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SABMiller announces Grolsch launch in South Africa

10 June 2008

Grolsch beer bottle
SABMiller plc, one of the world’s leading brewers, today announces that its South African subsidiary, SAB Ltd, is launching Grolsch – the group’s premium Dutch beer brand.   

The iconic 450 ml ‘swingtop’ bottle and the 330 ml flat-sided crown top will be available nationally in on and off trade outlets from 23rd June.  Both formats will be imported from the Grolsch brewery in the Netherlands in non-returnable packaging. 

The $4 million launch includes a new television commercial, created specifically for South African consumers, which emphasises the craftsmanship employed in brewing the beer.  This will be supported by outdoor and print press campaigns.

Ronald van Amerongen, International Brand Director for Grolsch, said:
“The launch of Grolsch in South Africa is an exciting first step in SABMiller’s global ambition for the brand. South Africa is the original homemarket of SABMiller and is a fast-growing consumer market for premium beer. This launch is the first of many, as we continue to develop Grolsch’s presence around the world. ”

Tony van Kralingen, Managing Director of SAB Ltd, commented:
“In recent years we have built up a strong portfolio of local and international premium brands. Premium Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, doubled its volumes in the market last year and Grolsch will play a pivotal role in this fast-growing segment. At a local level, Hansa Marzen Gold has had a very successful launch and Castle Lite saw significant growth last year.”

Grolsch is part of SABMiller’s global premium brand portfolio which also includes Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft.

With almost 400 years of brewing tradition, Grolsch, is positioned as a true Dutch beer based on a recipe and brewing secrets passed down from generation to generation and complemented with 21st century processes and state of the art innovations.

Initially, Grolsch will be launched and supported in carefully selected outlets, including premium bars and restaurants, to ensure that the brand is established among its target consumers. All brand touch points – including branded glasses, staff clothing and promotional gifts - will reflect Grolsch’s image as a modern classic.

Notes to editors

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group’s brands include premium international beers such as Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.  In the year ended 31 March 2008, the group reported US$3,639 million in adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue of US$21,410 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges

For more information on SABMiller, please visit

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About SAB Ltd
SABMiller plc has its origins in South Africa where the original brewing operations of the group was founded in 1895, known as “Castle Brewing”. Castle Lager was the first brand launched from a newly-commissioned lager brewery with a yearly capacity of 50,000 barrels. It also participated in industry consolidation, including acquiring the Ohlsson's and Chandlers Union Breweries in 1956, after which the company became known as “The South African Breweries” and the beer interests of the Rembrandt group during 1979. In addition, it obtained the franchise for bottling and distributing Coca-Cola products in 1976, separately managed by the Amalgamated Beverages Industries (“ABI”). The South African lager and sparkling beverage businesses are now integrated following the 2004 purchase of the balance of ABI shares that SAB did not already own, and together are known as the South Africa Beverages division of SABMiller, or locally, as the South African Breweries Limited (“SAB Ltd”).

About Grolsch
Grolsch is a company with a rich tradition that goes back to 1615. Grolsch brews beer concentrating on the premium segment of the market.  The focal point of Grolsch’s commercial activities lies in the Netherlands, Grolsch’s historic home market. Grolsch is active internationally in around 60 countries.

Important international markets for Grolsch include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand.

About the Grolsch acquisition
SABMiller plc announced on 21 February 2008 that it had completed the purchase of 99.46% of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Royal Grolsch N.V.  The listing of Royal Grolsch N.V. was terminated on 20 March 2008.

For more information on Royal Grolsch N.V., visit the company's website: or

Bianca Shevlin
Corporate Media Relations Manager
SABMiller plc
Tel: +44 20 7659 0172

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