Top 10 Lager beers in Nigeria

By Felicia Nwosu

Following a report made available by Euromonitor International, the global beer market reached a value of nearly $189 billion in 2020, having declined at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.4% since 2015. The market is expected to grow from $189 billion in 2020 to $281 billion in 2025 at a rate of 8.2%.

Making a futuristic view, the report noted that total volume sales of beer will continue to witness declines in 2021 and 2022, before returning to growth during the final two years of the forecast period. These declines will, however, be driven by ongoing falls in on-trade volume sales, given that these establishments represent the majority of beer sales.

Euromonitor International also stated that various brands of beer were expected to record steep, double-digit total volume declines in the last one year, largely accelerated and propelled by the devastation to on-trade sales due to the measures taken to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria’s brand focused magazine, MARKETING EDGE as a market leader in promoting the brand idea, using internally developed metrics and industry yardsticks, undertook an unbiased study of the players in the beer segment to determine the Top 10 beer brands in Nigeria (not in any ranking order) as follow:


In the 12 months of 2019, consumers in three countries – the UK, Brazil and Nigeria – drank more than 1m hectolitres of brand Heineken, according to the brewer’s financial statement for that year.

The beer brand has consciously been leading as a devout sponsor of  UEFA (Union of European Football Association) Champions League, having become the only official sponsor of the global sports event. It is treated and generally accepted as an exotic beer, because of the royalty that accompanies its look.

The bulk of Heineken’s popularity stems from its unique blend of excellent ingredients that impart a distinct flavour, providing beer drinkers across the Nigerian market with a premium experience. Beyond the sensory pleasure it delivers, Heineken extends its impact on consumers’ lives through its ground-breaking initiatives.


Budweiser, popularly known as “the King of Beers, King of Football or Smooth King, is one of the top beer brands in the world, and it is competing in Nigeria’s premium segment of the beer market with the likes of Heineken. The top quality lager beer and official sponsor of the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga made a triumphant entry into Nigeria 3 years ago. Its arrival into the Nigerian premium lager beer market was described as a revolution that was imminent in Nigeria’s alcoholic beverage industry. Budweiser’s journey into Nigeria started in 2018, as part of its drive to achieve long-term investment.

Trophy lager

Trophy lager beer was originally launched by International Breweries Plc, Ilesha, Osun State in 1978 and taken over in 2011 by the management of SABMiller, and then International Breweries.

It is the leading beer brand especially in the South West Nigeria, and classified as a beer for all and sundry. According to the brand owners, the title “Honourable” attached to the brand is also part of its repositioning plan to be first among equals and the leader of any social group, as well as to help it have an appreciable share of the market.


Hero lager is a beer brand from the stable of International Breweries Plc., the Nigerian subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Hero lager was first brewed in Onitsha in Southeastern Nigeria. With this, it has become an inspirational symbol in Nigeria since it was launched in 2012, tapping into positive associations with the southeast region’s loyalties, struggles, traditions, and tastes as a beer for locals by locals.

According to the brand, “The dream of every hero is to satisfy the desire of his people”. The label of its flagship, ‘Nigerian beer’ features a rising sun, intended to inspire people with the promise that anyone can “be a hero” and triumph over adversity.

Life Continental Lager Beer

LIFE is another Igbo-centric beer, which is why it believes that life is greater than everything. Life Continental Lager Beer is from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc. Life Lager Beer was first produced in 1981 in Onitsha, Anambra State, as a regional Eastern beer and has since grown to become one of the leading regional beer brands in Nigeria.


Described by its loyalists as “a befitting beer that truly celebrates the values and culture of the befitting man, Goldberg is a lager beer brewed to golden, unique nature of its own by Nigerian Breweries Plc.

It was established in 2011, and having gone through an extensive reformulation and repackaging processes resulting in the rich quality and smooth-tasting recipe, Goldberg was re-launched in 2012.

Goldberg’s acceptance cuts across the geo-political zones of the country, there is no tribal affinity with the brand, as it transcends the south western part of Nigeria.


Known by all as the “The Ultimate in Beer”, Gulder (Pale Lager) was introduced in 1970 as a strong flavoured beer. To demonstrate its uniqueness, it was launched in a brown bottle with a unique label design that differentiates it from others. It was successfully reformulated and reintroduced in 1972 to correct consumer’s observation.

The brand is synonymous with its reality show popularly known as Guilder Ultimate Search, which was recently re-launched to rejuvenate its wide appeal in the lager segment of Nigeria’s market.

STAR Lager Beer

Popularly known as Shine-Shine Bobo by both drinkers and non-drinkers due to its popular advertisement of many years ago, STAR lager beer has endeared more apostles to Nigeria’s age-long lager beer market.

First introduced into the Nigeria market in June in 1946 by Nigerian Breweries Plc, STAR is the only lager beer that has undergone no less than 213 quality checks in the country, according to the Heineken.

STAR attained market leadership in 1960 which created a need to build more factories in Nigeria. Today, STAR has remained evergreen and readily available for its numerous loyalists.

It has remained a brand that has penetrated strongly into the lager segment of the market, and despite its age, it keeps registering new loyalists into the ‘Shine-Shine Bobo’ drinking caucus.

33 Export Lager Beer

33 Export is a lager beer that promotes friendship and togetherness. It is never enjoyed alone, according to its pay off line. It believes that enjoyment and merriment are sweeter and better among friends. Introduced since 1979 from the stable of Consolidated Breweries, and later acquired by Nigerian Breweries, 33 Export was reformulated a few a years ago to serve its teeming consumers better.

Tiger Lager Beer

Tiger lager beer was introduced into the Nigerian beer market in 2018 by Nigerian Breweries Plc, following the introduction of Budweiser by AB InBev. The brand, which is an International Premium Asian beer, was reportedly paired up with Heineken lager beer, as Nigerian Breweries assembled the big beers to defend its turf in what appeared to be a beer war. According to NB, Tiger Beer has an 86-year history, dating back to 1932 in Singapore and is made with only the finest ingredients through a precise brewing process.


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