Heineken has confirmed its intention to cease production at its brewery in the Russian province of Kaliningrad. Brewing at what is one of the group's oldest facilities in the country will come to an end at the start of next year, Heineken said. The decision is due to falling demand in the region, as well as growing administration costs imposed on businesses by the Russian Government, the company said in a statement.

Japanese brewer Asahi has set up a European unit as it takes control of former SABMiller brands Peroni, Groslch and Meantime. Asahi Europe, based in Woking, near London, started operations on October 11 and is helmed by former SABMiller executive Hector Gorosabel. Gorosabel oversees six units including Asahi UK, Asahi France, Meantime UK, Italy's Birra Peroni and Koninklijke Grolsch in the Netherlands. Grolsch Canada is also part of the European set-up as control of Peroni and Groslch in the US has passed to Molson Coors.

Deal marks one of the first forays by a Japanese company into American craft beer.

Kirin Holdings of Japan has agreed to take a minority stake in Brooklyn Brewery in one of the first investments by a Japanese company in a U.S. craft brewer.

The investment will give Kirin a roughly 20% interest in Brooklyn Brewery, the U.S.’s 12th-largest craft brewer by volume.

With the investment, Kirin joins a host of Japanese companies that are using acquisitions to expand beyond traditional markets. Rival Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. , on October 11 closed a $3.5 billion acquisition of several former SABMiller brands, including Peroni and Grolsch.

Assuming the acquisition is approved, Kirin Holdings will be dethroned as the top seller in Australia. Kirin, owner of local brewer Lion, has a licensing agreement with AB InBev under which its sells popular brands, including Corona. The rights to those brands in Australia is likely to go to an SABMiller unit once the deal is complete.

Lion is Kirin's cash cow, generating over 60 billion yen ($593 million) in profit in 2015, half the group's total. Lion's strong earnings last year helped offset weak performance in Brazil.

SABMiller shareholders backed the brewer’s $100-billion-plus takeover by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev by a large majority on September 27,2016 paving the way for the third-largest merger in corporate history which will see combined group sell one in four beers globally.

The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations which started last December between the IUF-affiliated KCTWU Oriental Brewery (OB) Union Chapter and the Oriental Brewery, owned by AB InBev reached an agreement. After a 10-month struggle involving two warning strikes in June and July and a strike action on August 16, (http://www.beerworkers.org/blog/workers-strike-ab-inbev-factory-korea), more than the majority of union members approved the revised proposal of the company and the new CBA was signed on September 19. Under the agreement the company withdrew its planned restructuring of the workforce.

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The IUF-affiliated Unite the Union organized a protest action at the UK headquarters of SABMiller, the owner of Carlton United Breweries, in solidarity with the unfairly dismissed 55 workers at Abbotsford plant in Australia on September 22, 2016.

Carlton United Breweries (CUB) brutally and unilaterally attacked the employment conditions of 55 loyal and highly skilled machine maintenance workers at its Melbourne brewery on June 17 by terminating a machine maintenance contract with labour hire company Quant.

Following AB InBev`s takeover of rival SABMiller, it plans to continue developing SAB's partnership with France's Castel Group.

AB InBev, maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, has traditionally operated fewer joint ventures and partnerships than SABMiller, which it set to acquire for nearly 79 billion pounds ($104 billion).

SABMiller and privately owned Castel have an alliance whereby SAB owns 20 percent of Castel and Castel owns 38 percent of SAB's African business, excluding South Africa.

Heineken has acquired a brewery in Vietnam from competitor Carlsberg in order to capitalize on growth expected in the Southeast Asian beer market.

http://www.beveragedaily.com/Markets/Heineken-focuses-on-Southeast-Asia-...

AB Inbev expects thousands of job cuts after SABMiller merger deal

The world's largest brewer, AB InBev, says it expects to cut about 3 percent of its total workforce -- equivalent to thousands of jobs -- once it completes its huge merger with its closest rival, SABMiller.

The company headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, says it has about 150,000 workers while London-based SABMiller claims to have around 70,000.