MillerCoors — facing heightened competition and declining production — announced Monday it is laying off 200 workers and eliminating 160 unfilled positions.
Thirty jobs will be cut at its Golden plant, according to MillerCoors spokesman Jonathan Stern.
The cuts are being made across all departments, Stern said.
The Golden plant has 452 corporate employees and 961 brewery employees.
“MillerCoors has seen a decline in sales in the last several years and is likely trying to match its cost structure to its lower volumes,” said Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst with Morningstar Inc.
Production in 2012 was 76 million hectoliters, down from 83 million hectoliters in 2008, Mullarkey said. A hectoliter is equal to a little less than two kegs.
Americans are drinking less of the premium light beers and more craft beers and spirits, Mullarkey said.
MillerCoors craft beers, such as Blue Moon, are competing but in a highly competitive market, Mullarkey said.
There are no expected job cuts at either AC Golden or Blue Moon Brewing Company at The Sandlot , two local boutique craft beer incubators within MillerCoors, a company spokeswoman said.
AC Golden produces Colorado Native lager and more experimental sour beers.
The Sandlot, a small operation in a corner of Coors Field, is the testing ground for beers introduced through Coors’ successful Blue Moon line of beers.
Craft beers are defined by the Boulder-based Brewers Association as brewers producing no more than 6 million barrels annually.
“MillerCoors believes these moves will allow more financial flexibility to help the company meet long-term investment requirements in its brands and breweries while at the same time achieve its operating margin and profitability goals,” the company said in a statement.
MillerCoors is a joint venture between Molson Coors and SAB Miller PLC. MillerCoors headquarters are in Chicago, while Molson Coors is based in Denver.
For Golden, the biggest impact of the brewery is the 300,000 people drawn to the plant tour every year, said Mike Bestor, Golden’s city manager. “People will line up for a free beer,” Bestor said.
Mark Jaffe: 303-954-1912, email@example.com or twitter.com/bymarkjaffe
Staff writer Eric Gorski contributed to this report.