United National Breweries
Interesting Facts

  • Originally beer was made by women and sold from their homes. Large scale European brewing practices changed this in Europe but it has been an uninterrupted practice in Africa where many women still make a living by selling Sorghum Beer as their ancestors had for thousands of years before them.

  • In ancient Babylon, those who made beer of inferior quality were punished by drowning.

  • Fermenting and malting is said to improve the nutritional value of grains. Traditional African Beer is made from malted and fermented grain products and the recipe does not call for much straining and most of the unrefined carbohydrates are leftover in the beer when it is packaged.

  • Some Traditional African Beer recipes provide large amounts of nutritional value to the daily recommended dietary allowances of adults, not only in the Vitamin B range but also in minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium.

  • At one stage, beer from Babylon was exported and distributed as far as Egypt. This may amuse the UNB distribution staff involved in transporting actively fermenting beer all over the country.

  • Although beer is older than the story of the tribe leaving Israel the land of their Egyptian captors, beer is not mentioned in the Judeo Christian Bible, only wine.

  • While the brand Chibuku is produced and marketed by various companies in Africa, UNB owns, produces and markets this brand in South Africa.

  • Traditional African Beer is used socially as well as ceremonially in traditional African religion. UNB beer is widely used by traditional healers as an acceptable substitute to a traditionally homebrewed version of the beer. Some traditional healers have argued that some people have lost the knowledge to brew the product according to the required health and hygiene standards that tradition requires and that if needed Traditional African Beer produced by UNB may then be freely used to facilitate the traditional ceremonies and interaction with ancestral spirits that many Africans revere. UNB Traditional African Beer can also be used as a substitute where there is no time for a mother to brew it at home and an important cultural ceremony has to be performed in haste.

  • During traditional ceremonies some African beer is poured on the homestead floor as a show of respect to ancestral spirits that reside in the homestead with African families.

  • Beer used to be consumed by people sitting around a pot and sucking it using reed straws, but royalty had their own golden pots and they sipped their beverages through silver straws.

  • Beer is said to be so powerful that it led nomadic people settle into village life and the invention of beer is also said to be responsible for humanity’s ability to develop technology and build civilization.

  • Beer, especially traditional African beer, which is actively fermenting at the time of sale, has to be made according to the traditional principles tried and tested over millennia otherwise it can lead to ill health and in some instances even death.

  • Traditional African Beer is gluten free and beer made from sorghum can be enjoyed by those suffering from gluten allergies. UNB provides malted sorghum to European Brewers that produce gluten free beer for niche markets.

  • Although beer is older than the story of the tribe Israel leaving the land of their Egyptian captors, beer is not mentioned in the Judeo Christian Bible, only wine.

  • While the brand Chibuku is produced and marketed by various companies in Africa, UNB owns, produces and markets this brand in South Africa according to the standards that the consumers demands.

  • Traditional African Beer is used socially as well as ceremonially in traditional African religion. UNB beer is widely used by traditional healers as an acceptable substitute to a traditionally homebrewed version of the beer. Some traditional healers have argued that some people have lost the knowledge to brew the product according to the required health and hygiene standards that tradition requires and that if needed Traditional African Beer produced by UNB may then be freely used to facilitate the traditional ceremonies and interaction with ancestral spirits that many Africans revere. UNB Traditional African Beer can also be used as a substitute where there is no time for a mother to brew it at home and an important cultural ceremony has to be performed in haste.

  • During traditional ceremonies some African beer is poured on the homestead floor as a show of respect to ancestral spirits that reside in the homestead with African families.
  • In ancient times beer wasn’t sold but used to barter for goods and used to pay labourers.

  • Beer used to be consumed around a pot with individuals sucking on it from reed straws but royalty had their own golden pots and they sipped the beverages through silver straws.

  • Beer is said to be so powerful that it led nomadic peoples into village life and the invention of beer is said to be responsible for humanity’s ability to develop technology and build civilization.

  • Beer, especially traditional African beer, which is actively fermenting at the time of sale, has to be made according to the traditional principles tried and tested over millennia otherwise it can lead to ill health and in some instances even death.

  • Traditional African Beer is gluten free and beer made from sorghum can be enjoyed by those suffering from gluten allergies and as a result UNB provides malted sorghum to European Brewers that produce gluten free beer for niche markets.

Below are the names for beer in many different languages:

Afrikaans: bier Albanian: birrë Arabic: beereh (biræ)
Azerbaijani: pivo Basque: garagardoa Belorussian: piva
Bengali: beer Breton: bier Bulgarian: bira
Catalan: cervesa Chechenian: jij Chinese (Mandarin): pi jiu
Croatian: pivo Czech: pivo Danish: øl
Dutch: bier English: beer, ale Esperanto: biero
Estonian: õlu Faeroese: øl, bjór Finnish: olut, kalja
Flemish: bier French: bière Frisian: bier
Gaelic (Scotland): leann (lionn), beòir Galician (Galego): cerveja / cervexa German (High): Bier
German (Low): Beer Greek: mpíra (bira), zýthos Hawaiian: pia
Hebrew: beera Hindi: beer Hungarian: sör
Icelandic: öl, bjór Ido: biro Indonesian: bir
Interlingua: bira Irish (Gaeilge): beoir Italian: birra
Japanese: biiru Korean: mek-ju Kurdish: bîre
Lappish (Sámi): vuola Latin: cervisia Latvian: alus
Lithuanian: alus Luganda: bbiya Macedonian: pivo
Malay: bir Manx (Gaelg Vannin): lhune, beer Neo: biro
Nepali: biyar, jad Norwegian (bm & nn): øl Occitan (Provencal): bièra, cervesa
Persian (Farsi): ab'jo Police Motu: bia Polish: piwo
Portugese: cerveja Quechua: sirbisa Rheto-Rumansch: biera
Romanian: bere Russian: pivo Serbian: pivo
Sesotho: jwala Slovak: pivo Slovene: pivo
Spanish: cerveza Swahili: bia, pombe Swedish: öl
Tagalog (Pilipino): serbesa Thai: bia Turkish: bira
Ukrainian: pivo Vietnamese: bia Volapük: bil
Welsh: cwrw Xhosa: ibhiye Yiddish: bir
Zulu: utshwala
UNB is committed to responsible drinking. Our products are not for sale to persons under the age of 18.