Kevin Nthiga: JKUAT Graduate Making Whiskey, Juice From Miraa

Kevin Nthiga is a trained professional brewer from Meru County who has been making various products from miraa.

However, he only makes the products for exhibitions as he is not permitted to sell them due to lack of a KEBS standardization mark.

Here is Nthiga’s story as told by WoK.

Nthiga has been making various products from miraa since 2015.

The products include juice, energy drink, gin, whisky, beer and jelly beans. 

However, Nthiga only makes the products for exhibitions since he is not allowed to sell them for human consumption.

He noted that selling the products is illegal as the law prohibits him from getting a Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) standardisation mark.

“I started this work back in 2015. However, the law prohibits any value addition of miraa,” Nthiga noted.

Nthiga works with different miraa farmers to get the required batch of raw materials as per his recipe formulation.

“The person then sends the package through courier services. I can only work on a few kilos of miraa at a time whenever a show or exhibition comes up

“Currently, I can comfortably make 100 litres of juice per batch with the few equipment I have got. However, this can be scaled up to take care of a bigger market,” Nthiga added.

Nthiga noted that the problem of second-generation alcohol would be reduced if miraa farmers are allowed to practice value addition.

“I am not selling any products currently, and any production I make is either for showcasing or display purposes. The products have attracted a large audience,” he said.

Nthiga holds Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in food science and technology.