Constellation Brands Struggles To Build New $1.5 Billion Brewery In Mexico

Constellation Brand’s under construction brewery in Baja California.

Constellation Brands, home to popular beer brands Corona and Modelo, who have already begun building a new brewery in Baja, Mexico are facing unexpected challenges from the local community…challenges that could put an end to everything.

Constellation first announced plans for its mega-brewery back in January of 2016. And they had hoped to have it running at full capacity by December of 2019

However this looks to be in jeopardy after a petition to have a public vote on whether locals actually want this brewery gained 18,595 signatures.

According to the Drinks Business, the petition was the result fears that the new brewery will use up too much of the limited water available in the Baja’s Mexicali valley. Currently 80% of the regions water is designated for agriculture and farming, with only 2% designated for industry.

Constellation Brands has filed a legal challenge with the state electoral authorities against the body’s decision and demand the vote be suspended.

The Victor, NY-based drinks giant which had already gained the necessary authorization after it had been subject to a public vote two years ago, has completed the requisite environmental checks for construction. And the Fortune 500 company contends that reopening the decision violates its rights.

And to further complicate things, the Baja, California state electoral commission will have until the end of March to review their decision and decide whether the vote will go ahead.

If the commission concludes that the vote should go ahead, Constellation Brands will only find out if it can proceed with construction after the next electoral process in June 2019.

Constellation Brands, which would will have been spent more than $700 million on construction at that point, would have to dismantle the existing structure if the public decision went against the company.

The state would lose up to 5000 jobs as well and $77 million lost in annual labor income.

Constellation Brands has reaffirmed its commitment to the northern Mexican state by stressing that it will be investing $4.5 billion over the coming years. But if construction is rejected by the community, it will no longer consider Baja California a suitable location for construction.

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