KENYA – The branded beer and spirits manufacturer, Kenya Breweries Ltd has approved the production of Senator Keg beer at its US$149.2 million Kisumu plant after a successful test of the production process.

Led by KBL Managing Director Mrs. Jane Karuku, the testing was done by top officials from the brewer, indicating a major milestone in one of the company’s biggest investment.

The assent which came in almost more than a year when the facility was commissioned for refurbishment will see initial production of Senator Keg for some years then other brands in the portfolio may follow.

Once fully complete, the plant will have the capacity to produce one million hectolitres of Senator Keg over a period of five years and there could be possibilities of rolling out other KBL portfolio brands like Tusker.

“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 Jane Karuku, KBL Managing Director.

According to KBL Supply Chain Director Patrick Kamugi, the brewer has invested in state of the art equipment as well as latest brewing technology to ensure overall quality assurance.

Investments included a new brewing equipment, installation of a new keg line and development of a robust value chain that will create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs through farming, distribution and retail.

Economic empowerment

The West for West strategy means that over 90% of the people working at the Kisumu Brewery are from the Western and Nyanza regions.

Earlier this month KBL committed to sourcing 100% of its raw materials at its new Kisumu pant locally by 2020.

It is working with farmers through an integration plan with long term goals to economically empower them, at the same time provide about 15,000 farmers with sorghum market to boost the region’s agriculture.

Other efforts to boost this sector include provision of threshing machines, grain drying sheets as a way of ensuring high yields and volumes.

The brewer is also teaching farmers to grow white sorghum and high yielding varieties adaptable to various regions.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support we have received from the national government and the local government in fast-tracking the construction of the plant. Other county governments in Western Kenya have also welcomed this investment with open hands, helping us contract the farmers.

We look forward to economic growth that this plant will bring to Kisumu County and the entire region,” added Mrs. Karuku.

The taste-testing session comes ahead of the expected commissioning of the plant that will see the release of Senator Keg into the market.