Canada-based Labatt Breweries is planning to invest C$460m ($372m) in the next three years to meet growing demand for craft beer and cider.

The investment is part of an extensive, ongoing capital expenditure programme that will see investments of more than C$1bn ($809m) between 2011 and 2020.

The company is investing $117m this year, which is expected to strengthen the company’s operations and support its growth strategy.

Labatt Breweries president Marcelo Abud said: "Labatt's unshakeable commitment to Canada and its communities began with our founding in 1847, and as this investment programme underscores it is as strong today as ever.

"We have been an integral part of Canada's economic and community life for 170 years and with these investments we will enhance our operations to support further growth for the next 170."

"The investments will help modernise and optimise brewery equipment and processes, as well as increase production of new product offerings."

The investments will help modernise and optimise brewery equipment and processes, as well as increase production of new product offerings; maintain and ensure product quality; and diversify packaging and labelling capabilities.

The move will also help preserve water, energy, and other resources, alongside improving and increasing environmental sustainability.

Labatt's brewery operations vice-president Damola Oshin said: "These investments enable our employees, our unique and strongest asset, to do what they do best: brew Canada's best-loved beer.

"They show our confidence in our future and our commitment to the communities where we live and work. Since 1847 we have been steadfast in our dedication to brewing great tasting, high quality beer."

Image: Freshly brewed bottles of Labatt Blue come off the bottle line at its brewery in London, Ontario. Photo: courtesy of CNW Group/Labatt Breweries of Canada.