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Shock for Keg fans

A 50 per cent excise tax on popular Keg beer brand is pushing revellers to cheap illicit brews.

The price adjusted by the East African Breweries Ltd has led to a slump in sales as customers turn to  the likes of chang’aa.

Most consumers were shocked by a doubling of prices as the government imposed the tax starting October 1 in an attempt to shore up revenues.

Previously the brand had been exempt from taxation.

This has seen the company which produces the beer in 50-litre barrels push the refill price to Sh6,544 up from Sh3,146, a 108 per cent increase at the wholesale level.

This has been passed on to consumers who now have to part with Sh50 for a 300ml mug. Previously the price was Sh30 while half a litre now costs Sh80, up from Sh50.

“I used to sell as much as two barrels during the weekend, but now I can’t even manage one. You have to ask yourself; where did those consumers go? Of course they are now taking the illegal stuff,” said Joel Wairegi the proprietor of Tabs Pub in Kawangware.

Health effects

The beer  was introduced in 2004 as a response to the myriad health effects of illegal liquor especially on low-income earners.

The low pricing was meant to shift this group to a safer product.

“Generally prices have gone up. I’d rather drink chang’aa and buy some food. I simply can’t pay double,” said Frederick Ochieng’, a Kawangware resident.

The drink has been popular with the low income earners.