Desert Lager – made by Namibians for Namibians

A new Namibian beer, Desert Lager, has joined the local beer industry.

Although the beer has not been officially launched, it has been released in Windhoek, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Outapi, Oshaango, Oshivelo, Oshakati and Omuthiya to test the market.

The first batch of 2 000 bottles arrived in Windhoek from South Africa on 16 December 2018 and in Ondangwa on 17 December 2018.

Desert Lager is produced by HP97 Investment, founded by 35-year-old Homateni Kapewangolo and his friend Petrus Indongo, 37.

“The 97 reflects the year we met in high school, the ‘H’ stands for Homateni and the ‘P’ stands for Petrus,” Kapewangolo told Nampa on Monday.

The third member of the company is their accountant, the 29-year-old Matti Kaapangelwa.

Kapewangolo said they expected to sell just 10 per cent of the stock, but sales exceeded the 80 per cent mark within the first two weeks.

He said demand has spread to Swakopmund, Gobabis, Otjiwarongo as well as across the borders to South Africa and Botswana.

Although they want to target “every Namibian beer lover”, the beverage has been especially well received in the North.

“People in the north have received the beer as their own, especially because of the word ‘Ombuga’ on the branding,” he said.

‘Ombuga’ is Oshiwambo for desert.

The beer’s logo pays homage to the Namib Desert.

During the designing of the logo, Kapewangolo said it was essential for them for the label to wrap around the bottle because “when you look at the desert it is not a straight (narrow) view, but a panoramic view.”

“We have had tremendous input from Namibian youth like Toini Kauluma,” he added.

Kauluma, 24, assisted HP97 with the designing of the Desert Lager label.

Kapewangolo said he has always had a dream to be independently part of the Namibian beer industry by creating a local beer. He previously worked for Namibia Breweries Limited and his dream prompted him to resign in 2016.

As for the future, HP97 plans to create an empowering ecosystem in the beer industry using local products and young Namibian minds.