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Faulty Calculators Could Cause Brewery Closures

Beer production may be stopped next month due to defective measuring devices miscalculating the volume of beer contained in bottles, Kommersant reported Friday.

According to a new sectoral legislation, every beer factory must install the calculators by July 1, but producers complained that the devices are inaccurate, which could lead to brewery closures.

Federal agencies will be allowed to sanction closures from next month.

The calculators were tested in leading breweries in the country, such as Baltika, Heineken, Efes Rus, as well as in a microbrewery.

But results of the trial run showed that the calculators were out of sync and, owing to beer's carbon dioxide content, had a margin for error of 30 percent, according to Vyacheslav Mamontov, managing director of Russian Breweries Union.

The council has asked the federal agency controlling alcohol production to postpone the obligatory installation of the calculators for at least a year, but the agency said the glitch would be fixed by July 1.

"If the date is not postponed, the breweries are likely to be shutdown," representative of Efes Rus Kirill Bolmatov warned.

In 2006, spirits factories had to stop their production due to similar problems with mechanisms.

Spokesperson for Baltika brewery, Alexei Kedrin, told the paper that the need to postpone the installation date also stemmed from the inability of small breweries to set up the calculators in time.

Deputy head of the State Duma's Committee on economic policy, Viktor Zvagelsky said the postponement was possible provided that the federal agency controlling alcohol production initiates it.

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