Hylton Smith was part of the team that first introduced Windhoek beers to the Botswana market, he then moved to Durban and joined Ian and Peter Hoyer at Team Liquor Distributors to head up sales of Windhoek beers. Hylton recalls only selling a truckload of Windhoek in their first year, but only a short four years later they sold an interlink of Windhoek beers per day during the peak season.
Then in 2004, thinking that they were well on their way to becoming a real player in the liquor industry, Namibian Breweries announced the formation of Brandhouse, a joint venture with Heineken and Diageo.
Hylton opted not to become part of the new corporation and joined former Windhoek colleagues Andre Homann and Craig MacKenzie in selling Bavaria beers.
Andre Homann and a few former Windhoek guys then made an offer to purchase NMK Schulz from Norbert Schulz. NMK had the agency for Stella Artois, a brand which the beer guys hoped they could grow into a significant player in the local market.
Hylton, now a shareholder, continued working at Team Liquor Distributors.
When Ray Edwards started Tops at Spar the market started to change and in order to survive, distributors had to be able to service national chain stores.
In 2016 Hylton took on new financial partners, with funds to open branches nationally they could now service national chains such as Pick n Pay.
In 2018 Hylton was approached by Super Bock to distribute their beer in South Africa. At the time Super Bock was only available at the Liquor City stores. The brand was on a good growth trajectory, claiming to sell 15000 containers a year in Angola at the time.
Super Bock is the leading beer brand in Portugal with a market share of more than 50% The Super Bock Group is a privately held company founded in 1890 based in Porto, Portugal.
Hylton continues by sharing some interesting stories about his travels to Porto, their strategy with the brand and his journey so far. Well worth a listen!
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