SOUTH AFRICA: Paulaner looking to expand at foot of Africa

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Bavaria#;s largest brewery, Paulaner, is seriously looking at opening a second brauhaus (brew-house) in South Africa after the success of its Cape Town operation, which started operating about four months ago.

Alex Meermann, CEO of Paulaner Brauerei, said, at the launch of the company#;s Salvator style beer at Cape Town#;s waterfront, that being a specialist brewery it was not able to take on the big international companies by buying up breweries in markets where it wanted to expand.

Paulaner only produced 500m hectolitres of beer worldwide, but it was a specialist brewer, which focussed the top end of the market, concentrating on wheat beer and lager, but also creating a small portfolio of other beer styles for specific festivals.

Meerman said the company was looking to expand its Cape Town operation from its present 4,000 hectolitre capacity because of increased interest from hotels and restaurants in the city.

More than 120,000 pints of beer and over 100,000 meals had been served at the restaurant in the four months it had been in operation.

Meerman said Paulaner had opened similar satellite brew-houses in China, Thailand and Hungary prior to investing in Africa.

“We have decided to develop this concept in markets where excise duties and taxes are exorbitant, but where we felt it was a viable proposition. We have found it is the best way to develop brand awareness, while expanding at a steady pace.

“We also entered into a joint venture with Heineken earlier this year, to investigate areas of mutual benefit. We are able to provide speciality beers and they are able to provide distribution, so there are many synergies.

“In Bavaria, where we are strong, we are also able to assist them with distribution and there is also harmony there because they are strong in the trendy discotheques and nightclubs,” he said.

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