Tabitha Karanja (left) and her husband Joseph Karanja launching the Vienna Ice Strong Lager brand on April 27, 2021. Formulation of the product was informed by market research by Keroche which revealed dominance of imports in the strong beer segment.
Tabitha Karanja (left) and her husband Joseph Karanja launching the Vienna Ice Strong Lager brand on April 27, 2021. Formulation of the product was informed by market research by Keroche which revealed dominance of imports in the strong beer segment.

Keroche Breweries is banking on Vienna, a new beer brand, to drive growth in 2021. Launched on Tuesday, April 27, it will be Kenya’s strongest locally manufactured beer with 10% ABV (alcohol by volume).

Foreign beer brands with strong alcohol content levels, such as Denmark’s Faxe and Belgium’s Atlas, have in recent years captured a significant segment of the Kenyan market with their beers whose ABV ranges from 10% to 16%.

Vienna Ice Strong Lager, as Keroche’s new brand is known, is expected to drive sales at a time when the firm has seen beer production and sales plummet 25% on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions that have seen bars and restaurants closed.

Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja alluded to the dominance of imports in the strong beer segment, voicing confidence that Kenyans would support and enjoy the new lager brand.

She revealed that Keroche expects the new lager brand to generate as much as Ksh1 billion in tax revenue for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) annually.

Karanja further disclosed plans to launch a second beer brand with strong alcohol content within the next three months, promising more jobs and other opportunities.

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“The new product Vienna Ice Strong Lager will generate over Sh1 billion to KRA every year and this will rise with time as per our market projections.

“For years consumers have relied on imports in this market and the new brand which is unique will fill in this gap,” she noted.

Karanja disclosed that two years of research including market surveys had gone into formulating the new products.

“We have done extensive market research and we are sure that this product will be accepted in the market by our consumers,” stated Keroche Operations Manager Nicholas Kipchirchir.

Karanja reiterated Keroche’s ambitions to secure 10 per cent of the market in Kenya. The firm remains the second largest player in the alcohol manufacturing sector locally after Diageo-owned East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL).

She alluded to the company’s publicized tax battles while expressing hope of a positive outlook for the home-grown beer manufacturer.

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