By Shadrack Nyakoe
East African Breweries Plc (EABL) has today commissioned the construction of a microbrewery at Ruaraka, Nairobi, that will serve as an innovation center for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The facility next to the Tusker brewery is projected to cost KSh1 billion and will consist of a microbrewery, taste room, taproom, and a flagship store.
The construction was commissioned by Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Jane Karuku and is expected to be opened to the public by December, in time to celebrate the 100-year birthday of the business’s first beer “Tusker”. EABL was established in December 1922 and this investment is part of the company marking a year-long celebration of its centenary.
The microbrewery will serve as a brand home for the company’s flagship beer, Tusker, bringing to life the Tusker experience and imprinting the brand in the hearts and minds of present and next generations, fueling the next 100 years of growth for the business.
In addition, it will serve as an innovation center that will provide an indispensable platform to nurture upcoming talent in brewing and liquid development in Kenya, East Africa, and the entire Diageo.
Speaking during the event, Ms. Karuku said, “Through this facility, EABL seeks to shape the future of the alcoholic beverage sector in the region through the development and release of craft and novelty beers. We will target our beer lovers, curious millennials, and tourists who visit us; offering them exciting drink experiences that will demonstrate our mastery in beer brewing honed over the 100-year journey as they consume our products either on-site or through their preferred vendors.”
The microbrewery will provide an immersive experience into the century-old journey of delighting consumers and shaping the alcoholic beverage landscape as it shall encompass the EABL journey at every touchpoint of the venue, stimulating local interaction and international awareness of the brand. This will be brought to life with grand primary spaces where visitors will intimately interact with Kenya’s oldest alcohol producer.
The spaces include brewing facilities in which the end-to-end processing of products will take place; from production to packaging for in-bar consumption or shipping to partner outlets. There will be a taste room where visitors will learn about and sample the various brews that we offer in a guided session led by sensory experts.
Thirdly, there will be a taproom (consisting of a bar and restaurant). The taproom will lead the local entertainment scene by providing a unique, engaging customer experience with great food, drinks, and entertainment options. There shall be a world-class beer garden that provides a scenic view of the Ruaraka area.
Fourthly, there will be a flagship store that will be accessible to the public. It will function as a souvenir joint to allow our consumers to purchase our brands and branded merchandise. The merchandise will largely be designed in collaboration with local artists and entrepreneurs.
Said Ms. Karuku: “Our ambition is to have this facility join the league of top tourist attractions in Kenya; offering a world-class brewery visitor experience that has never been seen before in the East and Central African region.”
This reaffirms and demonstrates our consistent interest in investing in Kenya and the sustainability of our business. Here is a toast to our next 100-years-journey!