Nigeria's homebrew becomes a premium brand

High among the palm fronds, a tree is being tapped.

This is the first step in making ogogoro - a Nigerian spirit also known as "push me, I push you."

It's fermented using techniques dating back centuries.

But today a pair of entrepreneurs are using contemporary rebranding to bring this palm wine to an affluent, global audience.

In the Pedro's distillery in Lagos, co-founder Chibueze Akukwe is adding labels to this premium version of ogogoro.

"There is nothing that separates us from say whiskey or tequila or vodka or any other category of spirit that is out there, right? Our spirits deserve to be showcased, our culture and our heritage deserve to be showcased."

Pedro's in sold in Ghana, Kenya, and Britain.

According to research firm Euromonitor, the premium spirits market is also growing in Nigeria, albeit from a low base.

A report in September said such drinks are creating interest among the "younger, wealthier population".

Pedro's aims to appeal to that market by combining modern distillation with the traditional techniques.

Fermentation and initial refinement take place back in the village.

These are methods that were taught to Sarah Adeotan by her parents when she was young.

She says she's happy. Thanks to Pedro's business is booming and she can save money.

But potency and quality can vary.

That's why Lola Pedro, after whom the premium spirit is named, samples every keg before buying.

"You can never expect a hundred percent consistency, you get the fact like there will be different trees that they are tapping at different times with different fermentation of the palm wine."

The ogogoro heads to the distillery for further refinement.

Relatively nearby, in the impoverished neighborhood of Cele-Egbe, men pour copper-colored ogogoro into metal cups.

They are not drinking Pedro's.

In a country where most live on less than U.S.$2 a day, a 500ml bottle costs $50..

But then Pedro's is targeting different customers to this group of friends sharing a drink under the shade of a tree.

Video Transcript

- High among the palm fronds, a tree is being tapped. This is the first step in making ogogoro-- a Nigerian spirit also known as "push me, I push you." It's fermented using techniques dating back centuries. But today a pair of entrepreneurs are using contemporary rebranding to bring this palm wine to an affluent, global audience. In the Pedro's distillery in Lagos, co-founder Chibueze Akuwe is adding labels to his premium version ogogoro.

- I didn't see much of a difference between some of the big name brands' spirits that we know all across the globe When you compare those we to ogogoro, they seem very similar to us, so we thought we could take ogogoro, and just highlight it, and showcase it to the world.

- Pedro's is sold in Ghana, Kenya, and Britain. According to research firm Euromonitor, the premium spirits market is also growing in Nigeria, albeit from a low base. A report in September said such drinks are creating interest among the "younger, wealthier population." Pedro's aims to appeal to that market by combining modern distillation with traditional techniques. Fermentation and initial refinements take place back in the village. These are methods that were thought to Sarah Adeotan by her parents when she was young.

[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- She says she's happy. Thanks to Pedro's, business is booming and she can save money. But potency and quality can vary. That's why Lola Pedro, after whom the premium spirit is named, samples every keg before buying.

LOLA PEDRO: You can never expect 100% consistency, you get the fact that there will be different trees that they are tapping at different times with different fermentation of the palm wine.

- The ogogoro then head to the distillery for further refinement. Relatively nearby, in the impoverished neighborhood of Cele-Egbe, men pour copper-colored ogogoro into metal cups. They are not drinking Pedro's. In a country where most live on less US $2 a day, a 500ml bottle costs $50. But then Pedro's is targeting different customers to this group of friends sharing a drink under the shade of a tree.