KENYA – Bandari ya Pombe, a UK registered company, famously know for their production and sale of a traditional Kenyan alcoholic beverage dubbed Muratina, under the brand name Muratelia, is seeking to introduce its new product dubbed Bw. Chazea in the Kenyan market.
The new drink, according to the business owner King’ori Wambaki, is a 5 times distilled version of the traditional Kenyan spirit known as Chang’aa, made from millet with a touch of passion fruit.
“Unlike the potent traditional beverage, it is made in a distillery where quality measures are certified and practiced and it is dosed with passion fruit for a zesty sensation,” highlighted King’ori.
The beverage with a 40% ABV comes in 700ml bottles, and the organization revealed that its making arrangements to have the product approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) for distribution and sale.
Once approved, the company plans to establish a winery and distillery in the East African market.
It is important to note that the traditional spirit drink had been banned for sale, manufacture, supply, consumption, and possession in Kenya in 1980 under the Chang’aa Prohibition Act.
The law passed in 1980 was a response to the illicitly brewed chang’aa, which in 1978 accounted for 36.5% of all alcohol consumption in the country and was responsible for numerous deaths and cases of blindness.
Later the drink was legalized in 2010 by the passage of the Kenya Supplement No. 70 Alcohol Bill aimed to regulate the chang’aa industry with hopes of lowering the prevalence of alcohol poisoning and increasing revenues.
According to the legal standards put in place, the brewers require to have approval from a multitude of governing agencies including the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), police, health, and zoning committee that consists of esteemed public officials and representatives from the NACADA and Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
To ensure quality of the new Bw. Chazea drink, the company is leveraging the latest technologies and aligning operations with stipulated standards.
Its flagship product, Muratelia comes in a black and gold champagne-like bottle.
The 12 percent alcohol content wine is marketed as a honey-spiced drink according to its tagline “Mvinyo bora wa Asali”.