Italy: Heineken invests EUR 73 million in Ichnusa brewery

Heineken Italia announced to invest EUR 73 million in the expansion and modernization of its Assemini brewery, near Cagliari in Sardinia. The brewery is known for its Ichnusa beer which is now sold all over Italy. Until 2024, the company will add three new warehouses for storing the packaging materials and finished products and to increase its packaging capacity by more than 60% which also helps to grow beer production in Sardinia.

The expansion is supported with a grant of EUR 13.8 million by the National Agency for Inward Investment and Economic Development (Invitalia) and additional EUR 0.2 million from the Sardinia Region.

The company also adds a new refrigeration plant, carbon dioxide storage facilities, and cooling towers which will contribute in improving environmental performance, with a reduction in the consumption of water, electricity and emissions.

With this investment Heineken Italia aims to become a “driving force behind the recovery of beer and the agri-food economy”, after “the pandemic wiped out the entire growth of the sector in the last four years”, says Managing Director Wietse Mutters. The investment will also create 25 new jobs,“ ensuring a concrete positive impact on the territory as required by the Development Contract itself,” the company announced.

Heineken is market leader in the beer sector in Italy with a market share of over 30%. It employs over 2,000 employees and produces over 6 million hectoliters of beer every year in its four breweries in Comun Nuovo (BG), Pollein (AO) , Massafra (TA) and Assemini (CA).

Heineken entered the Italian market 48 years ago with the acquisition of Birra Dreher and the Massafra brewery in 1974. In 1986, Heineken bought Birra Ichnusa Spa in Assemini in the province of Cagliari/Sardinia.

Three years late, in 1989, Heineken established Partesa, a company specialized in sales, distribution, consultancy and training services for the Ho.Re.Ca. Active for 33 years, today this company operates in 13 regions with 40 warehouses, employs about 1,000 people and has over 42,000 customers, to whom it offers a broad product portfolio of over 8,000 products in the beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and food categories as well as logistical services, training, consultancy and IT support.

In 1995 the brewery in Comun Nuovo in the province of Bergamo was acquired, today the largest in Italy with 3.2 million hectoliters of beer produced every year.

In 1996 with the acquisition of Birra Moretti in the region of Friuli in the Northeast Italy, Heineken reached a size to attract the attention of the antitrust authorities, which forced the company to sell the Moretti brewery in San Giorgio di Nogaro one year later to a new brewing consortium called Birra Castello, which now owns the property. However, Heineken kept the Moretti brand which is now one of the biggest beer brands in Italy and brewed in the other breweries of the group.

Since 2019, Heineken also has a partnership with Birrificio Messina in Sicily for the production of an unfiltered beer to which a small amount of Trapani sea salt crystals is added to give it a soft and round taste.

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