The parent company of the Sleeman brewery in Dartmouth announced Wednesday it will be moving the entire operation to the brand's main plant in Guelph, Ont.

Sapporo International, the Japanese company that owns Sleeman, said in a news release that the Dartmouth location is not large enough to accommodate the company's growing business.

The company plans to transfer 20 million litres of beer production from its Guelph facility, bound for the U.S. market, to a third-party American brewing partner in June.

Then the entire Dartmouth production — about 2.7 million litres — would be transferred to the much larger plant in Guelph.

If the company can’t find a buyer to take over the brewery by July, it will have to close the facility.

The 32 employees would be offered a compensation package but not the opportunity to take another job in Ontario.

Pierre Ferland, the company’s vice-president of operations, said he is confident another company will take over the Dartmouth facility.

He said the company has already spoken to a potential buyer.

Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is the third largest brewing company in Canada and produces more than 180 million litres of beer at facilities across the country.