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Belgian beer has conquered the United States. It’s present in cities all across our fruited plain, but … thanks to a labor dispute, the Belgians themselves could soon see their chalices run dry. It all stems from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s plans to cut personnel—a big no-no in the labor paradise of Western Europe. For for much of the past week, brewery employees in the Belgian towns of Leuven, Jupille, and Hoegaarden have halted production of Stella Artois, Jupiler, and, yes, Hoegaarden. According to the Telegraph (UK):
The protests are over AB InBev plans to cut 263 out of 2,700 brewery jobs in Belgium, where beer making, and drinking, is an essential part of national culture.
Delhaize, the Belgian supermarket chain, has warned that supplies of popular beer brands will start to run out from next week, although most bars and restaurants have stockpiles for longer …
InBev Belgium, which has a 57 per cent share of the Belgian beer market, has warned that it will soon run out of raw materials as barrels and cases of beer have piled up at the blockaded breweries.
“The absence of production and delivery to clients could have serious consequences,” a statement said.
The current dispute stems from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s decision to cut more than 800 workers in Western Europe to make up for lagging beer sales in a weak economy.