The Tavern Tatler

News for the liquor trade

SAB keeping our beers cold using the sun

Our traders face many challenges when it comes to electricity: high costs, illegal electrical connections and a lack of access to grid connections. We knew we couldn't solve this problem directly, but we looked to new, greener solutions that didn’t cost a lot to run or to install. And the obvious choice here was solar technology as it is being looked at to alleviate many of the electricity constraints around the world and is becoming cheaper and more accessible.

So, because electricity isn't something that is always 100% guaranteed, and neither is a cold beer, we wanted to change the latter. Because is a warm beer really even a beer?

How much power is needed to serve a beer cold?

We went to a few local taverns in South Africa to understand what their concerns were. We were able to see how much money was being spent on ice and generators to keep the beers cold as well as how having no light in their tavern wasn't exactly inviting for their customers.

The artwork design captures the vibrancy of Soweto, the Kasi connection moments that bring its people together, the expressiveness of language and the pride of its people.

For these local tavern owners, the solutions were temporary and weren’t sustainable. We also consulted with taverns that did have access to electricity in order to determine their monthly expenditure to run things such as SAB refrigeration units. 

After developing a solution, we piloted it with 10 taverns in order to test the concept. The result was that we were able to transform each tavern within a day to a solar-powered business that had enough electricity to power three SAB fridges and eight lights.

It's not just about cold beer


One of AB InBev's 100+ sustainability goals for climate action is to have 100% of our purchased electricity come from renewable sources and a 25% reduction in carbon emissions across our value chains. By installing these solar panels, we contribute to not only our goals as an entity but to the vision the Department of Energy has for South Africa.

"YOUNG SOUTH AFRICANS ARE THE PRIMARY BENEFICIARIES OF PROGRAMMES SUCH AS THE INSTALLATION OF SOLAR" - CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA.

But installing the solar panels in these taverns did more than just make customers happy with a few cold ones. We helped the owners of these taverns save money as well as increase the number of feet that went into the local spots. There was a sense of community and safety which improved the general ambience.

South African Breweries aims to grow with the technological world in hope of helping our customers, country and environment. Watch this space.

The Spirit of eKasi

Soweto Gold Superior Golden Lager, the beer born and brewed eKasi, is celebrating the true spirit of Soweto on its most famous landmark, the Orlando Cooling Towers. The beer brand has commissioned famous local artist Karabo Poppy Moletsane to design a new coat for one of the two Orlando cooling towers. The tower now stands tall as a piece of art representing the iconic and creative cultural spirit that bursts from every Soweto street.

The artwork design captures the vibrancy of Soweto, the Kasi connection moments that bring its people together, the expressiveness of language and the pride of its people. With a lineage rooted in Soweto, Moletsane’s art vividly interprets the heartbeat of Soweto’s streets. The artwork looks at the many layers that make Soweto such a powerful source of Kasi pride for people everywhere – taking the seemingly ordinary but presenting it in an extraordinary way that is inspired by barbershop and hair salon signage.

“I see Soweto as a great source of inspiration because despite political struggles, the creative aesthetic of the area is often at the forefront. This aesthetic is not one that is trying to be like another, it is one that has been cultivated by South Africans, for South Africans – from street art to music, we see a great reflection of our country. It is unmistakably ours. Soweto isn’t just in the people of Soweto, but in the people of South Africa,” says Moletsane.

“By making use of the talents of Karabo, we celebrate the people through the people. For us, this is more than just a mural on a tower, it’s a piece of art that represents, and celebrates, the spirit eKasi, in which our Kasi brothers across the country can take pride,” says Ndumiso Madlala, the brewmaster at Soweto Brewing Co.

Soweto Gold Superior Golden lager is a beer that celebrates and brings together true brothers with the spirit eKasi, celebrating a deep friendship born from a lifetime of shared stories and experiences.