SABMiller is to close its Pivovary Topvar brewery in Slovakia due to falling demand for beer. 

The brewery will close on 28 February 2010, with approximately 177 of the 280 employees set to lose their jobs.

The remaining 103 staff will work in administration and distribution, a spokesperson told just-drinks today (23 November).

Brewing will shift to SABMiller's other Slovak brewery, in Velky Saris, which employs 620 workers and produces Czech beer Velkopopovicky Kozel. As of March 2010, this brewery will also produce Topvar beer.

Slowing consumer demand prompted the move, the group said. Beer consumption has fallen 16% in Slovakia in the last five years.

UK-listed SABMiller accounts for a third of Slovakia's beer market and is the second biggest brewer in the country behind Heineken, which has a 50% market share. 

Last week, SABMiller reported a decline in half-year beer sales.