Brewery pumps in investments

Neil Nersesian, manager of Inbev brewery at Samlesbury
Neil Nersesian, manager of Inbev brewery at Samlesbury
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A multi-million pound investment into a Lancashire beer brewery has been completed.

Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the brewing giant behind brands including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks, has pumped nearly £19m into upgrades at its facility in Samlesbury, near Preston.

The upgrade work means the facility can now produce up to 140,000 bottles of beer an hour and 72,000 cans an hour and has invested in new warehousing at the site.

Neil Nersesian, who took over as general manager of the brewery last October, said the investment had made one of the best in the world.

He said: “The investment was driven by a desire to increase efficiency across the site and that is what we have done. If you take the increases in warehousing capacity we have put in as an example, this gives us the ability to ship a lot more product to our customers in one go.

“That reduces the number of vehicles we have on the road and not only helps with reducing our carbon emissions but brings a financial saving as well.”

The boss said the investment in new machinery meant the Lancashire brewery was producing more than AB-Inbev’s Stag Brewery in London. Its biggest UK brewery is based in Magor in Monmouthshire, South Wales.

Mr Nersesian said the group expected sales of its products to both the ‘off trade’, which includes off-licences and supermarkets, to be “relatively flat” this year.

The manager said: “That is a good story considering the marketplace, so I do not see many risks to our business in 2013 where there perhaps has been in the past.”

- For a full interview with Neil Nersesian, see your lepbusinessweek supplement only in Tuesday’s Lancashire Evening Post.