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The 80 Years Young Brewery

The year 1922 is way back in time to be referred to as the old days. The Ethiopia of those days were under the rule of Empress Zewditu Menlik and

Addis Ababa was not even 3 decades old. That Addis Ababa was a scene of huge crowed of what the foreigners call tukuls (grass roofed cottages). It

was just beginning to get ready to host things like modernism, the light of civilization, new development/progress, etc. Roads had been paved, cars

were coming, construction of modern houses began, newspapers appeared, schools opened, and the railway was streaming in. One of the modern things that happened

then was the opening of the brewery. Many got stunned at wonders of modernity. True, people have heard about the wonderful things made in Europe and America.

But witnessing these things on ones own land is something different.

The founder of St. George Brewery, according to some sources, is Mussie Dawit Hale who is Belgian. Other sources say that the brewery was owned and

operated by a German company. In fact, the brewery was set up by Mussie Dawit Hale who lately sold it to a German company. Some 43 years ago, the

Ethiopian Trade Journal, (Vol 1, No 1, August 1960) wrote: The St. George Brewery is situated near the Mexico Square. Addis Ababa, and occupies an area

of 20,000 Sq.Meters of land. The beer factory was started 36 years ago by a German Company and an Ethiopian Company took it over six years ago.

The brewery stands right on the same site it was 80 years ago. During the time of the last Emperor it was known as Marshal Smut Street. It was fairly big

building and it started off as one of the pioneers in Ethiopia's industrial development. The factory started with machineries that were operated by hand and

foot and work was done by direct human labor. Transporting of the raw material to the silo, fermenting of the malt, boiling the barley, filtering the beer,

filling the bottles, etc. were all done manually. Basic raw materials like barley and hops were imported from Europe. The management staff of the factory and

the leading technicians who controlled the brewery's activities were all foreigners. During its first years about 200 bottles (half liter size) were produced daily.

In those days, liquor houses were not many and the people had no choice apart from drinking the traditional tella and tejj. Going to bars, in the manner

that people are doing now, was not practiced by most people. According to some senior people in the brewery who claim to have the first customers were members

of the royality. Some unauthentic sources say that the brewery was closed during the five years of Italian occupation. The factory resumed its work after the occupation

and according to some reports there arose problems related to ownership. The exact nature of the argument stood unclear. Eventually, however, an Ethiopian company

took over the brewery in 1952/3. This company was said to have been organized as a share holding entity, the larger share of which was owned by Emperor Haile


Generally, St. George Brewery could be said as having scored good results in the 1940s and 1950s. Towards the end of the 1950s the annual production of the

brewery has reached 50,000 hectoliters. According to the review made on The Ethiopian Trade Journal the brewery had 53 silos, which had the capacity of

100 hectoliters each . There were about 300 employees who worked in shifts for 24 hours. Trucks were also introduced that transported beer throughout the

empire. The brew-master and other technical staff were Ethiopians. Some of the old machineries were changed and a few semi-automatic machines installed. Although

the brewery was modern for its time most of the work was still done manually. A testimony made by a senior member, Ato Haddis Negash Tassew, who joined the Brewery

in 1960 explains the situation. .... There were no boilers that were heated by electrical or fuel energy. Timberwood was used to make fire and the flame was too

big to get near.In those days everything was done by human labor, and it was tough and difficult. Workers were obliged to carry a sack full of barley up the stairs.

The filtered beer was filled by manual filter with five spouts. The bottles were also crowned with corks by machines operated manually. Slowly, but steadily,

St. George Brewery continued to grow. In the early years of the 1970's the brewery was in good shape in terms of its machineries, physical buildings, vehicles, marketing

network, etc. It even had plan to open a new plant for the production of soft drinks. In 1974 the brewery as nationalized. Even though this created some obstacles the

Brewery pulled through with some improvements particularly with regard to manpower development and betterment in workers engagement. It also started to produce draught

beer that enjoyed popularity and big sales. On the other hand the Brewery was lacking the finance it needed to introduce new technologies that came in the 1970's. The name

of the Brewery was also changed as Pilsner Brewery and later as Addis Ababa Brewery. Most of all the, workers showed great commitment and dedication to keep

the Brewery and its product popular. The role played by the Brewery was significant in supporting and promoting other social activities including St. George Sport Club.

St. George Brewery, is once again privatized. The factory is now owned by BGI, an internationally acclaimed Brewing Company that operates in many countries.

It as excellent reputation in producing quality beer and brought St. George to the same standard. Today, St. George is the oldest beer in Ethiopia and is

certainly also the youngest with the fresh dynamism.

Facts About BGI Ethiopia PLC

BGI has three brewery factories around the country including Addis Ababa, Kombolcha and Hawassa and is currently undertaking the construction of winery around Zeway.

