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Our Story

It started with two friends buying a few breweries in Namibia in 1920,
and over the years grew into one of the largest,
most successful beer producers, not only on the continent, but in the world.

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1920

20 October 1920

On 20 October 1920, two German businessmen, Hermann Ohlthaver and Carl List, consolidated four breweries (Kronen Brauerei, Omaruru Brewery, Klein Windhoek Brewery and Felsenkeller Brewery) in what was then South-West Africa and formed South West Breweries Limited (SWB).

1930

During the 1930s the impact of World War II made it difficult to procure the best ingredients, this meant brewing was halted rather than offer an inferior product.

“For us there was always only one way of brewing beer, and that was the traditional German way. By using only the most natural of ingredients”

Carl List

1965

Karl Werner

In 1965 Karl Werner, the son of original founder Carl List, takes full ownership of SWB.

1968

Hansa Braurei in Swakopmund

In 1968 the breweries acquired the Hansa Braurei in Swakopmund, making SWB the only national brewery in South-West Africa.

1981

In 1981 the SWB's success forced it to expand its production capacity and construction started on a new state-of-the-art brewery.

1984

In 1984 Windhoek Light is officially launched.

1985

In 1985 Windhoek Beer is offered in cans for the first time.

1986

In 1986 the new brewery is completed and Windhoek beer is allowed to be transported into South Africa for the first time.

1990

In 1990, when Namibia gained independence, South West Breweries Ltd changed its name to Namibia Breweries Ltd (NBL), which is still its name today. The country's independence also played a large role in opening further international markets for the brand.

1996

NBL became a public owned company in May 1996 when it listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX). The controlling shareholder in NBL is the Ohlthaver & List Group, a major Namibian group.

1999

In 1999 Windhoek Draught is introduced.

2003

In 2003 NBL formed a strategic partnership with Diageo and Dutch brewer Heineken, which is locally facilitated by Brandhouse Beverages (Pty) Ltd. The joint endeavour's commitment was reinforced with the formation of DHN Drinks (Pty) Ltd in 2008.

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