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Iconic Cluj Ursus brewery faces closure

Due to the declining economy and a fall in beer consumption, SAB Miller-owned Ursus Breweries will close its iconic brewery in Cluj-Napoca – a location which has brewed Ursus beer since 1948

December 2010 - From the Print Edition

Ursus Breweries will retain three other factories – in Timisoara, Buzau and Brasov – but closes Cluj because the site is too expensive to run and is situated in the town centre.
The company will keep its HQ in the factory in Cluj-Napoca where it will open a micro-brewery, restaurant and bar in summer 2011, hoping the site will become a tourist attraction.
The number of sacked employees had been reported as 150, from a total national staff of 1,500. Ursus officials were not available for any comment when asked by The Diplomat whether the company would be selling off any of its real estate in the centre of Cluj-Napoca.
Ursus is leader of the so-called ‘premium’ market of beers and fellow brand Timisoreana is the market leader in Romania. The beer market has collapsed by a quarter in the last 18 months, according to the company. Ursus Breweries sales between April and September were 11 per cent less than during the same period in the previous year.
Ursus has been brewed in Cluj-Napoca since 1878. The Communists nationalised the brewery in 1948 and in 1992 it was sold to Dortmund-based Brau and Brunnen. In 1996 SAB made the first steps to buy up Ursus and used the name as the keystone to now-SAB Miller’s presence in Romania. ■

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