Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has kicked off production at its Ksh1.2 billion microbrewery, a new production facility next to its main plant in Ruaraka established to explore innovation and experimentation.
The company has rolled out its first commercial product brand from the site whose ground was broken in May last year. The first brand off the new production line, Manyatta, is a new 100% apple cider, produced alongside three flavoured variants: Mango & Ginger; Lemon & Ginger; and Pineapple & Mint. They will be available on the market soon.
The new microbrewery in Ruaraka is aimed at helping the business to extend its innovation capability and to meet consumers’ changing tastes and preferences. Its construction was part of events to mark the 100-year anniversary of East African Breweries Plc (EABL).
“While we reflect and honour the past, we are passionate about nurturing categories old and new, and about building authentically crafted, culturally relevant brands,” EABL Group Chief Executive and Managing Director, Ms Jane Karuku, said. “We move at pace with the latest trends, creating products, tastes and experiences for people to enjoy as part of celebrations big or small.”
She said EABL upholds sustainability through use of old worn Tusker glass in the finishing and ensuring that all the site waste will be recyclable. In addition, the factory can recover 30% of the water used in the process – which underpins its deliberate efforts to be sustainable by design.
KBL Managing Director Mark Ocitti said the Kenyan consumer is increasingly discerning, “meaning we must be flexible and providing them with the variety they need.” With this microbrewery, EABL hopes to combine data, insights and innovation with the creative flair these consumers expect, as the custodian of some of the most iconic brands.
“This will be a centre of innovation and experimentation and it will liberate master brewers’ craftmanship to deliver what the consumers need,” Mr Ocitti says.
The microbrewery features a taste room where visitors will learn about and sample the various brews on offer, with sensory experts at hand to take them through the processes.
There will also be a taproom, consisting of a bar and restaurant, where consumers can get unique, engaging experiences on new innovations. It also features a world-class beer garden with a scenic view of the Ruaraka area and the environment in which EABL’s founders established the original brewery a century ago.