New Gambian Beverage for Local and International Market
by Amat JENG, TAV
Banjul Brewries Gambia Ltd, one of the oldest beverage making conglomerates in the country, started constructing its bottling plant in 1975 and began producing the Gambia’s only locally produced beer, Julbrew in 1977.The introduction of the new brand CASTEL Beer is another to the country beverage market and targeted at the international market.
The lager Julbrew is brewed by Banjul Brewries, The Gambia’s only brewery. One of the oldest companies in The Gambia, it sells four varieties of Julbrew beer, each with different alcohol content and corresponding symbols on the label.
In its bid to meet the demand of vast clientele both locally and internationally, the company has brought into the market a new bottling beer known as “Castel Beer”, which is exportable like Guinness
Speaking to Marketplace, Franck Boeuf, country sales and marketing manager, says: “We produce two component of product; one for the local market and the other for the regional and international markets. They are all high concentrate, and we have high laboratory technical.”
He said it was their dream to develop the production of locally owned produce, that they introduced the “Youki” to meet their aim of having full range of local products for the Gambian market.
The company, which had more than one hundred employees, a good percentage of whom are all Gambians, also makes non-alcoholic beverages under the name Julpearl. “Banjul Breweries have won the Monde Selection, Brussels, Gold Award at least 4 times: 1979, 1987, 1990 & 1999.” The drinks company also bottle and sell the pricier Guinness.
Julpearl made and bottled by the makers of Julbrew, provides a variety of non-alcoholic soft drinks: Vimto (berry-flavoured, like a Popsicle from childhood), Malta, Vitamalt, Bitter Lemon, Cocktail des Fruits (citrus-flavoured punch), tonic water, and soda water.
The largest shareholders are the Hamburg based companies DAH and Brauhaase International Management GMBH. The minority shares are owned the the Government of Gambia.
It also made Julbrew Strong, which is a seasonal beer, produced only during the festive Christmas season. The export beer is darker and stronger than the regular which is sold wholesale locally and exported to the alcoholic drinks market in West Africa.
“We are also players who wish to develop the economy and work for the interest of all and sundry.”
Speaking on previous social responsibilities the company had been engaged in, Mr Boeuf said: “We are part of the first companies that sponsored events in the radios,” adding that they have been supporting youth activities in the country.
However, last year, they were part of the sponsors of the ‘Glamorous Beauty Pageant’ that took place in the Basse, in the Upper River Region.