WINDHOEK, Aug. 28 – Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – officially launched the new look of its craft beer, Camelthorn, last week.
NBL Senior Brand Manager: Premium Portfolio, Claudia Oppermansaid : “With the growth of the craft beer segment in South Africa and Namibia we identified Camelthorn as a unique opportunity to be part of this exciting category. More importantly, we felt that we have the credentials to participate in the craft beer segment based on numerous factors which includes: NBL’s background of brewing authenticity and love for real beer; positive consumer perceptions around our brewing ethos and history of great quality pure beer; our ability to brew small batch craft liquids, and the opportunity granted to us to build on the Camelthorn story that began in 2008. Camelthorn also provides NBL brewers with the opportunity to express their creative sides, through experimenting and bringing to life new exciting liquid innovations. These reasons, we believe, give NBL the credibility to authentically play in this space.”
Craft brewing in Namibia, started way back in 2008 when Jörg Finkeldey, the then CEO of Camelthorn Brewing Company started the company together with Kleopas Asino, the production assistant at this small premium brewer in Windhoek.
Camelthorn Brewing Company was the first independent craft brewery in Namibia, but struggled due to the small market in the country, according to Opperman.
Initially the company started by brewing five types of beer, but eventually had to scale it down, due to the market challenges. Opperman: “Although the Camelthorn Brewing Company produced world class beer strictly according to the traditional German and International brewing style, the consumer market was not big enough in Namibia at the time, and unfortunately the brand struggled, which led to the brand and trademarks having been put up for sale.
With NBL’s passion for brewing and for beer, and as a force for good, NBL completely took over Camelthorn Brewing Company and its assets in March 2014.”
Managing Director for NBL South Africa, John Fitzgerald was at the launch of the new look Camelthorn, and he described it as: ‘a really Namibia Craft beer’ and as an authentic experience that will appeal to the down-to-earth beer consumer, who is looking for interesting choices amongst a variety beer styles and taste profiles.
“Camelthorn is a quirky, weathered, crafted beer brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously and as a result is naturally cool, authentic and unpretentious. Camelthorn will initially be available in two liquids, a Helles Crafted Lager that has been expertly brewed with the finest Saphir Hops for a fruity, spicy, refreshing and easy-drinking taste and a filtered Weiss, which is brewed with Lemon drop hops to deliver a beer with low bitterness and refreshing herbal citrus notes.”
According to Opperman, Camelthorn is mainly available at local pubs, restaurants, hotels and events, as well as at clubs and selected shebeens in Katutura. Opperman: “We identified the need for a new look for this special beer, as NBL’s way of celebrating Camelthorn’s survival through challenging times, whilst remaining one of the preferred craft beers in Namibia and South Africa.” – NDN Staffer