(TMU) — The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating across the world, with unpredictable effects roiling every facet of society. And now, Corona beer production will soon grind to a halt—along with several other beloved Mexican beers.
On Thursday, Mexico’s Grupo Modelo announced that it would shutter operations across its 11 breweries in the country this Sunday, effectively ending production—for now—of all of the Grupo’s popular brands, which are exported to 180 countries by Anheuser-Busch Inbev.
In addition to Corona, the company’s brands include Modelo, Pacifico, Victoria, León, and Estrella Jalisco.
The move to halt production comes after its business activities were declared non-essential under the health emergency decreed by the Mexican government as it scrambles to contain the pandemic. On Thursday, health officials reported 1,510 confirmed cases and 50 deaths—a number many fear is the tip of the iceberg amid low numbers of tests and delayed moves to clamp down on large gatherings in the Latin American nation.
In a statement, the brewing giant announced:
“If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75 percent of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer.”
The move also comes as fake news and rumors of a dry law—an alleged prohibition on alcohol sales—caused a wave of panic-buying of beer and liquor in parts of the country as anxiety grows among Mexicans about the prospect of being stuck indoors with little to do.
According to the Chicago Tribune, U.S. distributors have six weeks of Mexican beer in reserve, and experts say that consumers shouldn’t rush to stock up on their favorite pilsner-style beers from south of the border.
On Friday, the hashtag #MéxicoSinCerveza began trending across Twitter as Mexicans shared typically cheeky memes expressing anguish about the impending halt in beer production.
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Twitter user David Wolf wrote:
“(Mexico without beer) is trending because breweries will stop operations due to beer being considered non-essential. In a country where diabetes reigns supreme I can think of many other non-essential products that will continue selling as usual.”
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