Brasimba, which has been controlled by France’s Castel Group since 1995, has defied the Democratic Republic of Congo’s two deadly Ebola outbreaks and waves of fighting linked to rebel militias in the nearby forests, as the Beni plant has become a source of fizz and hope to the region.
After an initial investment of 125 million euros, which is about 134 million dollars, beer production at the factory, sited in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Beni, grew over three times the original output with 600,000 hectolitres produced between 2013 and 2021.
Brasimba sales manager, Thomas Wybauw, in a recent interview stated that many people accept the project as theirs and see it as an extremely positive drive attracting bulky investments from international groups.
The company expanded production in Beni last year with a second filling line along with warehouse expansion, this should help Brasimba manage supply disturbances as the province deals with challenges following its recovery from Ebola outbreaks, as well as the heat from insurgents.
In 2019, Congo exported six tonnes of beer and the country can only build on that momentum. Non-alcoholic beverages like water, fruit or vegetable juices, malt, and milk also play their part in this mix.
Despite these challenges, and with over nine types of beer produced at the local plant, there is no beer shortage in Beni’s bars as it has become a source of pride for natives to drink beer made in their own country.
Brasimba’s brewery was founded in 1925 and its Beni factory employs around 130 people and an additional 180 temporary workers, providing the much-needed income especially for the country’s workforce and for the company.
At the factory, workers in high visibility vests load crates onto trucks criss-crossing different destinations, jerking gradually through rebel barriers sometimes.