Zimbabwe drinkers have been warned the country’s largest brewery only has enough raw ingredients to last a week sending prices of the nation’s favourite beer rocketing.
Customers have noticed a shortage of Chibuku Shake Shake beer for several weeks as production at the company’s plant has eased off.
The unusual beer, which is pink-grey in colour, and requires to be shaken before drunk is based on an old African recipe.
Patricia Murambinda, spokesman for the Delta Corporation who brew Chibuku Shake Shake said: ‘We are facing foreign currency challenges importing concentrates for our business. We need forex to pay suppliers.’
She told The Times: ‘We have enough raw materials to cover production for a week but the end of the pipeline is dry.’
The beer has a sour taste and an usual texture and is made using maize or sorghum.
It is feared that people may start panic buying the final remaining bottles, which rapidly increases in strength from 0.5 per cent two seven per cent over the course of a few days.
Earlier this week, Delta Corporation announced a 27 per cent jump in profits up to $89 million.
According to Reuters, lager beer sales, which accounted for the most revenue, were at their strongest since 2014, while volumes of the cheaper sorghum beer – Chibuku Shake Shake – rose for the sixth straight year.
The company increased its final dividend payment by 32 percent to 7.20 U.S. cents, its highest since Zimbabwe dumped its own currency for the U.S. dollar in 2009.
Delta Managing Director Pearson Gowero told an analyst briefing that foreign currency shortages were hurting supplies of some packaging materials and the company might not be able to meet demand.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of U.S. dollar shortages that have curbed imports and seen some companies, including mines, unable to pay for imports on time.