Carlsberg is re-focussing its operations in Latvia

Carlsberg is re-focussing its operations in Latvia

Carlsberg's Latvian subsidiary, Aldaris, is closing its main production facility to focus on the country's growing craft beer sector.

The brewer and soft drinks group is investing EUR3m (US$4m) in restoring its historic brewery, but will outsource production of its mainstream beers, and PET production, to other Carlsberg breweries in Europe, it said earlier this month. “The Aldaris beer will still be available in Latvia and customers and consumers are not affected,” a Carlsberg spokesperson told just-drinks today (24 September). 

Latvia's craft beer sector has grown by 50% since 2009 and now accounts for 14% of the country's total beer market. However, Latvia's overall beer market is in decline, particularly in the price-competitive PET segment.

The move to outsource some of Aldaris' production has been criticised by Lativa's economy minister, Daniels Pavluts, who reportedly described the move as “grim” and “not in Latvia's interests”. The brewery investment is due to create 20 news jobs, but Aldaris' overall headcount is expected to be cut, local reports suggested.

The spokesperson for Carlsberg, which has controlled Aldaris since 2008, added: “There has been ongoing, constructive dialogue with the government in Latvia regarding our intentions.”