ETHIOPIA – Habesha Breweries S.C, a beverage manufacturer in Ethiopia, has unveiled that it is set to launch the draught version of its signature beer ‘Habesha beer’ later this year.

The move seeks to grow the company’s product portfolio on the hills of a successful launch of the non-alcoholic product line, ‘Negus’, through the support from the company’s biggest shareholder and one of Holland’s biggest breweries, Bavaria.

As the latest international brand to enter the local beer market, Habesha’s new draught beer is set to compete with those from Heinkene’s Walia and BGI’s, St. George brands.

The company is also expanding its corporate responsibility through financing access of seeds and farm inputs to local farmers and supporting implementation of smart agriculture in the wake of climate change.

According to the chief executive of Habesha, ZewduNigate, Ethiopia has the potential to be a self-sufficient producer of malt, among others, for the growing beer companies, now operating in the country.

“Between 2015 and 2018, averages of 10,000 farmers were supported with Habesha’s technical and financial scheme which is expected to grow to 40,000 farmers by 2025,” he said.

“Fifty percent of the financial needs by these farmers will be provided by Habesha and the farmers pay this back with a portion of their harvest which the brewery guarantees to purchase the rest,” the company said in a statement.

This forms part of the company’s efforts towards contributing to reduction of overreliance of local breweries on barley and malt imports- which accounts for over 50% of the demand.

Currently, there are two malt factories supplying malt to the fast growing breweries in Ethiopia whose capacities are not in a possession to satisfy all the demands of the breweries.

Habesha was established in 2015 by a local and international shareholders and has been growing ever since targeting 2024, as a year where its needs of barely would be sustained and exclusively locally sourced.

It currently has approximately 9,000 domestic and international shareholders with Bavaria being the majority shareholder.

Among the major beer brands in Ethiopia include; Dashen, Walia, Bedele and Harar of Heineken, Meta of Diageo, St. George of BGI.