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Drinks

AB InBev Starts Global Roll-Out Of Ukraine Beer For Relief Effort

The world's largest brewer has launched production of a popular Ukrainian beer in Belgium, and said all profits made from its global sales would go to humanitarian relief in Ukraine following Russia's invasion.

Anheuser-Busch InBev halted production of the Chernigivske lager and other beers at its three breweries in Ukraine because of the war.

Ukraine's ambassador to Belgium, Oleg Shamshur, attended the roll-out of the first cans at AB InBev's large brewery in Leuven on Friday and welcomed the launch as a way of showcasing Ukrainian products to the world.

"Maybe even more importantly it would have a symbolic meaning in the sense that people who are drinking Chernigivske will think of Chernihiv, the city which was attacked by the Russians and which resisted the Russian invasion," he told Reuters TV.

The beer originates in Chernihiv, a city in the north of Ukraine that suffered heavy shelling and missile strikes earlier in the war before Russian forces shifted their focus towards eastern and southern Ukraine.

Going Global

The idea for the relief initiative came from Ukraine's marketing director. The beer is already on sale in Britain.

"This initiative is now going global," AB InBev's European chief Jason Warner "You'll be able to enjoy a Chernigivske in Canada, a Chernigivske in the United States, also in Colombia, Brazil and through Latin America as well as across Europe."

He added that the cans, which bear the blue and yellow colours of the national flag, should be in shops within two to three weeks.

Despite suspending production in Ukraine, AB InBev has said it will continue to pay its 1,812 staff there this year, as well as helping their families with food and accommodation.

Joint Venture

The Belgium-based brewer operates in Ukraine in a joint venture with Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes, which has a large presence in Russia.

AB InBev has said it will exit Russia by selling its non-controlling interest in the venture, most likely to partner Efes. It is not clear whether it plans to maintain a presence in Ukraine.

News by Reuters, edited by by ESM – your source for the latest drinks news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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