South Africa: Heineken buys craft brewer Stellenbrau

Heineken South Africa, a branch of Dutch brewer Heineken, has acquired craft brewer Stellenbrau from Stellenbosch near Cape Town/South Africa for an undisclosed sum. The brewery was set up just 5 years ago by Deon Engelbrecht at the heart of South Africa's wine industry and the primary location for viticulture and viticulture research.

Engelbrecht said, he and his team of 30 people “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.”

Despite the fact that Heineken is the second largest brewer in the world and already operates a 4.5mln hl brewery south of Johannesburg, Engelbrecht is confident to keep the spirit and identity of Stellenbrau. He expects to grow the business under Heineken’s guidance and “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.”

To Heineken South Africa’s managing director, Ruud van den Eijnden, Stellenbrau was “a natural fit with us from day one. 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 Eijnden was at pains to add that Heineken wants Stellenbrau to ‘keep doing what it does best’ and that the brewing giant has no plans to ‘corporatise’ the brewery. “If we combine forces, we can do so much more together. The best thing you can do for us is to keep your identity. We can learn as much from you as you can from us.”

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