Molson Coors to Halt Production at Metro Los Angeles Brewery, Sell Property for $150M

by Alex Tostado

IRWINDALE, CALIF. — Molson Coors Beverage Co. (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX) will cease production at its Irwindale brewery by September. The Denver- and Montreal-based beer company has simultaneously entered into a purchase option agreement with Pabst Brewing Co. for the 40-year-old facility. Pabst has 120 days to exercise its purchase option, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The sales price was undisclosed, but multiple media outlets report the property will trade for $150 million.

The brewery, which features iconic beer tanks highly visible from Interstate 210, opened in 1980 and houses 470 employees. The property is located at 15801 W. First St., 23 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Until September, products produced in Irwindale will be transitioned to other breweries, primarily in Golden, Colo.; and Fort Worth, Texas. The company did not address the status of the 470 employees who currently work at the brewery.

“This move will allow us to optimize our brewery footprint while streamlining our operations for greater efficiency across the network,” says Brian Erhardt, chief integrated supply chain officer for Molson Coors. “While it was a very difficult decision, we have extra capacity in our system, and Irwindale’s production can be absorbed by other breweries in our network.”

In announcing the brewery’s closing, the company said the decision is not part of the revitalization plan announced in October 2019. Molson Coors unveiled a business restructuring plan that included changing its name from Molson Coors Brewing Co., investing several hundred million dollars in the brewery in Golden, and enhancing its digital marketing platform. In addition to brewing beer, the company will also focus on making hard coffee, CBD-infused beverages, canned wine and nonalcoholic beverages.

In 2019, the Irwindale brewery produced 4.8 million barrels of beer, including Miller Lite, Coors Light, Miller High Life, MGD, Steel Reserve, Miller 64 and several brands for Pabst, that were shipped to 261 independently owned distributors.

Molson Coors’ stock price closed Wednesday at $55.02 per share, down from $61 per share a year ago.

Pabst Brewing is privately held.

— Alex Tostado

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