|The history of beer in
Mozambique began in the early twentieth century, Mozambique was
a Portuguese colony and since 1902
was established as the capital of this overseas province.
immigrant named George Cretikos, who coursing through the rich
neighborhoods of Lourenco Marques to sell fresh water door to door,
realized that there was no enogh ice to preserve the fish that every
unloaded at the docks of the city. So he decided to open the first ice
factory and mineral water in Mozambique (1916) The
Factory was built on the
west side of the city, opposite the fishing port, and it was called Victoria Cold
Storage and Ice
In a few years, he also
began producing soft drinks dreaming the first
beer brand made in Mozambique. The dream came true in 1932
Greek traveled to Germany to hire a master brewer who developed a beer
based on a European recipe and according to high quality international
standards that Cretikos called Laurentina, honoring the
inhabitants of the capital Lourenco Marques, the laurentinos. The
recipe of this beer remains secret, but it is known that a part of his
success results from the mixture of three malts and a double cold
filter that gives stability.
The Laurentina is today the most prized of all beers in Mozambique. And
its light variant, and Black Premium has earned him several
international awards, including the Gold Medal Monde Selection in
The 50’s and
60’s were of great expansion for the brand. In 1950, resulting from the
merger between the Victoria factory and Fabrica de Cerveja Nacional,
the brewery changed name in Fabricas de Cerveja
Reunidas de Lourenco Marques.
Brewery - 1940
The 60's were years of indipendence for Mozambique. Calls for self
determination in Mozambique arose shortly after World War II, in light
of the independence granted to many other colonies worldwide in the
great wave of decolonisation.
Portugal designated Mozambique an overseas territory in 1951 in order
to show to the world that the colony had a greater autonomy. It was
called the Overseas Province of Mozambique (Provincia Ultramarina de
Mocambique) but Portugal still maintained strong control over its
overseas province. The state was marked by large disparities between
the wealthy Portuguese and the majority of the large rural indigenous
African population. Vocal political dissidents opposed to Portuguese
rule and claiming independence were typically forced into exile.
The Marxist-Leninist Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO (Frente de
Libertacao de Mocambique), supported by Soviet Union in the cold war
scenario, was formed in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in neighbouring
Tanzania, on June 25, 1962 and two years later in 1964 began a campaign
of guerrilla warfare in an attempt to achieve independence for
|Laurentina beer label - 1956
In 60's were
built two breweries that still remain in the
beer market today: in 1960
Fabrica de Cerveja da Beira Ltd that brewed Manica Beer
and in 1965 the brewery 2M, abbreviation
of Mac-Mahon (Cia.
de Cervejas e Refrigerantes Mac-Mahon S.A.R.L.) a brand
almost as iconic as the
name of this beer is indeed a tribute to former French president Marie
Edme' Patrice Maurice, Comte de Mac-Mahon, who, in 1875, decided
in favor of Portugal in a dispute with Britain over which of the two
countries should be with possession of southern Mozambique.
de Mac-Mahon 1873 - 1879
conflict ended with
ceasefire and negotiations between the Portuguese administration
culminated with the Lusaka Accord signed on September 7, 1974. Mozambique became one of
the poorest country in
the world. Years of misery during the indipendence war. Bad time also
for beer factories.
June 25, 1975
independence of Mozambique, all the companies, beer
suffered an intervention by the Samora
Companies were nationalized. It was created the "SOGERE" Sociedad General
de Cervejas e Refrigerantes de Mocambique S.A.R.L.
. All beer companies changed its name becaming: SOGERE - Fabrica da
cerveja da Beria; SOGERE - Fabrica da Cerveja 2M; SOGERE - Fabrica da
moment to another factories lost more than half of the staff, including
all qualified technicians who (as a result of decolonization) suddenly
departed for Portugal, Brazil and South Africa. Because of
that, the president Samora Machel (first president of
died in 1986),
ordered that all the people who had completed secondary
education had to start working in the more urgent to keep the country
the Cervejas de Mozambique (CdM) administrator
that time it was impossible to
effectively supply the beer market. "We had great difficulties in
production. Lacked money for the raw materials and to replace parts
that were tainted. At most, we could send two or three barrels per
week for each restaurant, equivalent to sixty-ninety liters. Not enough
for a day." he continued.
Santos, responsible for advertising and image of these
two brands of beer, confirmed: "In restaurants was established that was
only possible to sell beer with meal. Who would want to drink more,
for more food dishes that were piling up on the tables, completely
filled, next to the empty beer bottles. "
Unlike the Laurentina,
known as the Beer elites, 2M - currently the
most consumed beer in the country - it was drunk especially among the
poorer class, eventually being sold without a label during the years of
civil war, the from 1976 to 1992.
Jose' Moreira remembered
well this stage and said that the labels
were the least of it. "The machines we used at the factory were
completely obsolete. We worked two days, we stopped one weeks'.
One of the most striking episodes of this period was the irreversible
breakdown of the machine pasteurizer that brought down the validity of
beers from three months to one week. "After five days, began to appear
sediment in the bottle and the beer began to rot."
The administrator told
that, during these years, most of the beer
sold in Mozambique was unfit for consumption. "Transport out of Maputo
was made by boat. Just to reach the port of Nacala in the north of the
country, it took twenty days - when there came were completely out of
time. And its still had to be unloaded and distributed to the most
remote points. When its came to the consumer had at least 45 days.
"However, guarantees, no one ever got sick or had any complaints about
the quality of the beer.
Samora Machel knew well the difficulties of Jose'
Moreira. In afct he used to do inspections at the factory personally.
surprise inspections, known as lightning hits, kept Mozambican
companies in alert. «Once appeared here at one in the morning
and found most of the staff to sleep, many men drunken, unshaven,
barefoot." They were fired.
|Mac Mahon beer
advertising with the famous slogan "A Nossa Maneira a nossa Cerveja"
|Manica Brewery in Beira
||An old Manica Beercoaster
|Beer factories was
again in 1990 when the multinational Castel, owner of the famous beer
Cuca, of Angola, bought the Laurentina brewery.
African multinational SABMiller acquires the
Maputo and Beira breweries (2M and Manica beers) in 1995, which become known as Cervejas de Mocambique (CDM)
2001, the brand Laurentina was sold to SAb Miller. CDM restructured its
combined brewing assets to operate from one site. In 2010 was built one
more brewery in Nampula.
two beers are the reflection of
the recent history of Mozambique." said Jose' Moreira who wacted
closely glory, decadence and rebirth of Laurentina and 2M Beer.
|Laurentina advertising -
cervejas que contam a historia de Mocambique" - Noticias Magazine