Accra Brewery Limited: A legacy of brewing excellence in Ghana

Stories and facts

Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), a leading brewery based in Accra, Ghana, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1931. Originally registered in Switzerland as Overseas Breweries Limited, ABL was built in Adabraka, becoming the first brewery in West Africa. The company played a pivotal role in the inception of Ghana's non-traditional manufacturing industry with its flagship brand, CLUB Premium Lager, marking the country's first manufactured product.

The brewery's construction was overseen by the Nathan Institute of Zurich, Switzerland, and executed by Turner & Schilling, a local firm. With the help of over 500 workers, the facility was completed and inaugurated by the Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Shenton Thomas. Despite facing competition from imported beers, a global recession, and disruptions caused by World War II, ABL managed to break even in its first year of operation, selling 24,411 cases of beer and 2,076 dozen soda and mineral water.

Post-World War II, CLUB Premium Lager gained popularity, prompting the need for expansion. The brewery underwent significant upgrades, including the enlargement of factory buildings and the installation of new machinery. In the early 1960s, ABL enhanced its fermenting hall and constructed a new bottling plant. The company embarked on a 4-Phase expansion program, which saw the successful completion of Phase 1 with a new 700,000-hectare brew house despite economic constraints.

In 1975, following the passage of an Investment Law, the ownership structure of ABL changed. Overseas Breweries Ltd. retained 45% shares, the Ghanaian government acquired 40%, and 15% was floated to the public. This new arrangement led to the company's Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) rebranding.

During the mid-1980s, favourable government policies bolstered ABL's production levels to meet growing consumer demand. The company continued its expansion efforts, financing new bottling facilities and a warehouse. By its 60th anniversary, ABL had invested significantly in infrastructure to support its growth.

In 1997, SABMiller Plc acquired controlling shares of ABL through Overseas Breweries Ltd. This partnership brought substantial capital and expertise, leading to the introduction of new products like Castle Milk Stout and Beta Malt. A significant US$130 million expansion project included new packaging lines, a warehouse, an electricity substation, additional power generators, beer tanks, water storage tanks, a water treatment plant, and enhanced site infrastructure.

In October 2016, ABL became a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev) following its acquisition of SABMiller Plc. This transition has further strengthened ABL's position in the market.

For over 85 years, ABL has produced CLUB Premium Lager, Ghana's leading beer known for its tagline "Beer deԑ ԑnoaa ne CLUB" and the moniker 'Charlie.' The company also introduced CLUB Shandy in the early 1990s, Eagle Lager in the 2010s, and Beta Malt in PET packs in 2015. Recent additions to its brand portfolio include Stella Artois, Eagle Extra Stout, Beta Malt in Returnable Glass Bottles (RGB) in 2017, and Budweiser in 2019.

Accra Brewery Limited's enduring legacy and continuous innovation have cemented its status as a cornerstone of Ghana's brewing industry, meeting the evolving tastes of its consumers while contributing to the country's economic development.

Share

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment!