There are many parts and processes that go into making exceptional beer and the raw ingredients form the foundation. At SAB, we believe in buying local. Through supporting South African agriculture, we not only form closer relationships with our suppliers, but we also ensure the highest quality ingredients. This also has positive spinoffs through the number of jobs created, especially in rural areas.
You may have noticed the great investment that SAB has recently made in the local South African barley market:
- Better Barley Better Beer (BBBB) is our initiative working with farmers, researchers and the World Wildlife Fund to optimise Big Brewing Means Better Farming
- The Go Farming initiative invests in equipping local farmers to enter the commercial market.
- The new Alrode maltings plant, is three times larger than its predecessor and will increase our annual maltings capacity significantly.
- The Precision Irrigation of Barley Project is innovating in a world first for barley irrigation.
Through our SAB Prosper initiative we’re promoting sustainable agriculture and supporting emerging, small businesses, including those of farmers.
SAB continues to push the envelope on better agriculture and improved sustainability measures – a passion that we believe has helped us make many of South Africa’s best loved brews.
95% of the barley we use comes from farms in the Western Cape & Northern Province.
70% of the hops we use come from South African hop farms in George.
At SAB, we use 1185 tonnes of hops and 220 tonnes of barley every year.
That’s a lot of homegrown South African goodness!
In its first year of operation SAB’s Precision Irrigation Programme, in partnership with the University of the Free State, has helped participating barley farmers to save at least 48% on their winter crop water use.
Around 100 small-scale and 180 commercial barley farmers in the Northern Cape region are now benefiting from the Precision Irrigation Programme.
Explore more around what it means to be a big brewer through our SA Big Brewing series on SAB Stories.