The site of the mothballed Heineken brewery at Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave on the Baltic coast, has been put up for sale.
Dutch-based Heineken, the world’s third largest brewer, announced a year ago that it was going to stop production at the 7.2 hectare site, which had capacity to brew one million hectolitres a year.
The brewery was closed in January after what Heineken said was a decline in beer sales in Russia because of tightening of regulations and a recession.
When the original closure was announced, the brewer said in a local press release: “In the last eight years, the Russian beer market has been steadily declining, which resulted in considerable underutilisation of production capacities in the whole sector and in particular in the Kaliningrad brewery.
“In the last seven years large brewers have been forced to shut down 11 breweries across Russia,” it said.
Announcing the sale, Heineken said: “We have a sober estimate of the economic situation in the country as a whole and in the region in particular.”
Challenges being faced by brewers in Russia include increased excise duties and the introduction of EGAIS , the electronic tracking and monitoring system for alcoholic drinks have already resulted in lower beer sales in the country. Sales of beer in plastics bottles bigger than 1.5 litres, one of the more popular formats, were banned and hit volumes.
The brewery dated from 1910 and acquired by Heineken in 2005 as part of Ivan Taranov Breweries.
Heineken said it planned to raise at least 250 million roubles ($4.3 million) from the sale and invest the proceeds in other projects.