SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- About 70 workers at the Moosehead Breweries facility in Saint John will be laid off next year.

The New Brunswick company says the layoffs of hourly production employees will take effect at the end of June and are the result of the loss of a major brewing and packaging contract.

There are about 144 hourly employees working at the brewery.

Moosehead Breweries says that some of the job cuts may come from retirements but that isn't known yet.

Company president Andrew Oland says there is excess brewing capacity around the world and many brewers are choosing to produce their own beer in their own breweries.

Oland says Moosehead and the New Brunswick government are working together to provide support programs for those who will be laid off, including re-employment counselling and retraining.