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Breweries celebrates 100 years – centenary milestone

Breweries celebrates 100 years – centenary milestone

Local beverage manufacturing company, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) turns 100 on 29 October.

The company, which is one of only a few independently-owned commercial-scale breweries in southern Afric,a was founded in 1920.

In that year, Hermann Ohlthaver and Carl List obtained a majority shareholding in the Felsenkeller-Brauerei following the liquidation of the Felsenkeller Brauerei (in Windhoek and Omaruru) and the Kronen Brauerei (in Swakopmund and Windhoek).

The breweries were struggling to survive because of the war and its aftermath and with the difficult economic circumstances, no one had funding to sustain these breweries. Ohlthaver and List established a new company called South West Breweries Ltd. or SüdWest-Brauereien Limited that would later be known as Namibia Breweries Limited.

“When everyone saw four distressed breweries, they saw potential. We recognize and appreciate a century of visionary and inspiring leadership which has over the years embodied the core values and vision which has resulted in NBL’s reputation and legacy as a world-class brewing company,” said O&L Group Executive Chairman and great-grandson of Carl List, Sven Thieme.

Managing Director of NBL, Marco Wenk said over the past 100 years, NBL’s resolve and deep-rooted determination for world-class quality, high standards and continuous innovation have resulted in Namibia’s leading beverage company playing an ongoing pioneering role in Namibia’s brewing and beverage industry.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent directives and restrictions, we are unable to celebrate this momentous occasion in true NBL fashion. We have also thought long and hard as to how best we can celebrate and appreciate our communities for their support and contribution to our success,” Wenk said.

Wenk further announced that as part of the company’s social responsibility, they will give back to each region across the country by supporting credible charities nominated by employees through their #iCare employee voluntarism initiative.



A group of NBL employees during one of the brewery’s cultural days in 2018.

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys