Brewer Scottish & Newcastle yesterday announced plans to close its Reading brewery with the potential loss of 362 jobs.
The Foster's and Kronenbourg 1664 maker, which is being bought by European rivals Heineken and Carlsberg for £7.8 billion, said the site would go by early 2010.
S&N said axing the former Courage brewery - open since 1979 - was the "most viable option going forward".
The closure follows the company's November decision to shut a bottling plant at the site, costing around 250 jobs.
S&N has also shut breweries at Newcastle and Fountainbridge in Edinburgh during recent years to cut costs.
It said the latest move would address a "general over-capacity" in the UK brewing sector - as well as saving the brewer around £13 million a year.
The company's group operations director, Stephen Glancey, said: "The nature of the Reading site, the amount of investment required to make it competitive and its relative cost compared to other UK facilities means that there is a strong business case for closure."
The end of the road for the 58-acre complex will leave S&N, which also makes John Smith's and Newcastle Brown Ale, with around 3,000 UK staff. It will begin talks with union officials in the next few days.
Brewing and packaging work will be transferred to the company's other sites, which include Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, the Royal Brewery in Manchester and Dunston, Gateshead.
The Edinburgh-based group - the UK's last major independent brewer - has informed its prospective new owners of the plans.
Heineken and Carlsberg, whose fourth approach for S&N was finally agreed by the group's board last month, plan to break up the company when the deal is completed, with the UK business falling into Heineken's hands.
The Unite union said it was "outraged" by the announcement, adding that workers were still "reeling" from the effects of cuts announced by the company last year.
Iain MacLean, its national officer, said the union would fight the decision to close the brewery.
"At this point we cannot rule out industrial action."
Meanwhile Dutch brewer Grolsch said like-for-like turnover grew five per cent and net profit excluding one-off effects rose 19 per cent, but it warned the British market was in sharp decline.
Poor weather and price pressure from supermarket discounts were blamed for the latest setback, which followed a drop in volumes in the previous year.
Grolsch is brewed and distributed in the UK through a joint-venture with US giant Coors.
Last week SABMiller, the world's second-biggest brewer, secured a £620 million takeover of Grolsch, having won the support of key family shareholders who own 37 per cent of the Dutch brewer.
Grolsch reported 2007 net profit of £15 million on sales of £248 million, and said overall its international sales made a much higher contribution to profit.
However it noted: "The joint venture with Coors in the UK experienced another difficult year, with volume declining by more than 10 per cent and a slightly reduced market share in the premium lager segment, a segment that is currently under severe pressure." Grolsch said volumes in other international markets surged more than 20 per cent, with strong growth in Russia and Kazakhstan.