OUR HERITAGE

We are a company of owners dedicated to celebrating national pride and creating extraordinary moments by brewing and sharing only the finest beverages. Together, and with you, we look forward to creating many such moments to fulfil our Dream of bringing people together for a better world.

1931: Our Journey Begins


Our story is one of resilience and triumph that began when Overseas Breweries Ltd., a Swiss company, purchased a piece of land overlooking Agbogbloshie in Accra. Maybe the company knew the construction of a brewery in then Gold Coast would make it the first of its kind in the West African sub-region; maybe it knew the construction would kick start the country’s manufacturing industry. What they possibly could not have fully conceptualised was the gem of a brewery that would be polished, the tradition that would be nurtured, the bonds that would be forged, and the invaluable moments that would be created decade after decade after decade.

The Nathan Institute of Zurich, Switzerland, was contracted to see to the general supervision of all construction works, installation of plant and machinery, and brewery technology. The building contract, meanwhile, was awarded to Turner & Schilling, a local firm who, with the assistance of over 500 workers, completed all the buildings for the official opening. The Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Shenton Thomas, inaugurated the Brewery, setting us up as the country’s first non-traditional manufacturing company.


We Toil; but then we Triumph

The 1930’s were characterised by events that threatened to derail our fortunes. For one, our flagship brand, CLUB Beer, faced tremendous competition from a variety of imported beers. Then there was the recession of the 1930s which impacted industries throughout the world; the very low price earned by the Gold Coast for her cocoa; the scarcity of money for such ‘luxuries’ as beer; and the subsequent outbreak of World War II which made the constant flow of raw materials, spares, and others, very difficult. An indomitable spirit and a fierce willingness to succeed despite the odds, was required of our leadership. To Sir Thomas, we represented hope.

The past two years have been the worst that we have ever known and a man might well shrink in venturing out in such a storm but what do we see here? Begun in the slump, continued in the slump and completed in the slump, a building which is to create a new industry in this country. Is not that an example of courage and example of faith? (Excerpt of speech delivered by Sir Shenton Thomas on the occasion of the inauguration of Overseas Breweries Ltd.).

In the first year of operation, a quantity of 24,411 cases = 8,878hl of beer and 2,076 dozen of soda and mineral water were sold. This was just enough to break even: for 1933/34, the books showed a moderate profit of . The following year, sales made was 54,102 cases of beer = 19,500hl and 6,795 dozens soda and mineral waters which meant that we produced nearly at as full as the installed capacity for the whole year which was about 20,00hl. From 1935 onwards, our Board was able to repay its capital debts and declare a modest dividend of 7% of the equity capital.


Expansion Period

Ghanaians embraced CLUB Beer after World War II, necessitating that production keep pace with demand. Factory buildings were, therefore, enlarged and new machinery and equipment were installed, bringing us to current standards of brewery technology. In the early 60s, the capacity of our fermenting hall was also enlarged with the installation of 20 new fermenting vessels. Another key achievement was the construction of a new bottling plant, which was equipped with a new bottling line comprising a bottle-washing machine, a filler/corker unit, pasteurizer, and a labelling machine.

In the 60s, we embarked upon a 4-Phase expansion programme that would have more than doubled our production capacity. While general economic constraints prevented that from happening, we succeeded in completing Phase 1 which involved the installation of a new 700,000 hectolitre brew house at C5 million.


New Ownership and Expansion

Our company ownership was revised in 1975 following the passage of an Investment Law. Consequently, Overseas Breweries Ltd. acquired 45% shares, the government of Ghana bought 40% shares, and the remaining 15% shares were floated to the Ghanaian public. In view of this new arrangement, Sekar Limited was brought in as Technical Management, formally heralding our new and current identity as Accra Brewery Limited (ABL).

As Accra Brewery Limited

In spite of our initial successes and strides, we were still saddled with the problem of Import License acquisition. Favourable government policies in the mid-80s, however, would considerably improve our fortunes, resulting in increased production levels to meet consumer demand. We were also able to continue the stalled 4-Phase programme, which consisted of the installation of a new Bottling Plant and Warehouse pegged at C6.2 billion with a 100% production target. On the occasion of our 60th milestone, we financed the construction of a new bottling hall and warehouse at a cost of C1.8 billion, from our own resources through re-investment of earned profit, saving us millions which would have otherwise gone into interest charge payments.


As a subsidiary of SABMiller PLC

In 1997, SABMiller PLC {then South African Breweries (SAB)} acquired controlling shares of ABL through its acquisition of Overseas Breweries Ltd. The acquisition and subsequent infusion of capital and expertise propelled us into the new millennium. Our product range expanded with the introduction of Castle Milk Stout, and very recently, Beta Malt, unto the Ghanaian market. Capping this era is the million expansion project that has resulted in the construction and installation of three new packaging lines; warehouse with hard stand and loading area; electricity substation; two additional power generators; ten new beer tanks; two additional water storage tanks; a water treatment plant; sidewalks for location road; and a new entrance with gate house and offices. The expansion was necessary and urgent as a result of the increasing need to meet consumer demands.

As a proud member of ABInBev

In October, 2016, we became a proud member of the Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev family after it acquired SABMiller Plc. This is an exciting new era for us! We have never looked back since our birth and with ABInBev, there is only one thing we can do; keep Accelerating!


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