NBL awards first Brewer of Honour

Home Business NBL awards first Brewer of Honour


Dutch historian Tycho van der Hoog was awarded the first ‘Brewer of Honour’ title by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) at the birthday bash of the Beer Purity Law of 1516, the Reinheitsgebot.

Van der Hoog is the first recipient of this title and received the high honour in recognition of the outstanding work he had done in researching the origin of Namibian beer. According to NBL’s head brewer, Christian Müller, the title ‘Brewer of Honour’ is similar or comparable to an honorary Doctor’s degree at a university.

“It means that the person, who is not a brewer by profession has performed outstanding contributions and achievements for or in connection with Namibia Breweries. The typical brewer of honour is not necessarily a member or employee of NBL. The title is also not associated to any financial reward, but is a statement of recognition and status earned for extraordinary performance,” he said.

Van der Hoog holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in history and Bachelor of Science (BSc) in political science from Leiden University in the Netherlands and is affiliated to the African Studies Centre in Leiden.

After completion of a three-month research project in Zambia on the transport industry in 2014 he made way to Namibia in 2015 to study beer. Müller says: “Tycho did outstanding research work on the history of beer in Namibia. This includes in detail the historical development of NBL over the years and its relationship with the Reinheitsgebot.

“Tycho presented findings, which contribute significantly and immeasurably to the appreciation of the rich history of Namibian beer. With his findings, NBL is now able to draw a sharp image about the company and its development. His work is incomparable.”

Van der Hoog is still busy with his two-year research project on the history of beer and has just returned to Namibia for a further six weeks of field work. He was also a highlight at the official birthday celebration of the Reinheitsgebot 500-year anniversary when he shared his findings on the history of Namibian beer with invited guests.

Van der Hoog: “I’m interested in dynamic economic markets and my study centre advised me to look into the African beer market, because a major part of the population drinks beer and has been doing so for hundreds, if not thousands of years. I started reading up on Namibian history and became fascinated by this unique country.

“In the turbulent history of Namibia, people have been able to brew beer for centuries long and will probably continue brewing for centuries to come. Beer and history is closely intertwined. Beer also constitutes an important economic market with a huge turnover and NBL is part of the O&L Group, the largest private employer and a significant taxpayer in the country.

“Furthermore, beer has a big cultural link, and every beer drinker identifies him- or herself with a certain brand. Finally, beer has political implications as well. Governments always had an interest in the beer market, because of its high contribution to State coffers through taxes.”

Van der Hoog says he was caught by surprise when he was called on stage as the first recipient of the title. “I was speechless. It is a great honour and I’m looking forward to working together with NBL to make the surprising history of beer available to the public.”