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How Hero Lager Beer Became a Red Capped Igbo ‘Chief’

An Igbo ‘red cap’ chief is a walking insignia of authority, tradition, and culture, same as a group of ‘red cap’ chiefs symbolise an entire institution of leadership, achievement, authority, and power in Igbo tradition.

With the recent knighting of Hero lager by the Obi of Onitsha as “Mmanya ejiri mara Igbo,” the premium beer brand will now be seen in the same light as a red cap chief though out the entire South Eastern region in Nigeria. The knighting is a proof of how much Hero lager has repositioned its front and heightened its authority within the region it has been most successful.

Budweiser has come into the Nigerian market claiming to be the ‘King of Beers’, what Hero has done is to say; “Hey Bud! You might be a King, but in there is another King in the South East.” Interestingly, both beer brands are managed by International Breweries Plc., a proud member of AB InBev, so the temptation for a brand war among these two is negligent.

Launched into the market in August 2012 without much fanfare, Hero immediately resonated with the culture of the Igbos, and backed by the brand’s strategic positioning in terms of value and price, it skyrocketed to the summit of the beer market in the region.

From the retail shops in Onitsha to hotels in Owerri and down to the manufacturing workshops in Aba, Hero beer became a favourite broth among many beer lovers. That acceptance into the nucleus of the region’s neo-culture led to the christening of the beer as ‘Oh Mpa.’ Mpa means father in the Igbo language, a sign that the brand was held in high regards for what it now signified.

It became a regular feature on the menu during festivals and traditional ceremonies, while also inspiring the mentality of being a ‘hero’ among its teeming consumers; it has become a symbol of identity for the Igbo beer lover.

At the peak of its achievement, societal status and recognition, the next move for the brand, like every Igbo individual who has ridden his way to the top, was to seek the knighthood of a red cap chief. As Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Highness, gave the blessing for the red cap ceremony to commence, the reality of Hero’s achievement as the market leader in that region became flesh.

A relatively unknown brand, first released during the burial of civil war hero late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Hero was finally celebrated with dance, music and fanfare. For the brand, the knighthood is an integrated marketing scheme that hopes to reward its customers as well extend the brand’s reach.

“Since we introduced this beer to the Nigerian market, it has clearly found its way into the taste buds of beer drinkers first in South East Nigeria and beyond,” says Obumneke Okoli, Marketing Manager Hero Lager, during the ceremony.

“The people are happy, excited with a burning flare in them all because of this beer.”

More so, the red cap ceremony represents the fruition of the brand’s essence which thrives on the sentiments of the Igbos and the regional marketing of the brand’s handlers.

Arne Rust, Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc., said during the ceremony:

“Through this ceremony, we hope to inspire consumers to be heroes every day and in every way. We have great plans for our consumers in Nigeria, part of which includes strategically launching several beer brands to suit specific geography and cultures. Hero is a well-established brand in the eastern part of the country. International Breweries Plc., genuinely cares about the culture and tradition of the people, and we will consistently seek ways to showcase our culture and positively impact the society.”

That grand red cap title-giving ceremony will be followed by a “Go! Be the Hero” campaign which looks to reward Nigerian men in recognition of their efforts and mission to be heroes. Also, as sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2018, Hero will send the Super Eagles off to Russia with an unveiling of the world’s biggest football message written with people – “Eagles Be Fearless, Go Be The Hero.”

The campaign shows that Hero lager is truly being ‘heroic’ in its strides and new experiences for consumers. After all, when a man has been made a red cap chief, he has to embark on a new project to prove to his kinsmen that he is truly worthy of his new title. The World Cup campaign will serve Hero lager’s popularity in Nigeria positively and maybe one day, the beer will stake a claim for an Ozo title.

Posted inNews updates

How Hero Lager Beer Became a Red Capped Igbo ‘Chief’

Posted on 05 21, 2018

An Igbo ‘red cap’ chief is a walking insignia of authority, tradition, and culture, same...

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AB InBev to begin exporting Nigeria’s Hero Lager to foreign countries

AB InBev-Hero Lager | www.drinks.ng

Nigerian beer brand, Hero Lager will soon be exported to other countries across the globe after Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) announced its plan to introduce African beer brands to its markets around the world on Wednesday.

