The Mexican brewer of Corona beer said it was suspending production because of the health emergency in the country over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grupo Modelo — whose brands also include Pacifico and Modelo — said the measure was in line with the Mexican government’s order.
The government has ordered the suspension of all non-essential activities until April 30 to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“We are in the process of lowering production at our plants to the bare minimum,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.
The suspension, it said, would be completed in a few days.
Mexico’s other major beer producer Heineken — which makes the Tecate and Dos Equis brands — could also stop activities on Friday, the Reforma newspaper said, although the company did not confirm the report.
On Wednesday, the northern state of Nuevo Leon, where Heineken’s Mexican operations are based, said it would stop the production and distribution of beer, which led to panic buying.
Since the start of the virus crisis, Corona beer has been the punchline of jokes and memes.
Online rumour said sales in the US dropped by around 40 percent after the outbreak.
However, in late February, Constellation Brands, which owns the Corona label, denied the rumour and said sales had stayed strong in the US even as the virus has spread internationally.
Mexico has so far registered over 1,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 50 deaths.