Sh15bn Kisumu brewery awaits rollout

EABL Kisumu
KBL Supply Chain Director Patrick Kamugi (left) pours the company's MD Jane Karuku a drink of the first sample of Senator Keg produced at the newly refurbished brewery. PHOTO | COURTESY 

The refurbished Sh15 billion Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) plant in Kisumu now awaits official commissioning after it concluded tests of the production process Tuesday.

While she did not indicate the exact date of launch, KBL managing director Jane Karuku said the firm was optimistic about the smooth manufacture of Senator Keg once the operations kick off.

“We have invested at least 900,000 man-hours to date. It marks a major milestone that we are 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,” she said today.

Ms Karuku said adequate personnel had been recruited in readiness for the rollout which will mark a major milestone for the firm.

The KBL boss also thanked the national and county government for supporting and fast-tracking construction of the plant, saying it would bring immense benefits for the economy and the entire western Kenya.

The firm says over 90 per cent of the people at the brewery will be from Kisumu and surrounding counties.

The first Senator Keg pint was test-tasted at the brewery Tuesday by the brewer's top management as they marked one year since a ground-breaking ceremony presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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.

The firm is currently trying to recruit more than 15,000 small-scale sorghum farmers from Migori, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Busia to produce the necessary raw materials for production of Keg.