Global brewers have suffered heavily in Russia in recent years

Global brewers have suffered heavily in Russia in recent years

Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced it is shutting down another of its Russian breweries – its fourth closure in the country in the last two years. 

In a statement today, its SUN InBev subsidiary said it is stopping production at the Angarsk brewery, in East Siberia, and will “reallocate volumes” to its other sites in Russia. The company blamed tax hikes and legislation around beer sales for the move.

Russia has seen beer duty rise six-fold since 2009 and a ban on sales from street kiosks and beer advertising was introduced last year. SUN InBev branded the regulatory regime “one of the toughest in the world”.

The unit said its beer volumes fell by around 14% in 2013 and have slipped by 10% in this year's first-half. Other global brewers have also suffered in Russia, with Carlsberg, the market leader, confirming this week it has suspended production at one of its facilities.

Andrey Gubka, A-B InBev's Russia & Ukraine president, said: “In a context of general market decline, we must act and take the necessary measures to maintain the competitiveness of our Russian business.

“To ensure the long-term success of our Russian operations, we will continue to focus on our premiumisation strategy.”

A-B InBev will have five remaining breweries in Russia, a spokesperson confirmed to just-drinks. 

To read an exclusive just-drinks overview of the decline of Russia's beer market in the last five years, click here.