May 2, 2009 (JUBA) – Southern Sudan Beverages Ltd (SSBL) announced Friday its first locally produced beer, White Bull Lager, touting the product as “world-class” and saying that the brewing facility will create employment for hundreds of Sudanese locals.
“White Bull Lager is a carefully crafted beer, specifically brewed to meet the tastes of the Southern Sudanese consumer. It is the culmination of several years’ planning, testing, delivery-process development, local partnership building, and most importantly, quality assurance second to none,” said a press statement from David Raad, a business and investment consultant.
SSBL, which invested US$37 million in construction of the brewing plant in Juba, plans for further investments during the next year to improve capacity and develop the route to market assets. Brewing operations for beer have been underway since February 2009 and have an initial annual capacity of 180000hl.
Water to produce the beer is pumped and filtered from the nearby Nile River, although most ingredients will be imported from neighbouring countries.
Additionally, production of soft drinks is expected to commence shortly with an annual capacity of 60000hl.
Calling the product “a remarkable achievement,” Ian Alsworth-Elvey, SSBL Managing Director, noted “we’ve only just emerged from civil strife and already we’re showing the world that Southern Sudan can produce a product that can stand side-by-side with any in the world.”
The release of the new brand coincides with a price drop across the board for SSBL’s imported beers, which are Nile Special, Castle, and ESB. The company recommends that retailers sell the White Bull Lager at 3 SDG, but itself markets in bulk at 55 SDG per crate except for volume buyers — those who purchase 225 crates and above — who will pay 48 SDG. The minimum order is 45 crates.
White Bull Lager is named for distinctive cattle of the country. SSBL noted that the white bull “has an important status in the many cultures of this land and promotes the positive feelings of celebration, success and peace. It is a culturally treasured symbol that the team at SSBL respects and admires.”
“An emerging and diverse community like Southern Sudan has had its challenges, but what’s important is that there is an intense set of common ambitions throughout the country: a desire for peace, prosperity, a need for celebration and most importantly a strong hope in our future. SSBL shares those hopes and dreams,” noted the company upon launching the lager.
“We believe that through the strength of our brands, operational capability and investment for growth, we can ensure a sustainable and growing business that also benefits the communities we operate in,” stated the company.
SSBL is a subsidiary of SABMiller, Plc. an international beverage businesses, which to date has invested in 35 operations across Africa. The local Juba community has a land lease agreement with SABMiller that provides them with royalties from the profits produced by the plant.