28 June 2016

Namibian beer making inroads in global markets


Windhoek – Namibia’s internationally acclaimed beer brand, Windhoek Lager, continues to make inroads both within the continent and in global markets.

In southern Africa, Windhoek Lager is most popular in Tanzania followed by Botswana and Zambia, while in offshore markets, the internationally acclaimed brand’s most popular export destinations are Australia, the United Kingdom, St Helena and Mauritius.

Now, Namibia Breweries Limited, which brews Windhoek Lager together with a host of other premium beer brands, is pursuing new markets in Africa in countries such as Cameroon, Rwanda and Uganda, according to the brewer’s National Marketing Manager, Rosemary Shippiki.

The brewer, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group of Companies, is one of a few successful breweries in Africa that have also been exploring markets in the United States and Germany, among others. Windhoek Lager is made in accordance with the Beer Purity Law of 1516, popularly known as The Reinheitsgebot. The Reinheitsgebot is a centuries old beer brewing philosophy whereby only malted barley, hops and water may be used as ingredients.

The Reinheitsgebot decree was issued in Ingolstadt in 1516, with three aims: to protect drinkers from high prices; to ban the use of wheat in beer so more bread could be made; and to stop unscrupulous brewers from adding dubious toxic and even hallucinogenic ingredients as preservatives or flavourings.

And for the tenth consecutive year, this year Windhoek Lager has been awarded the gold medals for outstanding quality at the internationally established Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (DLG) Quality Evaluation.

Shippiki said that the awards were testimony that the Reinheitsgebot has immensely contributed to the success of the Namibian Brewery’s brands, as renowned international judges continue to endorse NBL quality.

“We believe in brewing beer naturally.

Although this process is expensive and more complex, we remain committed to provide only the best quality beer to our consumers.

“Rigorous quality controls and supplier approval procedures are in place to ensure standards are adhered to at all times.

“Our raw materials are regularly quality tested at accredited laboratories in Europe before being shipped to Namibia.

“Ultimately, it is the combination of excellent quality raw materials and brewing equipment as well as the craftsmanship of our German-trained master brewers that provides the guarantee that you only get the best beer possible,” she enthused.

Shipikki took further delight in the NBL’s brewing tradition by saying that “as one of the few commercial breweries in sub Saharan Africa that brews in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, NBL proudly joins the rest of the world in celebration of the 500-year anniversary of this beer tradition”.

She said that the Reinheitsgebot, which is celebrated by participating breweries across the world, is also celebrated in Namibia.

NBL has initiated activities that kicked off in April, and will to continue for the rest of 2016.

The activities include special beer/food pairings for customers and consumers during the months of May and June.

“A pop-up museum, which features the history of the Reinheitsgebot and NBL’s relationship with this 500-year-old philosophy also featured at this year’s Tourism Expo in celebration of the Reinheitsgebot birthday.

“The Strand Hotel Swakopmund saw celebrations during the month of May, among others, with two beer festivals in Windhoek and in the north in the pipeline during the months September and November, respectively,” she added.

Tafel Lager is currently the most popular beer in Namiba, while Windhoek Lager has grown to become NBL’s strongest and most demanded beer brand on the global front, according to Shipikki.