AB InBev is going to shift the production of its Budweiser beer for the French market to Belgium, at the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven. The current installations can not cope with the growing demand in France.
Manager of the Leuven brewery site, Alexander Soenen, sees it as an honour that his site is chosen to brew Budweiser for France: "We are proud of the recognition we receive within the group for our huge expertise and craftsmanship. Bud is one of the most difficult beers to produce, with a specific brewing process." He sees the decision as a confirmation of Leuven's importance as central hub in Europe.
AB InBev acquired Budweiser in 2008 and expanded its scope from the United States, the United Kingdom and China (Budweiser's three main markets) to new markets like France - starting in March this year. As demand on that market is growing strong, the world's biggest brewery group was looking for a location suited to brew large quantities of the American beer.
Belgium is the fifth country to receive production rights for Budweiser, following the United States, the United Kingdom, the Ukraine and Russia. Despite that decision, AB InBev currently has no plans to actually distribute the beer in Belgium as well.