Our story - Windhoek

Select your country

Are you above the legal drinking age in your country?

Yes   |  No

You are too young to view the contents of this website.

Windhoek supports responsible drinking. Not available to persons below the legal drinking age.
Please only share our content with those who are of legal drinking age.

It started with two friends buying four breweries in Namibia in 1920. Today we are one of the last remaining independent commercial brewers on the continent.
South West
Breweries Ltd
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).
Brewing Halted
During the 1930s, it was difficult to procure the best ingredients, so production was halted until quality ingredients were available again. A bold show of commitment to quality.
Karl Werner
takes over
In 1965 Karl Werner, the son of original founder Carl List, takes full ownership of SWB.
SWB acquires the
Hansa Brauerei
In 1968 the breweries acquired the Hansa Braurei in Swakopmund, making SWB the only national brewery in the then South-West Africa.
art brewery
In 1981 the SWB’s success forced it to expand its production capacity and construction started on a new state-of-the-art brewery and moved from the centre of Windhoek to the new site in the Northern Industrial Area.
light launched
In 1984 Windhoek Light is officially launched.
offered in cans
In 1985 Windhoek Beer is offered in cans for the first time.
windhoek sold
in south africa
In 1986 the new brewery is completed and Windhoek beer is allowed to be transported into South Africa for the first time. Windhoek beer is allowed to be transported into South Africa for the first time.
breweries ltd
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.
As global bottle-shape trends move towards taller, more slender shapes with longer necks, Windhoek phases out the “Hand Granade” stubby bottle and changes to a dark green, slimmer glass.
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.
windhoek draught enters the market
In 1999 Windhoek Draught is introduced.
strategic union
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.
In 2017 Namibia breweries Limited becomes the new owner of the Namib Quest and Fish River Ultra. The Windhoek Light Namib Quest is a 6-day mountain bike stage race that begins in Windhoek and ends 6 days later in the famous coastal town of Swakopmund. Fish River Ultra is a non-stop self-supporting race whereby runners are expected to complete the course in 24 hours. The race commences at the top of the world-famous Fish River Canyon and ends at the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort.
The new Non-Alcoholic (less than 0.5%) variant hits the shelves.
Back to top