State leaders are urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to require Anheuser-Busch and InBev, the first and second largest beer brewers in the country, to sell the former MillerCoors Brewery in Eden as part of the companies' merger.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Senate Leader Phil Berger sent a letter to AG Sessions saying that selling the brewery would put it back on the market, potentially restoring hundreds of jobs in Eden.
"We write the USDOJ to take action that would save hundreds of good-paying jobs North Carolina's families need," said AG Stein in a press release. "It would help consumers by making the beer brewing market more competitive. The Eden brewery is efficient, profitable and award-winning. It and its hundreds of employees in North Carolina should be put back to work. I urge AG Sessions to take smart and fair action that will restore jobs, protect consumers and spur economic development in Rockingham County and the Piedmont Region."
Senator Berger, who represents Rockingham County adds:
"More than 500 people have lost their jobs and livelihoods in Rockingham County and there is absolutely no reason why multinational conglomerates should force Eden's state-of-the-art brewing facility to sit empty and rot away simply because they don't want competition. We hope our U.S. Justice Department will require mandatory divestiture of this brewery like it did during a smaller merger of beer companies three years ago and keep American jobs in America."
At this point, the federal court reviewing the merger has not taken any action on the case.
MillerCoors first announced the Brewery in Eden was closing in September 2015. MillerCoors said it's closing because there's an overlap in distribution with its Virginia brewery. 520 people were impacted by the closure. It was Eden's second largest employer.