St. George Brewery resumed operation without much change except few reshufflings and replacements to top management after the fall of the Dergue regime in 1991.
Towards the end of 1997, BGI – the brewery and beverage production wing of Castel Group – was established as BGI Ethiopia P.L.C. to facilitate private investments in the brewery sector, which was the first of its kind in Ethiopia.
In the town of Kombolcha (Wollo), BGI Ethiopia established the first privately owned brewery by acquiring 47 Hectares of land and The Kombolcha Brewery was officially inaugurated, producing two brands: Bati Beer, which was a mainstream local brand, and Castel Beer, an international premium brand.
In conjunction with operating its own brewery and producing its own beer brands, BGI Ethiopia purchased the historic St. George Brewery and the iconic St. George Beer brand in December 1998.
After privatizing the St. George Brewery, BGI Ethiopia invested heavily on several renovation, modernization, and expansion projects to bring the old brewery, the quality of its products and the competency of its workforce to international standards.
BGI Ethiopia also invested considerably in conducting unique marketing campaigns and corporate social responsibility schemes, which were non-existent in the industry at the time. Several product innovations were also introduced, including the first pasteurized draft beer.
Throughout the 2000’s, several expansion and modernization projects continued on the two breweries (Addis and Kombolcha) increasing their combined production capacity from 500,000 Hl. to 1,400,000 Hl.
In June 2011, BGI Ethiopia inaugurated its third and largest state of the art brewery in the town of Hawassa.
BGI Ethiopia also continued to expand its product portfolio by introducing the Amber beer brand in 2012, which was and still is the first of its kind in the country.
By mid 2012, BGI Ethiopia has also ventured into the winemaking business, building and operating the first privately owned winery and vineyard in Zeway town with an initial investment of 22 Million USD.