Nigerian Breweries

Nigerian Breweries Plc, is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. It serves the Nigerian market and exports to other parts of West Africa.

Nigerian Breweries Plc[1]
IndustryAlcoholic beverage
PredecessorNigerian Breweries Limited
Founded16 November 1946 (as Nigerian Brewery Limited)
Iganmu House, Abebe Village Road, Iganmu, Surulere, Lagos, Lagos State
Area served
West Africa
Key people
Chief Kolawole B. Jamodu, OFR (Chairman)
ProductsBeer, brewing, marketing and selling of alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages (lager, stout, malt and soft drinks)
OwnerHeineken Brouwerijen B.V (37.73%)

Distilled Trading International BV(16.36%)
Stanbic Nominees Nigeria Limited (15.53%)

Other individuals & institutions (30.38%)[2]
Number of employees
3,195 [2]
Footnotes / references


Nigerian Breweries was incorporated in 1946 and the first bottle of its brand, the STAR Lager, rolled off the bottling lines of its Lagos brewery in June 1949. As the company expanded into other regions, it established more breweries such as Aba Brewery in 1957 and Kaduna Brewery in 1963. By 1971, the company was one of the largest industries within the country in terms of capital investment.[3] In 1982, another brewery was added in Ibadan. In September 1993, the company acquired its fifth brewery in Enugu, and in October 2003, its sixth brewery, sited at Ameke in Enugu. Ama Brewery began brewing on the 22 March 2003 and at 3 million hectolitres is the largest brewery in Nigeria.[4]

Early yearsEdit

The idea to establish a brewery in Lagos was first promoted by Frank Samuel of UAC prior to World War II. But it was not until the war ended that concrete steps were taken to kick start such a project.[3] Market leaders in the sector were all imported brands with the absence of a locally produced beer. UAC did not have a technical history in beer making leading the firm to enter into a technical agreement with Heineken, the brewery project also brought in investments from other merchandise companies in Nigeria including John Holt, GBO, SCOA, CFAO and UTC who all took some equity interest in the new company.[5] Construction of the brewery began at Iganmu, Lagos in 1947 and was completed in 1949. After completion, a major hurdle of NBL was how the new brand can gain acceptability among beer drinkers in the country and how to make it the brand the preferred beer of choice. Another vexing issue, was how to transport the product to consumers around the country.[3] To gain acceptability, NBL utilized consumer market research to understand the demands of the market and developed a marketing strategy around STAR Lager that used advertisements to show a link between drinking beer and modernity.[5] One of the advertising themes was to depict STAR beer as a quality product produced locally, engaging consumers to buy made in Nigeria beer.[3] It engaged the services of sister outfit, Lintas to produce its advertisements and was one of the early companies to use sophisticated market research skills and to heavily advertise a Nigerian brand using[6] both outdoor, print and television outlets. Between 1950 and 1960, beer consumption increased in Nigeria and NBL increased its market share.[5] Star attained market leadership in 1960 which created a need to build more factories in Nigeria. To get products to consumers, the company gave rights to sell its brand to select distributors and built depots at strategic locations within the country. In the 1970s, it created a motorised and national sales team.

In addition, NBL introduced assorted non-alcoholic mineral and flavored drinks under Rainbow brand that included, Krola, Tip Top Tonic Water and Sundowner soda water. It also introduced Gulder into the market and acquired rights to market Schweppes bitter lemon in the country. In 1972, it sold its non-alcoholic drink franchise.[3]

1980s and 1990sEdit

In the 1980s, NBL gradually increased its market share of the alcoholic beverage market at the expense of smaller breweries. In 1988, NBL facilities had to undergo a conversion process when the government banned importation of imported barley. The firm employed Heineken's technical assistance with the conversion process and also established a grain farm in Niger State to supply locally produced grains for the breweries.[7]

21st centuryEdit

In 2010, NBL acquired beer factories from Sona Group makers of maltonic malt drink and franchise owners of Goldberg beer. The factories included Sona Breweries at Ota and Kaduna and Life Breweries at Onitsha.[8] In 2014, the firm merged with Consolidated Breweries, producers of 33 export and Williams Dark Ale.[9]


The company has brands, including

  • Star Lager (launched in 1949) Pale Lager
  • Gulder lager beer (1970) Pale Lager
  • Legend Extra Stout (1992) 7.5% ABV Extra Stout
  • Heineken Lager (June 1998) Premium Lager
  • Sona Breweries (2011)[10]
    • Including Gold, Tusk, Wilfort Dark Ale, and non-alcoholic Maltonic[11]
  • Goldberg Lager (October 2011)
  • Life Continental Lager (October 2011)
  • Star Lite Lager (February 2014) Pale Lager
  • Ace Passion Apple Spark (December 2014)
  • 33 Export Lager (January 2015)
  • Williams Dark Ale (January 2015)
  • Turbo King Stout (January 2015)
  • More Lager (January 2015)
  • Breezer (January 2015), in three varieties of fruit-flavoured bacardi drink
  • Ace Roots (April 2015)
  • Star Radler (July 2015)
  • Ace Rhythm (September 2015)
  • Star TripleX (September 2015)
  • Strongbow Cider (November 2015)

Alcohol-free drinks

  • Maltina (1976), in three varieties, namely Maltina Classic, Maltina Strawberry, and Maltina Pineapple; Maltina Sip-it (2005), in Tetrapak;
  • Amstel Malta (1994).
  • Fayrouz, in pear, pineapple and exotic flavour (2006)
  • Climax Energy drink
  • Malta Gold (October 2011)
  • Himalt (January 2015)
  • Maltex (January 2015)

Most of the products are packed in returnable bottles and all products are now available in cans. Fayrouz, Maltina and Amstel Malta are also produced in P.E.T Bottles

The company's head offices are located in Lagos.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Listed Securities Company Details - NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. (NB)". The Nigerian Stock Exchange. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Nigerian Breweries Plc Audited Results Dec 2013" (PDF). 12 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Focus on Nigeria's Brewing Companies". Drum Africa's leading magazine : Nigeria edition. Lagos: Drum Publication (published January 1972). 1972.
  4. ^ "Nigerian Breweries' Enugu Plant produces at full capacity, employs 1000 staff". Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Heap, Dr Simon. "A "Star" is Born: Marketing Beer in Nigeria in the 1950s". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Frpa, Chris Doghudje (2003-06-30). "Nigeria: Let's Talk About Star Beer Advertising". Vanguard (Lagos).
  7. ^ 1956-, Utomi, Patrick O. (Patrick Okedinachi) (1998). Managing uncertainty : competition and strategy in emerging economies. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Ltd. pp. 399–401. ISBN 9780290028. OCLC 40592019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Stiff competition made us sell our breweries to Nigerian Breweries Plc, says Sona Group MD". Beverage Industry News (NG). 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  9. ^ "Nigerian Breweries finalizes merger with Consolidated Breweries". Beverage Industry News (NG). 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  10. ^ Njoku, Benjamin (2017-11-14). "21 years after, Euro Global relaunches maltonic, rewards partners". Vanguard. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  11. ^ "OUR BRANDS – SONA BREWERIES PLC". Retrieved 2018-11-08.

External linksEdit