The Tavern Tatler

News for the liquor trade

Cheers to the tavern owners and class of 2018 in the SAB Retailer Development Programme.

SAB distributes 1.5-million condoms

SAB distributed a million male condoms and 500 000 female condoms to approximately 2 500 licensed taverns and bottle stores across the Gauteng province on World Aids Day, 1 December 2018.

The initiative is a continuation of the South African Business Coalition on Health & Aids' (SABCOHA) national condom distribution programme, Project Promote, in partnership with the National Department of Health.  

SAB will expand the distribution of condoms after the 2018 World Aids Day to more licensed outlets in Gauteng and other provinces.

SAB, a strategic partner of SABCOHA’s Project Promote since 2010, has helped to distribute close to 19-million condoms to approximately 15 000 licensed local taverns across South Africa.  

It was possible for the company to extend the reach of national condom distribution to licensed non-traditional outlets, namely taverns, many of them in remote locations, owing to the organisation’s extensive and sophisticated distribution network across South Africa. 

SAB’s 42 depots across the country are registered primary distribution sites (PDS) for the government-issue condoms and the organisation’s distribution vehicles are used to distribute the condom stock to customers.

The male and female condoms were distributed with every beer stock delivery made to select licensed taverns and bottle stores, mostly in informal settlements across Gauteng.  


“SAB’s commitment to helping bring social change in South African communities is aligned to government’s aim to reduce the impact caused by HIV and Aids in the country.  It, therefore, makes perfect sense that we contribute to the work being done to achieve this aim,” said Zoleka Lisa, the director of corporate affairs at SAB.

SAB will expand the distribution of condoms after the 2018 World Aids Day to more licensed outlets in Gauteng and other provinces.  This is the company’s small way of contributing towards the fight against the scourge of HIV and Aids.

Distell to distribute cannabis lager for Poison City Brewing

JSE-listed beverages group Distell has agreed to distribute and market a cannabis-infused beer, backed by RCL Foods' chief executive, Miles Dally, and Spar CEO Graham O’Connor. Distell, the producer of Nederburg wines and Klipdrift brandies, has no beers in its portfolio. The company reached a “distribution support” agreement with Poison City Brewing, said the craft brewer’s co-founder, Graeme Bird.


Poison City Brewing started selling a lager containing hemp — a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that is devoid of mind-altering ingredients — in major liquor chains in September. The launch coincided with a Constitutional Court ruling that effectively decriminalised the private use of cannabis in South Africa.

Bird said a distribution partnership was necessary because demand for the brewer’s Durban Poison Cannabis Lager had “overwhelmingly exceeded capacity”.

The agreement would allow Poison City Brewing to meet demand for the beer through both formal and informal channels.

“Distell, as one of the leading liquor beverages companies in SA, has a powerful route-to-market platform and will step change our consumer and market reach,” Bird said.

In late October, Distell reported that revenue in the first quarter of its 2019 financial year was flat because volumes were slightly lower. Nevertheless, the company’s shares have climbed 11% since the trading update.


SAB and AB InBev pilot Castle Lager Better Bites to assist emerging farmers

SAB and AB InBev are piloting a savoury grain snack, made from locally grown grain remaining after the brewing process. Proceeds from the sale of the snack will be used to help develop emerging farmers and support community development initiatives.


Castle Lager Better Bites is packaged in 40g packs and available for purchase at five tavern outlets in Soweto and another four liquor outlets between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Castle Lager Better Bites was conceptualised after AB InBev identified challenges faced by emerging farmers in establishing viable, sustainable and successful farming practices.

“Better Bites helps us realise our dream of creating a company in Africa which grows while channelling resources towards investment and building communities to make a real difference in people’s lives,” says John Rogers, the director of raw material procurement and agricultural development for SAB and AB InBev Africa.

The initiative is in partnership with FarmSol Africa and Grain SA, who will help to facilitate a robust training programme for emerging farmers who are part of SAB and AB InBev’s supply chain. The training will help improve farm productivity, create jobs and enable farmers to participate in other commercial supply chains.

A total of 142 independent black emerging farmers have been identified as beneficiaries of the Castle Lager Better Bites initiative. This includes 82 women from KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Through its public interest commitments made in South Africa, AB InBev supports local emerging barley, maize and hops farmers. This supports the aim to increase the productivity and production of locally sourced beer ingredients, contributing to rural economic development.