South Africa has been home to The South African Breweries (SAB) since the company’s humble beginnings over a century ago in the midst of Johannesburg’s pioneering days of the gold rush. Our history can be traced back to Charles Glass and the Castle Brewery that he started in 1888. Glass insisted that his brewery sell only the finest beers, which were highly sought-after by the 200 pubs that had sprung up in the city at the time. That level of quality has stayed with us since the beginning.
Evolution into the second largest brewer globally
We have grown into a landmark South African company since then, and are today the second largest brewer in the world, an accomplishment that we are exceptionally proud of.
During our earlier years, our team of visionary leaders had the dream of taking SAB from being a small player on the tip of the African continent and expanding its footprint across several continents.
SAB is here to stay
Our journey hasn’t been easy. The 1980s were a challenging time not only for SAB, but also for South Africa as a nation. Inflation was above 20%; political violence was rife, labour unrest and trading sanctions made operating conditions near impossible for many organisations. This was when SAB decided to walk a different path with the foresight of building a sustainable business that would develop and invest in the communities within which it operates. Long before democracy in South Africa, we began to empower the people, something that has always meant more to us than simply ticking a box.
We’ve had many challenges along the way, but have weathered the course. We always have been, and will continue to be, a part of the fabric of South Africa. For us, South Africa is not just another market. South Africa is our home.
Find out more about the SAB history and track the milestones that have contributed to our success today.