Southern Sudan Beverages Limited
|Ian Alsworth-Elvey - MD|
|Products||Beer, Wines and Spirits|
|Website||SSBL on SABMiller|
SABMiller has an investment in the company while it was within the jurisdiction of Sudan. It built a ~£32 million factory in Juba, making it the first manufacturing facility in the country and came despite competition from imported beers from Kenya and Uganda.
The initial plans to start a brewery had begun in 2006 before the launch in 2009. The company's initial challenges included logistics as material to build the first factory needed to be driven into the country from Mombasa, Kenya including two second hand brewery machines from Malta and Bulgaria and a power plant needed to be built, while the only ingredient of beer available was local water from the Nile and the over 250 workers who had mostly never been employed before needed to be trained from scratch.
The malted barley, hops and yeast are imported but there were plans to work with local farmers to start brewing with cassava. The factory has a capacity to produce 180,000hl of clear beer and 60,000hl of carbonated soft drinks annually. The flagship White Bull's colours are yellow, green and white and are served in heavy brown bottles. It is also illegally available in Khartoum, Sudan. Production started in May 2009. Ian Alsworth-Elvey is the inaugural managing director of the company. The company also plans to introduce spirits to its product line.
This was, however, not the first attempt to build a brewery in the country after Belgium's SYBETRA built the White Nile Brewery in Wau in 1983, but the Sudanese government did not license the project due to sharia law.
Nile Special, pale lager, (brewed primarily in Jinja, Uganda but also at the South Sudan brewery) and White Bull, lager, had two-thirds of the mainstream beer market with sales of 2.5 million bottles per month at 3 Sudanese pounds (£0.70-£0.80) each. White Bull's alcohol content is 4.2%. The brewery plans to produce 35 million litres a year. Bulk purchases are sold at Sudanese pounds per crate except for volume buyers — with purchases of 225 crates or more — who will pay 48 Sudanese pounds, while the minimum order is 45 crates.
White Bull is South Sudan's first beer brand. The White Bull name comes from the distinctive cattle in the country which, according to the company, "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." White Bull is considered the national beer.
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