InBev has dismissed the threat of possible legal action from the mayor of a Belgian town close to Hoegaarden, where the beer giant plans to close a brewery.

The mayor of Tienen, which neighbours the town of Hoegaarden, had threatened legal action and claimed that InBev's famous wheat beer could only be brewed in its namesake town.

"Just as the name Champagne can only be used for the drink that comes from that region, Hoegaarden's white beer must be brewed in Hoegaarden," Eddy Poffe, mayor of Tienen, told Belgian newspaper De Standaard.

However, a spokesperson for InBev Belgium said the company was not concerned by the threat of legal action.

"Two of the three production sites in Hoegaarden will stay open and will be used for refermentation and bottling of Hoegaarden," she told just-drinks today (6 December).

"Hoegaarden is a registered trademark of InBev - it's an InBev brand."

Workers at the Hoegaarden brewery went on strike last week in protest at the restructuring of InBev's Belgian operations, moves that are set to lead to the loss of at least 165 jobs. The spokesperson said that the workers had returned to work yesterday and InBev had restarted its consultation process with the affected workers.

InBev sales in Belgium had been "strong", the spokesperson added, leading to questions as to why the brewer needs to scale back its business there.

"People have been asking how is (the restructuring) possible when we have been performing so well. (But) we are preparing for the future and we need to offer the same service and quality to our consumers."

InBev is pursuing cost cuts throughout Western Europe, which has been hit by flagging beer sales. The spokesperson added: "The organisation itself has not adapted to the evolving situation in the markets recently."