The ultra modern Kshs 15 billion Kisumu Brewery plant, whose ground breaking was commissioned in July 12th last year, was yesterday given the greenlight by KBL for the production of Senator Keg beer after a successful test of the production process.
The first Senator Keg pint was test-tasted at the Kisumu Brewery by the Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) top brass led by Managing Director Mrs. Jane Karuku at 9:55 a.m., 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.
Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director Jane Karuku said the new plant will provide an expanded market opportunity mainly for sorghum farmers in Nyanza. The plant, she said, will be heavily reliant on sorghum among other raw materials sourced from locals.
“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,” added 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.
Construction of the Ksh15 billion brewery started a year ago at a ceremony presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta on July 12, 2017 in Kisumu.
“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,” said Mrs. Karuku.
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.