Brazil: Grupo Petrópolis to build new USD 200 million brewery

Grupo Petrópolis, which is Brazil’s largest privately owned brewing group with a market share of about 12 percent, is adding a seventh brewery to its six existing plants in Petropolis (RJ), Teresópolis (RJ), Boituva (SP), Bragança Paulista (SP), Rondonópolis (MT), Alagoinhas (BA) and Itapissuma (PE).

Walter Faria, owner and president of Grupo Petropolis, signed on March 14 an agreement to invest BRL 800 million (about USD 200 million) in a new brewery in Uberaba, a municipality in the west of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil with a population of more than 300,000. The new plant will cover a total area of 54 hectares and employ 700 people when production starts in April 2020.

Although the size of the brewery was not mentioned, the amount of the investment suggests a brewery with a capacity of about 1.5 - 1.7 million hl.

Market observers value the announcement as a move against Spain’s 4th largest and still privately owned brewer Hijos de Rivera. The maker of the Estrella Galicia beer brand, which started its expansion in Brazil in 2008 but is still fairly unknown in the Latin American country, announced two years ago (, 14.7.2017) and confirmed again in January 2019 (, 10.1.2019) to build a new  BRL 100 million (about USD 27 million) brewery with a capacity of about 200,000 hl which will be also placed in the state of Minas Gerais.

After Heineken acquired in 2017 Brasil Kirin Holding and its leading brand Schincariolfrom Kirin Holdings Company in Japan and became the second biggest brewing group in Brazil after Ambev (AB InBev), Grupo Petrópolis ranks third in the Brazilan beer market (, 1.6.2017). The brewing group has since struggled to keeps it market share.

In 2017 Grupo Petrópolis incorporatedBrassaria Ampolis, a craft brewery based in Rio de Janeiro, which was founded in 2013. According to sources involved in the deal both sides signed a license agreement similar to the one Petrópolis has with German beer brand Kloster Weltenburg, where brand ownership and stewardship remains with the old owners while production, packaging and sales in Brazil was transferred to Petrópolis.

Latest move of Petrópolis at the end of 2018 was the inauguration of Centro Cervejeiro da Serra, a research center for the development of new beers for the whole group. The center is located in the city of Teresópolis, adjacent to one of Petrópolis’ breweries.

Grupo Petrópolis is said to be involved in a couple of corruption scandals, which have hit the Brazilian politics and economy lately.In 2014, Petrópolis was accused to have donated BRL 40 million (about USD 15 million) to the presidential campaign of the ticketDilma Rousseff-Michel Temer(, 5.5.2017).

This week, Sérgio Cabral, former governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro confessed to have received a bribe from Grupo Petrópolis during his term from 2007 to 2014 (, 26.3.2019).

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