Budweiser Brewing Group drives economic recovery by investing more than £115m in its UK breweries

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, a proud part of AB InBev, today announces a £115million+ investment in its two major UK breweries in South Wales and Lancashire to drive economic prosperity across the UK, and to increase its capacity and efficiency. The commitment comes at a time when the UK begins looking forward to recovering from the economic and employment impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Budweiser Brewing Group is a proud British brewer with a strong presence in the UK, brewing some of the nation’s favourite beers including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Bud Light. It has been brewing in Samlesbury since 1972, and Magor since 1979, and is an important local employer in its communities, employing more than 1,000 people across the two sites. At both breweries, its average salaries are well above the average for the local area.

The investment is good news for the UK economy after a tough year and underlines the value of the beer industry. In the UK, the beer sector as a whole is responsible for nearly 900,000 brewing and pub jobs[1], and the value of these jobs to the UK economy is £22.9 billion[2].

The primary focus of Budweiser Brewing Group’s investment will be installing modern and eco-friendly infrastructure at both breweries to increase capacity in brewing, canning and bottling by a total of 3.6m hL (hectolitres), the equivalent of 630 million pints a year once all projects are complete. As a result, by the end of 2021, the company will have hired 55 new employees across both sites.

Full details of the investment are as follows:

Magor Brewery, South Wales – £72m investment, 1.6m hL capacity increase

  • New bottling line installed to increase brewing capacity (2020)
  • 8 new 8,000 hL fermenting units to increase brewing capacity (2021)
  • 32 new jobs in operational and management roles (2020-21)
  • Brewery-wide efficiency improvements such as better chillers, and increased line speed on several lines.
  • An improved wort cooler, beneficial for beer quality, which will also lead to significant energy savings of 40 million MJ a year.
  • Magor already receives 20% of its electricity direct from a wind turbine which is believed to be the longest to enter commercial operation on UK soil.

Samlesbury Brewery, Lancashire – £45m investment, 2m hL capacity increase (2021/2022)

  • Installation of a new canning line for new sustainable plastic ring-free cans – increasing canning capacity.
  • Multiple modifications in brewing, utilities and logistics – increasing brewing capacity.
  • 23 new jobs in operational and specialist engineering roles.
  • Brewery-wide efficiency and equipment improvements, including a boiler system upgrade.

These improvements will enable Budweiser Brewing Group to meet the growing demand for beer, which reached its highest sales levels on record last year in the Off-Trade, seeing +19.6% growth in Q3, and +23.4% in Q4.[3]

Paula Lindenberg, president, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said: “Like many in the UK, we are focussed on a strong recovery of our economy, our communities and our country. 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.”

Lord Gerry Grimstone, Minister for Investment, said: “Budweiser Brewing Group’s investment is great news for South Wales and Lancashire, supporting local jobs and helping the nation build back better from Covid-19 crisis. The UK remains extremely attractive to international investors and this  £115m investment is further testament to our fantastic beer industry.”

Lloyd Manship, brewery manager at Magor Brewery, said: “When the brewery grows, South Wales grows with it. After the hardship of the last 12 months, it’s great to be able to share positive news and create new opportunities to support our community and local partners.”

Volodimir Kukuruza, brewery manager at Samlesbury Brewery, said: “It’s fantastic to be in the position to grow our brewery and our team. This ongoing investment makes us one of the most appealing employers in Preston, and we look forward to supporting the area to a strong recovery.”

Throughout the Covid period, the breweries were able to remain open and operational to keep Britain’s best-loved beers on supermarket shelves. Teams at Magor and Samlesbury were also quick to support the local communities around them, adapting production to create and distribute more than 10,000 litres of hand sanitiser and disinfectant for frontline workers in care homes, doctors’ surgeries, police and fire services, and other vital services.

[1] http://beerandpubjobs.co.uk/#/jobs?_k=lx8q7p

2 http://beerandpubjobs.co.uk/#/economy?_k=yvs8c1

3 Nielsen Scantrack data; 13 WE 26 September 2020