, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct 18 – Africa is hosting its biggest beer festival: a 14-date marathon tour of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban serving more than 35,000 drinkers four different types of beer – all of them made by SABMiller.
The annual Bierfest is just one example of SABMiller’s strong presence in Africa, which is seen as a key driver of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned takeover of the brewing giant.
Festival drinkers are encouraged to book tables of at least six people, and bring friends, family and work colleagues to enjoy sausages and live music washed down with beer served by a “dedicated Fraulein”.
“We want to bring beer culture to all parts of society,” Jon Monsoon, one of Bierfest’s organisers, told AFP. “More and more people come to the festival every year.
“We are serving beers from the No.3 Fransen Street brewery and the Newlands Spring brewery – both of which are owned by SABMiller.
“There is such enthusiasm to discover more about beer.”
Africa is the world’s fastest-growing beer market, expanding at a predicted rate of five percent a year between 2013 and 2017, according to Canadean, a London-based research company specialising in the drinks industry.
That growth rate outstrips four percent for Asia and three percent for Latin America.
“Africa has seen inflation fall, foreign debt shrink and GDP rise in the last few years,” Kevin Baker, account director at Canadean, said in a report released this year.
“Population growth – once feared as a major contributor to poverty – is now perceived as an asset, with the working age population set to outgrow that of China and India.”