It is all systems go for Sh15bn Kisumu brewery

Senator Keg beer production begins after a successful test of the production process

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Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has given the greenlight for the production of Senator Keg beer at the Kisumu Brewery after a successful test of the production process. It’s all systems go after the first Senator Keg pint was last month test-tasted at the Kisumu Brewery by the KBL top brass led by Managing Director Jane Karuku, marking a major milestone for the Sh15 billion investment.

The test-tasting was performed exactly one year and five days since the refurbishment of the brewery was commissioned in July last year.

“We have invested at least 900,000 man-hours to date. It marks a major milestone that we’re truly proud of. We will be producing safe and quality alcohol especially to people who have been consuming illicit alcohol so that we contribute to government efforts to reduce the impact of illegal brews by offering an affordable, quality alternative,” said Mrs Karuku.

KBL Supply Chain Director Patrick Kamugi said that the brewer has invested in state of the art equipment and the latest brewing technology to ensure end-to-end quality assurance.

“We’ve brought new brewing equipment, laid out a new keg line fitted and working in today’s brewing technology. The taste-testing session is a critical stage before full commissioning and we are fully confident that well be producing Senator Keg for the market not long from now,” said Mr Kamugi.

The reentry of KBL in the lakeside city heralds a new beginning for a city that has operated on a bare minimum for many years after the closure of many of it companies in various industries in the turn of the century. Kicomi (Kisumu Cotton Mills) in textile, Coca Cola and KBL in beverage and the fish processing industry amongst many others are just but the few examples when it comes to the collapsing of the lakeside city’s economy from the late 1990s and which also engineered the stagnation in terms of growth of the city as other vital sectors of the economy including property development, infrastructure and, ultimately, employment suffered a big deal.

KBL is in the process of developing a robust value chain that will create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs through farming, distribution and retail, where thousands of livelihood opportunities lie.

With its West for West strategy, KBL has ensured that over 90% of the people working at the Kisumu Brewery are from the western region.

The plant will initially produce Senator Keg, made using locally-sourced sorghum, for the next couple of years, after which it will start producing other portfolio brands of KBL such as Tusker. Once complete, the plant will have the capacity to produce one million hectolitres of Senator Keg.

KBL is committed to the economic empowerment of farmers and has committed to sourcing locally – Kisumu and surrounding counties.

Currently, Kenya Breweries is working with more than 15,000 small-scale sorghum farmers from Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Busia to produce the necessary raw materials used for the production of Senator Keg.