Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, is planning to cut 800 jobs or 10 per cent of its 8,000 Western European workforce across the region.
The Belgum-based brewer with nearly 25 per cent of the global market share said the move was being made as beer sales have been falling due to a declining beer consumption across Europe.
With the layoffs spread across Belgium, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the news has not gone down well with workers at its brewery in Belgium.
Workers at the company's brewery in the Belgium town of Leuven, where it also has its headquarters, have taken nearly a dozen managers as hostages in a office near to the plant after the company announced plans to slash their Belgian workforce by 10 per cent or 300 jobs.
Union representative Marc Delvenne told Belgium's Belga news agency that the workers were demanding senior managers to revert the redundancy order on the spot.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has brands like Becks, Budweiser and Stella Artois said in a statement, "Even though beer has traditionally proved one of the most resistant products in less prosperous economic times, our industry isn't immune to the general economic climate."