AB InBev is hoping to make the best of its takeover of SabMiller by expanding its African market, as well as the global reach of its brands.

Head of AB InBev’s African Operations,  Ricardo Tadeu, said: “There are so many very unique African brands and I think it is time to sell African beers to the greater market.

“There is huge potential for these brands to be exported.”

The company chose eight of its most popular brands within Africa as the pioneer set to be exported, with Nigeria’s Hero Lager included among other brands like Castle Lager from South Africa, Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro.

On the other hand, the beverage giant will also introduce global brands like Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona to the African market.

Estimating that by 2023, 65 million Africans would reach the legal drinking age, the company sees it as an opportunity to increase beer consumption in some African markets where annual consumption average reaches around 10 litres.

AB InBev has been spurred on by the success of the Hero brand in Nigeria and Sorghum-based Chibuku in several African countries.

Tadeu also revealed that the brewer plans to build a new plant in Nigeria that could cost as much as $400m. “We are prioritizing what we need to do in Africa, rather than trying to find new things,” Tadeu said.


AB InBev-Hero Lager | www.drinks.ng
Posted inNews updates

AB InBev to begin exporting Nigeria’s Hero Lager to foreign countries

Posted on 04 18, 2017

Nigerian beer brand, Hero Lager will soon be exported to other countries across the globe...

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Top 5 Nigerian Beers

Nigerian Beer Star | www.drinks.ng

Top 5 Nigerian Beers

Nigerians love their beer , and beer parlours where people go to drink and relax are actually a pretty common sight. Nigerians consume close to 18 million Hectolitres of beer every year, coming second only to South Africa. Foreign beers are popular among Nigerians, however there are a lot of locally produced beers available to satisfy Nigerians’ thirst. Here is a list of the top 5 Nigerian beers.

1. Star Lager

Star Lager is a popular beer in Nigeria. It was first made in June 1946, and has since been an exceptional beer brand. Star Lager is still produced today, by its original brewer (Nigerian Breweries).Almost 50 million crates were sold in Nigeria in 2007. According to Heineken, Star Lager undergoes no less than 213 quality checks. Star Lager is available in a 600ml bottle and has an ABV of 5.1%.

2. 33 Export

33 Export has been breeding friendships among Nigerians since 1979. The basic ingredients of 33 Export are hops, malted barley, sucrose, water and sorghum. This Nigerian beer is produced by Consolidated Breweries (another subsidiary of Heineken) who describe 33 Export as “crisp tasting, sparkling and refreshing”. 33 Export is available in a 600ml bottle and a 330ml can and has an ABV of 5%.

3. Legend Extra Stout

Nigeria has one of the largest markets for stout in the world and Legend Extra Stout is an exceptional stout made by the Nigerian Breweries. It was first made in 1992. The drink is quite popular, and this has earned it the tag ‘the real deal’. Legend Extra Stout packs a punch with an ABV of 7.5%, making it the strongest beer on our top five list.

4. Gulder Lager 

Gulder Lager dates back to 1970 and is another offering by Nigerian Breweries. The beer is a strong flavoured beer and comes with a colourful history. The beer was originally meant to have been imported from Spain but this never took place after the Nigerian government banned importation of foreign beer into the Nigerian market. Gulder Lager is a brand with much history and definitely one of the top beers in Nigeria. Gulder Lager is available in bottles of 600ml and has an ABV of 5.2%.

5. Hero Lager

Hero Lager is produced by International brewer SAB Miller. In Igbo, the local language of Onitsha, “Oh Mpa” or ”Oh Father” is Hero Lager’s moniker. Most think that this is a reference to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu who set up an independent nation of Biafra in the 1960s; the Hero Lager bottles bear the rising sun that appeared on the Biafran flag. Hero Lager is less bitter than other beers due to the relatively low hop content. It boasts an ABV of 5.2% and is quite refreshing.

Nigerian Beer Star | www.drinks.ng

Top 5 Nigerian Beers

Posted on 07 26, 2016

Top 5 Nigerian Beers Nigerians love their beer , and beer parlours where people go...

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