KENYA – East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has started brewing Captain Morgan Gold at its Ruaraka brewery in Nairobi as it seeks to tap into the growing market of spirits drinkers.

The regional brewer, which has until now been importing the rum produced by its parent firm Diageo, is now producing the premium spirit in the 250ml bottle at a recommended retail price of Sh270.

Fred Otieno, Kenya Breweries Limited head of innovation, says they will by June start producing the 750ml bottle that will retail at Sh800, Sh400 cheaper than the imported version of the rum.

The regional brewer has in the past years seen sales of its beers such as Guinness, Pilsner and Tusker dip while its spirits continue growing by double digits.

“The fact that it is locally produced, using local inputs, means that it will have a slightly different taste than the original,” Mr Otieno told the Business Daily in an interview.

“We are seeing a lot of our consumers shifting to mainstream and premium spirits brands. By locally producing a brand such as Captain Morgan, our customers get to enjoy a renowned drink at an accessible price.”

The recipe used in production of the Captain Morgan variant will next year be adopted for local production in EABL’s regional markets as well as in Diageo’s subsidiaries in West Africa, Mr Otieno added.

The EABL has stepped up its innovation to help grow sales, occasioning the launch of brands such as Kenya Cane Coconut and Tusker Cider.

Other like Kenya Cane Citrus and a Dublin-based beer called Hop House are in the pipeline.

The NSE-listed brewer recorded a six per cent net profit growth to Sh8.5 billion in the year ended June, helped by cost-cutting and marginal sales growth.

Business Daily