Top Venezuela beer maker halts production amid shortages

Venezuela's largest brewer says it has shut down beer production at the last of its four factories due to a shortage of imported supplies.

Cerveceria Polar says in an email that its factory in Carabobo state closed Friday. It had warned earlier that it had enough supplies only to continue production through the end of April.

Polar makes more than 70 percent of Venezuela's beer and is a unit of the country's biggest company, Empresas Polar. The company has fallen on hard times as low oil prices have led the government to tight-fist scarce dollars needed to import food and other products.

The government has yet to respond to the brewery shutdown. But in the past it has accused Polar's owner of trying to destabilize the country by exacerbating shortages.