The AB InBev subsidiary saw record sales level in the off-trade last year: with 19.6% growth in Q3 and 23.4% growth in Q4.
The investment will increase capacity by 3.6m hl (the equivalent of 630 million pints) and create 55 jobs in addition to the 1,000+ people already employed across the two sites.
A £72m ($99.5m) investment at the Magor Brewery in South Wales will see capacity increase by 1.6 million hl. A new bottling line was installed in 2020; and will be followed by eight new 8,000 hl fermenting units to increase brewing capacity this year. An improved wort cooler, beneficial for beer quality, which will also lead to significant energy savings of 40 million MJ a year. A total of 32 new jobs will be created in operational and management roles.
In Lancashire, the Samlesbury Brewery will get a £45m ($62m) investment to increase capacity by 2m hl. This includes the installation of a new canning line for new plastic ring-free cans – increasing canning capacity – and multiple modifications in brewing, utilities and logistics to increase brewing capacity. It will also include brewery-wide efficiency and equipment improvements, including a boiler system upgrade. A total of 23 new jobs will be created in operational and specialist engineering roles.
The breweries have been able to remain open during COVID-19 restrictions, producing brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Bud Light. Budweiser Brewing Group says the investment underlines the value of the beer industry to the economy: in the UK, the beer sector as a whole is responsible for nearly 900,000 brewing and pub jobs, and the value of these jobs to the UK economy is £22.9bn ($31.6bn).
“Like many in the UK, we are focussed on a strong recovery of our economy, our communities and our country,” said Paula Lindenberg, President, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I.
“By investing in our breweries with new roles and new technology to increase capacity, we’re ensuring that we can brew and deliver great beers for many years to come.
“We know the beer industry is hugely valuable to the UK economy, and we believe our investments in our UK operations will be a catalyst for the recovery post-COVID.”