Venezuela's largest beer company suspends work at 2 plants

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's largest beer manufacturer is shutting some of its plants because of a lack of imported barley.

The federation of beer brewers announced Thursday that the beer-making subsidy of Empresas Polar will suspend operations at two of its six plants due to the shortage. The federation says the problem could be resolved next month.

Polar is Venezuela's largest privately held company and distributes a majority of the country's beer. The federation says the closures could hinder a quarter of domestic beer production.

Venezuela is grappling with chronic shortages of staples including cooking oil, toilet paper and sugar that businesses blame on the socialist government's economic policies.

President Nicolas Maduro has accused Polar of sabotaging the economy by hoarding goods and intentionally creating shortages, a charge the company has denied.