Anheuser-Busch Announces $10.8M Upgrade To LA Brewery

VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com/AP) — Anheuser-Busch will spend nearly $11 million to upgrade its San Fernando Valley brewery, company officials announced Monday.

The $10.8 million investment in the Van Nuys facility will add water efficiency and treatment capabilities. Since 2012, the brewery has cut its water usage by 25 percent, officials said.

“This investment will help the L.A. brewery continue down the path of energy independence and focus on environmental work, much of which started in 2016 with solar power,” according to an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson.

The investment is part of a national commitment of $500 million across Anheuser-Busch U.S. facilities in 2017, and $2 billion through 2020 – what the company says is among the largest ever capital investment programs in U.S. brewing history.

In addition to the brewery investment, another $82 million will be spent to build new, state-of-the-art distribution facilities in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio, the company announced.

Best known for making Budweiser, the St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch acquired the Golden Road Brewing craft brewery in Glendale in 2015 as part of a larger push by several other big beer companies to gobble up craft productions.

Anheuser-Busch has struggled to boost sales volumes as craft beers grow increasingly popular in an already crowded marketplace. In 2016, total volume at Anheuser-Busch declined 2 percent, including a 1.6 percent volume decline in North America.

The same thing is happening with non-alcoholic drinks. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has said the industry is becoming more “niche,” and that PepsiCo needs to learn how to thrive amid that growing complexity.

The investment announced by Anheuser-Busch Monday includes upgrades to breweries in Fort Collins, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri. The company did not say how many new jobs it expects this year’s U.S. investments to create. It has added around 2,500 jobs since 2013, the company said. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 17,000 people in the U.S.

In 2015, Anheuser-Busch had said it expects to invest $1.5 billion from that year to 2018. The Monday announcement was an update, with the company saying it is spending $2 billion from this year through 2020.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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