The production of Belgian abbey beer Leffe in seven Russian breweries is suspended, AB Inbev reports. The brewer was discredited this summer by a move by Efes, its Turkish joint venture partner in Russia.
Last summer, it was revealed that Efes wanted to start brewing Leffe in seven Russian breweries. This led to incomprehension and criticism from consumers, as more and more Western companies are leaving Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. However, AB InBev said it was powerless: the brewer has a 50 % stake in its Russian joint venture with Efes and therefore cannot block its partner’s decision.
Talks to sell that stake are ongoing, but have not led to a breakthrough so far. “While those negotiations continue, Leffe production in Russia has been suspended”, the brewer now reveals. The company would not give more details, so what exactly is going on remains unclear. Possibly Efes wanted to put pressure on AB InBev, by damaging Leffe’s image. But that too is just conjecture.