SOUTH AFRICA – Stellenbosch-based craft brewery Stellenbrau expects exponential growth after a landmark deal with Heineken SA.

The local brewery made history last week when Heineken SA signed the deal.

Heineken International, the second largest brewer in the world, along with its own iconic brand owns Amstel and a share in Windhoek SA.

It operates largely in the premium and super premium segments of both the local and international markets.

The Stellenbrau brand’s product range includes four signature beers, Craven Craft Lager, Jonker’s Weiss, Alumni Ale and Governor’s Red rooibos lager.

Deon Engelbrecht, the owner and founder of Stellenbrau, said that for the past five years he and his team have built the brand and throughout this the company’s passion for producing quality products made under the strictest standards has been at the forefront of their business ethos, together with delivering excellent client service.

Engelbrecht said he could not disclose how much the transaction was worth as he signed a confidentiality agreement with Heineken.

“We have 30 people in our employment but we contract many companies in services like distribution, sanitising and installation of draught equipment merchandising.

With our premium products received well in our area of control it seems the sky is the limit. But our initial plan is to increase sales at least 6-fold in the first year.”

He said the company was not sure at this stage how many jobs would be created as a result of the transaction’s spin-off.

Ruud van den Eijenden, Heineken SA’s managing director, said Stellenbrau was a natural fit for the company from the start.

“To us Stellenbrau is what Heineken was 150 years ago, because they share the same essential values: a love of, and pride in producing great beer and a courageous entrepreneurial spirit.

“We are excited to welcome the entire team to the Heineken family.”

Van den Eijenden praised Engelbrecht for his brewery’s exceptional high standards, distinct and accessible product range and strong brand identity.

“We want to thank you for bringing the business to this level. In the premium segment, stories are so important to brand perception.

Stellenbrau’s beers all have such incredible histories behind them. If we combine forces, we can do so much more together. We can learn as much from you as you can from us.”

Engelbrecht said: “The fact that an international contender of Heineken’s reputation recognises this vision and supports it is a source of immense pride for all of us here at the brewery.” – CAPE ARGUS

March 29, 2017: Business Report