it.

14 January 2010 at 05:21  
Blogger Ed said...

Mortlake's closing so there's definitely ABInbev jobs going in Britain.

17 January 2010 at 23:25  
Anonymous MoondogAle said...

Doesn't Mortlake translate as "Dead Water" in Old English ? Sounds like the sort of water needed to produce Anheuser-Busch lagers ! We have a massive AB-InBev brewery just up the road from our house (in Columbus, Ohio...long story) and they recently canceled a health fair for their workers - that I was due to exhibit at - because they said they "couldn't afford to host it". Perhaps the great empire is beginning to topple...

18 January 2010 at 00:20  
Blogger Laurent Mousson said...

Well, it appears the AB / InBev fusion, or rather the takeover of AB by InBev, has left the group a bit strapped for cash, so they're possibly scraping off small change wherever they can...

18 January 2010 at 12:30  

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