Ijuba-United National Breweries Ltd, Indlovu Division, Dundee

Ijuba-United National Breweries Ltd, Indlovu Division, Dundee

Traditional beer brewing has been part of the Zulu culture for hundreds of years and still forms part of their heritage today. The “mild” sorghum beer is the national drink of the “African” people.

A small depot of the United National Sorghum Breweries (UN Breweries) can be found in Dundee, a small town in the heartland of the KZN Battlefields. Here, in direct competition with the larger breweries, Zulu beer brewing is carried out to produce Ijuba, which means ‘Dove’ in Zulu.

This fresh, sorghum beer is only bottled in plastic containers, 80% of which are in 20lt barrels, and the remainder in 2lt and 11lt bottles. As fermentation is still in progress even after bottling, the cap has a small hole in it.

Production manager, Andre von Romburgh, has about 100 workers producing and distributing some 85 000 litres daily and this forms only a small part of the demand.
Billy Francis, the manager of the brewery, will tell of the challenges experienced in ensuring timeous distribution to remote areas due to the fresh beer only remaining drinkable for a maximum of four days. To address the challenges of maintaining sales figures, a new “trend beer” called Nini-Nanini has been introduced. It consists of sorghum beer with a banana or pineapple flavour. The target is the younger generation and because of the pasteurised package, it remains drinkable for up to six months.
On offer to the visitor on the Brew Route:
• Be introduced to the industrial brewing and bottling of traditional Zulu beer.
• Visits to the surrounding settlements can be arranged via the brewery. These customers who live in these area normally buy 20lt barrels in the small, local shops and then dispense the beer to the whole family.
Fax: +27 (0) 34 212 4871
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