Thursday, May 3, 2018

YOUR BUSINESS IS OUR BUSINESS: Tanzania is home to five breweries, so…


By Karl Lyimo

Did you know that Tanzania is home to at least five beer brewing companies – and probably more? You didn’t?

Ah, well … These are ‘Tanzania Breweries Ltd’ (TBL); ‘Serengeti Breweries Ltd’ (SBL); ‘Qingdao-Sino Tanzanian Breweries’; ‘Crafty Dee’s Brewing Company Ltd.’ and ‘U’R Industries Ltd’ – ooperating under the brand name ‘Twiga Brew.’

Incorporated in Tanzania in year-2005, Qingdao-Sino Tanzanian Breweries is a Dar es Salaam-based Chinese company which brews two brands known as ‘King Oryx Lager’ and ‘King Oryx Dark Lager.’

The two last-named – U’R Industries and Crafty Dee’s – brew what’s known in the trade as ‘craft beer,’ described as “a beer made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by a small brewery.”

Get it? Honestly, I don’t!

No wonder, then, that tells us “defining ‘craft beer’ is a difficult task, as beer can be a very subjective and personal experience…”

Apparently, craft beer is quite popular in the US where it was a $26bn business in 2017, employing 135,072 workers. The American Brewers Association claims that “the craft brewery segment currently makes up 98 per cent of all breweries in the US!”

Reportedly, “there’re more than 6,200 small, independent brewers” who make “more than 150 ‘beer styles’ and 20,000 brands of craft beers to choose from” (Mama Mia!) [See />].

Admittedly, the formal craft brewery market in Tanzania isn’t well-developed – and only these two craft breweries are currently operating.

Based in Arusha, U’R Industries brew two brands: ‘Twiga Ale’ and ‘Twiga Stout’ – doing that only when they can lay their hands on the inputs needed to concoct the brews!

As they say on their website: “Finally, we received a batch of malt again – and brewed for a week every day! The ale is ready and available at ‘M7’ and ‘Aim Mall.’ The Stout needs a little more time…!”

Get the Big Picture? I don’t; not yet, anyway. But, I’m still searching…

The Dar-based ‘Crafty Dee’s brewery has as its product flagship “a superbly hoppy pilsner known as ‘Dee’s Gold.’

“Crafty Dee’s Brewing is the first of its kind, a Nano (craft) brewing company set up to spearhead the craft brewing movement in Tanzania by introducing small batches of beautifully-crafted beers to select locations for the discerning consumer…”


It’s difficult to obtain enough details of these three brewers, although the Qingdao folk describe themselves as a “Commercial Brewery… Dar es Salaam, Tanzania abouten.asp?id=3>” [See />].

If this is industrialization at work – leading to a semi-industrialised, middle-income economy by the magic National Development Vision-2025 – then so much the better… And God speed!

But then again: are the ‘crafty beer’ barons in the books – good or black books – of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)? Do they pay excise duties, etc.? Are they a living part of the formal economy or not…?

In other words: can someone please, please tell Tanzanians how these ‘crafty’ breweries (no pun intended here) fare vis-à-vis the two brewing behemoths – Tanzania Breweries Ltd Group (TBL) and Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) – in terms of socio-economic developmental contributions to the country?

Exactly whom do they benefit in an economy struggling to hit the semi-industrialized, middle-income target seven short years hence? Cheers!