MillerCoors LLC, the second-largest brewer in the United States, announced Monday that they will be shutting down their Eden, NC brewery due to decline in sales. The brewery, one of eight MillerCoors breweries, is scheduled to shut down in September 2016.
The closure comes at a time when the popularity of smaller, independent breweries is increasing dramatically. WSJ reports an increase in the number of U.S regional breweries, craft and microbreweries of nearly 20 percent over the last two years.
The brewery production in Eden has declined by about 10 million barrels over the past several years due to decreased sales and sales are expected to continue to decline as craft brands become more and more popular.
Over the next year, MillerCoors plans to shift production from the Eden brewery before the closure takes place. The Eden brewery currently employs over 500 workers, all of whom will need to find other jobs. This is a disastrous blow to the economy of Eden, which will lose almost $1.5 milllion in tax revenues and leave many families struggling. There will be severance packages for workers who will be laid off due to plant closure, but what these severance packages will include is still in negotiations.
Although the planned closure is a sure sign of a decline in the sales and production of MillerCoors brands of beer, the company is closing the plant in an effort to strengthen its overall portfolio for the long-term.
The Mayor of Eden, Wayne Tuggle, is concerned about the effect the brewery closure will have not only on Eden but the surrounding area as well.
We’ve got five trucking companies in the city of Eden,” said Mayor Tuggle. “Three of them are carriers for Miller brewing.
Mayor Tuggle and other city officials are hoping that once the brewery is no longer in use, the facility will attract another large company so as to bring new business and more job to the area.