Number of Employees:-

St George BeerKombolchaCastel WineryHawassa BeerTotal

Paid TAX (In Million ETB)

TAX Year20092010
Excise TAX254367
Value Added TAX232233
Profit TAX138600
Customs Duty36600
Sur TAX32600

Amount of Sales: In ETB Excluding VAT


Our Address

BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

GPS: Lat 9.011666 / Lon 38.742482

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  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    BGI is an icon for Knowers' and users' of Ethiopian Beer. you are the leading brewer in the country
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 4
    Dear BGI brewers i am a chemical engineering student in debreberhan university and had been accepted to shandong university in china but i can't afford the fee and i am hoping BGI to sponsor my scholarship. and i i will be paying back by working for your company
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    Truly Ambassador of quality. I love St George beer.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 4
    You guys are doing great, you just need a new innovative methods to interact with people on a daily basis. Other than that I love St.George beer.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    I think BGI Ethiopia aim is to grow with Ethiopia, empowering its employees to be the best at what they do – every day! they will continue to excite their consumers and grow their brands to make them the most preferred in the country. you love developing the people because you get energy from it selves. you are role models in terms of your behaviors. BGI is the beast company since established. I am a mechanical engineer I want to Join our company.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 1
    I'm a student of university in Addis Ababa. I like BGI. It used to be my dream to work there until i did my research paper for my BA degree. They wouldn't cooperate with me to distribute my questionnaire. Now my graduation got postponed to the next year because of the secretary. I would be glad if the manager takes a good look at the employees not only because of my questionnaire, but also for other students, inverster etc. I'm extremely disappointed at BGI.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    Dear BGI, I come up with the idea of cost reduction in which it's very essential for every business. what I mean is why don't you cut down your travel cost by signed a corporate agreement contract with Kenya airways. we have so amazing upfront & Back end discounts which you should to look at it and may consider. Let's talk about it , give me the chance to explain how my product will solve your travel problems. I look forward to hear from you soon, Kindest regards, Tewodros
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 1
    I live Washington DC and I know many most restaurants who are having a trouble experience with distributor who has horrible attitude. It's sad to Know BGI only had ONE person distribute beer in United State.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    Foreign investment in Ethiopia's beer industry is showing a huge increase as global groups are increasingly attracted to the industry and multinational beer companies are continuing to increase their presence in rapidly growing economy. BGI, Dashen, Heineken, Meta, Raya, Habesha and Zebidar are the seven beer companies operating in Ethiopia which collectively run 11 factories. Four giant liquor and two wineries also make part of Ethiopia's growing beverage industry. Since the industry is extremely competitive pursuing Effective supply chain management is the best methodology to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, better utilize assets, and build new revenues To remain competitive and to sustain growth, brewery companies would need to watch out for the trends that will shape the industry over the next few years and understand the challenges so that they may be able to potentially turn them into opportunities.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    Dear BGI brewers; I am recently joined MSc Program in Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management; and well i am interested in supply chain management and operations research emerging principles which is widely applicable in recent day brewing ventures. I hope you are thinking of it since BGI is big and needs to be big. Thanks
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 4
    With your innovations, we accept enjoyment to our life in many new ways.you will keep enthusing and surprising your consumers, we are continuously looking for your innovation
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    dear sirs, i would like to import your beer to Lebanon and i need an email so i can send you my inquiry in order to get a quotation kindly advice.
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 4
    your is one of the best beer in ethiopia and but u need to advetise it more because it might be lost in comptition with other beers
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 4
    Hi BGI ethiopia i just want to give you a comment on your company. as we all know you are the leading brewer in the country:but,you still don't have non alcoholic beverage. why not? And next, i want to ask if you have a junior training packages for fresh graduates of chemical engineering, and your university-industry link. see you
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 3
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 3
    Hello BGI company employee and employers I am just giving the feedback for your organization. the organization have a lot of basic and fundamental issue that a thought last year 1. It encourage the people that might forgotten by the rest of the people. 2. It support the Ethiopian people those could not help them selfs BUT I didn't see if it can support scholarship
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 5
    I am just considering myself not as beneficiary of the product rather thinking as Agent the product. I do have close contact with Western Cluster Promoters, Sales and technicians. But we also talking each other on issue sponsoring in Millions & Billions for the Ethiopian Signers. BGI is an icon for Knowers' and users' of Ethiopian Beer. Why not deserve for public utilities in line with Community and government demands instead of....? I will say keep it up the remaining all marketing activities. best
  • BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry) 4
    I am just considering myself not as beneficiary of the product rather thinking as Agent the product. I do have close contact with Western Cluster Promoters, Sales and technicians. But we also talking each other on issue sponsoring in Millions & Billions for the Ethiopian Signers. BGI is an icon for Knowers' and users' of Ethiopian Beer. Why not deserve for public utilities in line with Community and government demands instead of....? I will say keep it up the remaining all marketing activities. best

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