Africa is one of the most resource-rich continents in the world. SABMiller is dedicated to untapping these natural resources and helping small-scale farmers in the process.
Barley malt, a key ingredient in beer, doesn’t grow too well in the tropics and as many of our African operations areas are situated in this region, SABMiller went about finding alternative ingredients.
Cassava root - What is it?
How is using cassava root making a difference?
We’re improving the lives of farmers in parts of Mozambique thanks to our beers. Impala is the world’s first commercially-brewed cassava beer. Launched in 2011, it has since become one of our fastest growing and best-selling beers in the East-African country.
By using locally produced cassava, SABMiller reduces the costs of importing malt, hops and other ingredients because smaller amounts are needed to produce cassava beer. We also create opportunities for local farmers by including them into our supply chain.
Where can you get it?
Impala beer is brewed in Mozambique where cassava is easily grown. But, cassava is actually quite difficult to brew with because it goes “off” so quickly (after 24 hours of being picked, cassava turns black and spoils, kind of like a peeled banana) and because of its high water content which makes it heavy, it is very expensive to transport.
The solution came in the form of a specialised, 40-foot-long processing unit using technology developed by the Dutch Agricultural Development & Trading Company (DADTCO). What this processing unit does is enable farmers to transport cassava between different growing regions and districts while converting it into cassava cake. This improves shelf-life and makes it lighter and therefore easier to transport to Cervejas de Mozambique breweries. This cassava cake is then used as a key ingredient in our beer.
Because cassava beer is more cost effective to make, we can sell it at a more affordable price. Cassava beer is sold well below the price of mainstream lager. This makes it a safe alternative to the poor quality illicit alcohol that is mostly consumed in that area.
Ask for an Impala beer. You might be pleasantly surprised.