Hewan Woldegebriel, sales person of Country Trading, arranging her wine collection for the holiday market at the upscale liquor store of the company around Piazza in Arada district (photo: Addis Fortune)

Hewan Woldegebriel, sales person of Country Trading, arranging her wine collection for the holiday market at the upscale liquor store of the company around Piazza in Arada district (photo: Addis Fortune)

The liquor market that saw slump during the lent, hopes to pick up the pieces during the holiday season.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Medhanit Tekle, a 26-year old newly married woman who lives around Gofa Mazoria in Nefas Silk, Lafto District, was among the people that queued at the gate of the National Alcohol Factory, on the afternoon of Wednesday April 16, 2014, to buy liquor for the holiday.

Her favourite liquor, super mint areqe sells for 60 Br a bottle at the factory outlet near Mexico Square in Lideta District, 10 Br cheaper than where she lives. She was also looking forward to adding a bottle of Guder Wine, which would complement the “incomparable” tella (malt beer) which she has brewed at home.

“The holiday will not be that colourful without tella,” she says.

Tella, a popular traditional drink, has two to four percent alcohol content, while, if filtered, it could go up to five or six percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Other local beer varieties include Korefe, Shameta and Borde. There is also tej, honey mead made from honey and hop leaves, as well as katikala (areqe), a home-made liquor. The WHO study puts the alcohol content of tej at 6.98 to and 10.9pc, and that of areqe at 45 pc.

Total alcohol consumption between 2005/06 to 2010/11 including beer, was nine billion Birr according to the Central Statistics Agency (CSA). The actual figure could have been far higher if people had been more honest about their home consumption, according to an official at the Agency.

Ten years ago, the per capita alcohol consumption of the nation was close to 2.3 litres of pure alcohol, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, this increased to close to five litres in 2010.

This growing consumption is vividly demonstrated in the ever increasing supply of imported and locally produced alcoholic drinks.

Importation of Alcohol drinks has increased rapidly in the last five years, growing from 204,706,985 Br in 2009 to 871, 465,190 Br in 2013, according to the CSA. This growth is also reflected in the production of drinks in the country.

Alcohol production on an industry level has shown big increment in the country in the last couple of years. The total production that was 382, 536 hectolitres in 2007/08 has reached 4,866,431 hectolitres in 2011/12.

Read more at: Addis Fortune

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