Many may know about the inception of Star Beer in Kumasi but what they might not know is the role Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II played in its restoration.
The brand’s brewery which is now under Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC has been relaunched in Kumasi.
The event took place at Guinness Ghana’s Kaase Factory in the Ashanti Region and was attended by the Monarch of the Asante Kingdom on Wednesday, January 25.
The brand’s brewery was moved to Accra in 2015 citing operational challenges after being established in Kumasi in 1960 and operating from there ever since.
In his speech, the King recounted how the movement of the Star brewery unfolded.
“The journey has been very long and tough. Star beer was under Kumasi Brewery with Heineken as the parent company. Heineken was brought to Manhyia to say ‘we want to go’.”
To try to stop this, he said, “I travelled to Holland to find out what the problem was and how best we could revive it.
“Later on came Guinness Ghana to take over so David Hampshire also came to speak to me and therefore this arrangement of the merger came into being and then the production of Guinness and beer came here. Later on, I was informed that star beer and Gulder were being taken to Accra.”
At this point, the King said he had to gather some of the Board members of the company at the time to protest the decision, however, to no avail.
He said he went to London to find out the cause of the movement.
“They said it was for operational reasons. I wasn’t convinced but then I felt if for financial reasons it had to be moved while Guinness would be maintained here, I would assist with that. I was compensated with a new line to still continue to produce Guinness here and I came to open it.”
Through all these, the King said he was confident that the brand will be brought back to Kumasi where it was birthed.
“I said to David Hampshire at the time that Star Ghana will come back to Kumasi”, recalled.
He realised the factory had been “abandoned” with only the factory manager left at the Kaase factory and almost no production taking place between 2015-2022.
Upon the assumption of the role by the current Board of Directors, the King said, consultations were upheld and the brand’s brewery has been returned to Kumasi.
He anticipates this will create jobs for his people and appreciates the roles played by each person for the stride.
“My sincere thanks to the Board and Management of Guinness Ghana Limited for bringing star beer home today…Now I thank you for bringing Star Beer. I thank you for bringing life to this factory. I thank you for bringing employment for my people and I assure you that we will do everything possible to support you in your operations here.”
He added, “I’m always a part of this development and I shall always be for my people and for Ghana.”
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini