On Wednesday, Anheuser-Busch (A-B) announced it will move the production of Stella Artois from Europe to its U.S. breweries, according to the St. Louis Dispatch. A-B hopes to begin the transition in the early summer and complete the process by fall of 2021.
The news follows A-B’s previous announcement that it will invest $1 billion across its U.S. production facilities to “drive economic recovery.”
Shifting Stella Artois production will cost $296 million alone. Brendan Whitworth, A-B’s U.S. chief sales officer, has no doubt it will continue to register as a “premium product” and emphasizes that this decision will limit “international supply chain issues” that arose during Covid.
Another $400 million will go towards building out hard seltzer production in 12 of A-B’s U.S. breweries. In Missouri, the company’s Soulard brewery will see its first new building in 15 years, which will be used to craft seltzer. Similarly, $100 million has been earmarked for new canning lines to help the company continue to produce the “sleek” cans demanded for hard seltzer.
A-B hopes its brew-tech will be enough for Bud Light Seltzer to “fast follow” industry leaders like White Claw and Truly. With its Bud Light Lemonade Seltzers leading a new charge, consumers will have to wait and see how brands like Stella Artois innovate as well.