MONTREAL — Molson Coors plans to spend up to $500 million to build a new Montreal brewery instead of modernizing its 231-year-old facility along the St. Lawrence River.

The brewer’s decision, which follows a two-year study, was announced to employees on Wednesday.

The location of the new brewery hasn’t been announced.

Molson Coors Canada CEO Fred Landtmeters says building the new brewery will be more efficient than updating the existing operations.

The brewer (TSX:TPX.B) plans to maintain a microbrewery and sales venue at the historic site near Old Montreal, with the rest being sold for redevelopment under the auspices of the city.

Molson Coors sold its operations in Vancouver last year. The company will continue to produce beer at that site for up to five years while it builds a new facility in Chilliwack, B.C.

The Canadian Press