Vailima Brewery Launches Breadfruit Beer, Vailima Natural

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Samoa brewer celebrates 35th anniversary

By Pai Mulitalo ‘Ale

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Oct. 27, 2013) – Vailima Breweries launched Vailima Natural made using breadfruit to commemorate its 35th Anniversary at the Orator Hotel on Friday Night.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi congratulated the brewery for the new brew and their birthday celebration.

"Tonight is a double celebration for Vailima," he said. "It’s the celebrating of its 35th anniversary and the launching of a new edition of Vailima natural brew using breadfruit.

He thanked Vailima management and staff for the initiative which included input from Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS).

"I look forward to future development utilizing our local projects as the government continues to find other markets for our local growers to support their families," said Prime Minister.

A former Cabinet Minister, Asi Ekeni also addressed invited guests on how the Vailima Brewery was established and how it’s still growing."In 1978 the government of Samoa looked at the prospect at setting up a brewery and was fortunate to find some keen partners a German company called Brauhaus," said Asi Ekeni.

He said that the brewery project was considered part of the country’s economic development.

Being the Minister at the time, he worked to bring that initiative to life with the help of Tuiloma Neroni Slade and Hans Kruse as the Director of Public Affairs.

He said he was happy when the brewery was named after the village he spent most of his time back then.

"Looking back 35 years ago, I must say that I am very impressed with Vailima and how it has grown over the years," Mr. Ekeni said.

He also congratulated Alfred Chan and his team for carrying the Vailima brand to the next level.

Plant and technical manager of Vailima Breweries, Sean Hellesoe said Vailima Natural has taken a while to make.

The idea first came about back when he was studying for his brewing qualifications, reading about different beer styles all over the world.

He said that Samoa Breweries had to bring in about a million kilos of malt every year and has now replaced 12 percent of that imported malt with locally-produced breadfruit.

One benefit is that more money can stay in Samoa using a local ingredient for a recipe that is very traditionally German.

With research by S.R.O.S. now complete, the locally produced breadfruit flour is an addition to the making of Vailima Natural and making it a true taste of Samoa.

The celebration concluded with the Prime Minister doing the honours by cutting the anniversary cake to mark 35 years since Vailima Breweries was first established in Samoa.

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