At the end of the 19th century valuable commodities such as beer were imported from Europe. The beer brewed for the colder European climate was found to be unsuitable for the hot climate in Namibia. This led to the establishment of four local breweries in 1904 namely; Kronen Brauerei (Swakopmund), Omaruru Brewery, Klein Windhoek Brewery and Felsenkeller Brewery (Windhoek).
On 29 October 1920 the four breweries were acquired by Messrs Carl List and Hermann Ohlthaver who consolidated them to form The South West Breweries Limited .
The company acquired the Hansa Brauerei in Swakopmund in 1967. South West Breweries Limited was by then already, the only remaining independent commercial brewery in Southern Africa. With Namibia’s independence in 1990, South West Breweries Ltd changed its name to the current name of Namibia Breweries Ltd (NBL).
In May 1996, NBL listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) and became a public owned company. The Ohlthaver & List Group, a major Namibian group, is the controlling shareholder in NBL.
In 2003, leading drinks company Diageo and brewer Heineken became NBL’s strategic partners. Brandhouse Beverages (Pty) Ltd serves as a vehicle for NBL’s joint venture with Heineken and Diageo in South Africa. In 2008, the joint venture was deepened through the formation of DHN Drinks (Pty) Ltd in South Africa. In addition to penetrating the extensive South African market, NBL is also growing beer volumes in other markets such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.