NBL celebrates a centenary

29 October 2020 | Business

“We are officially 100 years old today and what an adventurous journey it has been for our business!” says an excited Marco Wenk, managing director of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) about the centennial of Namibia’s most loved brewing company that officially turns 100 years old on Thursday, 29 October 2020.
In 1920, Hermann Ohlthaver and Carl List obtained a majority shareholding in the Felsenkeller-Brauerei following the liquidation of the Felsenkeller Brauerei (in Windhoek and Omaruru) and the Kronen Brauerei (in Swakopmund and Windhoek).
The breweries were struggling to survive because of the war and its aftermath – and, with the difficult economic circumstances, no one had funding to sustain these breweries. Ohlthaver and List established a new company called South West Breweries Ltd. or Süd-West-Brauereien Limited [sic] that would later be known as Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL).
O&L Group executive chairman and great-grandson of Carl List, Sven Thieme, reflected with nostalgia on the rich legacy spanning over ten decades.
“Today, we remember and honour our founders and we celebrate the fact that what they envisioned 100 years ago, has become a reality. When everyone saw four distressed breweries, they saw potential. We recognise and appreciate a century of visionary and inspiring leadership which has over the years embodied the core values and vision which has resulted in NBL’s reputation and legacy as a world-class brewing company.
“We thank every individual and team player over the last 100 years for their continued commitment and support and which has made NBL the unique and great community it is today. Indeed, you have added a colourful layer to the rich history of the NBL story by building more than just a company - touching so many lives together; investing in each other’s dreams, and creating a century’s worth of memories!”
Wenk expressed his gratitude to be at the helm of NBL and recognised the solid foundation laid by the founders and subsequent leadership that paved the way for the success of NBL today.
“Over the past 100 years, NBL’s resolve and deep-rooted determination for world-class quality, high standards and continuous innovation have resulted in Namibia’s leading beverage company playing an ongoing pioneering role in the country brewing and beverage industry. We are inspired by every team members’ hard work, passion and perseverance over many generations to attain ground-breaking achievements and through this, reaffirm our commitment to the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Purpose, namely ‘Creating a Future, Enhancing Life’,” he said.
Wenk thanked all stakeholders including employees, customers, consumers and the Board of Directors, amongst others, for their ongoing support and trust in NBL.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent directives and restrictions, we are unable to celebrate this momentous occasion in true NBL fashion. We have also thought long and hard as to how best we can celebrate and appreciate our communities for their support and contribution to our success.
“While we may not celebrate with activations like music shows as are customary, I am delighted to announce that as part of our social responsibility and commitment to uplifting the lives of our Namibian communities, and in appreciation of their support over the last 100 years, we will give back to each region across the country by supporting credible charities nominated by our employees through our #iCare employee volunteerism initiative.
“Despite the said challenges, I am sure we all share this celebratory moment in an atmosphere of pride and joy; high spirits, camaraderie and resilience. Thank you for your part in the NBL 100-year story, and cheers to a rich legacy, happy moments and centuries worth of memories!” Wenk said.

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