Anheuser-Busch is planning to invest some US$200m in its James City County brewery in a modernisation and redesign of the facilities.

The world's largest brewer has operated the brewery since it opened in 1972. It has twice expanded the facility, in 1980 and 1991 and the plant can now produce up to 9.5 million barrels of beer a year.

However, the company was keen to stress that this was a modernisation not an expansion. In a statement it said the plans "will enable the brewery to combine cutting-edge technology with time-honoured brewing processes to continue to meet its current and future production needs."

Eleven brands, including Budweiser, Michelob, Busch and King Cobra, are produced there for distribution in Virginia, Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.