Friday, August 8, 2008

House Drunk on Alvaro.

Alvaro recently found it’s name in parliament with nominated MP Rachel Shebesh putting the Minister for Industrialization to task to confirm or deny that the drink contains no alcohol. To back her claims, she said that tests carried out on Alvaro in school laboratories proved that it contains traces of alcohol. Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo added that if exposed to sunshine for one hour, it turns alcoholic. Or rather it produces traces of ethanol.

Be that as it may, it is rather naïve for Ms. Shebesh to link Alvaro consumption to the recent spate of school unrest. Was she implying that the students were so high on fermented Alvaro when they were burning their dormitories? With drugs having found their way into schools and little bottles of hard liquor selling for a song, what time do the students have to expose Alvaro to the sun to get a miniscule percentage of alcohol?

Anyway, Government Chemist and Kenya Bureau Of Standards refuted those claims and confirmed that Alvaro is not alcoholic. So KBS says one thing and school laboratories say another. Who would we rather listen to? From a consumer’s point of view I don’t think Alvaro has the slightest iota of alcohol. However hard the DIY bug bites, very few people will take the trouble to ferment their own beer.

With EABL celebrating the manufacture of seven million bottles since Alvaro’s launch four short months ago, methinks the alcohol rumor is the work of corporate lynch mobs who are feeling the heat.

Related Post: Alvaro-Redbull-Malta Guinness


Kirima said...

I would have laughed at the debate in Parliament if it wasn't so sickeningly ridiculous, I wonder why our overpaid MP's cannot use the research facilities provided to them by the taxpayers properly. Aren't they supposed to have 2 staffers each to help them with research (I'm sure they are just used as political errand boys/girls!) Anyway that assertion is just bogus and using it to explain the spate of school strikes is just nonsensical the MP's should be aware that kids in school are taking much more potent stuff than the 'laced Alvaro'they are insinuating. I don't have much love for large mulitinationals like EABL especially when they trample competition but this smacks of a smear campaign.
As for Hon Kilonzo, basic biochemistry should inform him that fermentation takes place whenever sugar, water are mixed with yeast and placed in a the right environment and if memory serves me right you are supposed to place them in a dark airtight place not in the sun. Anyway any sugar containing juice will ferment if it doesn't have preservatives so why would anyone go to all the trouble of fermenting Alvaro when Sugarcane, Honey etc are so easily and cheaply available???
Washindwe hao wabunge they need something more serious to do.

31337 said...

when i heard the debate on the news i alsmost smashed my radio to bits, but seeing as that would have been counter productive i turned it off instead, the gall!

HLumiti said...

Watching the 'debate' was pretty awful and I even thought it barely reached the level of school competition. And then having gone about it with such gusto, some of them even flaunting their purported qualifications in chemistry, the honourables have promptly taken a break!

Sayra said...


Ur very right, its all abt corporate lynch mobs. In a previous article here i said the haterz will have a rough time playing their dirty tricks on eabl. When its a big company that they cant easily bring down they take the matter to the house. Its all about bad publicity ... something no business would wish to have.

Funny enough, there is a shortage of alvaros in the supermarkets. Am out of stock and i need several of them like now ... where do i get them?

BP ONE said...

HLumiti nice post….
Alvaro is said to be malt base nonalcoholic drink and it is generally known that malt base nonalcoholic beverage has never been without controversy in the other parts of the world .Just like our case here the controversy concerns the amount of alcohol that may be in the products and how good are the nonalcoholic beverages from aesthetic and social standpoints.
According to an article titled, “Bear nonalcoholic wine: how close to the real thing?” by Miller R. W. 1986. U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA Consumer. Dept . pp.12-13.

“The nonalcoholic drinks may not be entirely free from alcohol, as there is no known process that will extract all the alcohol from an alcoholic drink, these products have less than one-half percent(0.5) alcohol (by volume), compared with 4 percent for regular beer, 3 percent for light beer, and 12 percent for most wines…… ‘Nonalcoholic' has been the term used for over a half century to describe nonalcoholic malt beverages with less than 0.5 percent alcohol, Government and industry officials think it should continue to be, however Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) of the U.S. maintains that the addition of the language "contains less than .5 percent . . .' will aid those who are trying to avoid even such small amounts of alcohol.” see link;jsessionid=LpfKMyd0P0JqV5nVZbQQ0qnRLTNfZ2Rp8DNBJM252Kqx6920VsPr!-704330282?docId=5002126187

In the light of the above article I fear our school laboratories might be accurate and telling the truth which the Government Chemist and Kenya Bureau Of Standards decline to tell. Denial has become the order of the day for the current government……The sale of grand regency is a living example to that effect. In order to get precise and reliable results, May be we try other quarters like SGS or Intertec to do afresh testing of alvaro. In any case WE BETTER BE SAFE THAN SORRY.

Kirima said...

@BPone I hear your point of view which is also valid so they can send to other lab(although KEBS ought to be be carrying out internationally standardized tests) but blaming Alvaro for the recent spate of school anarchy and arson is what I find too far fetched even if it had 0.5% alcohol for which one needs to take a crate to feel a tingle. Fermentation is a natural process and many food stuffs contain moderate traces of alcohol including my grandmas fermented porridge and alcohol is used in certain medicinal preparations like cough syrups

Dark Angel said...

Why bis this debate being had in the parliament? maybe it's just me, but i would tend to think that fuel prices, food shortages, lack of teachers in the North Eastern province, the Mai-mahiu - Narok Road that has been undercontruction for years and yet it leads to the 8th wonder of the world.... you know.. but this is just me. what do i know?

Shiko-Msa said...

Exactly Dark Angel. Your sentiments are spot on. Don't you just wonder what happened to priority? Some things seem so obvious to the general public and yet so alien to the house. The clearing and transport crisis at KPA, Crisis at RVR - or a dead transport ministry in other words. These researchers should be coming up with brighter ideas!

For an excuse they say it's being debated for tax purposes because if it's alcoholic then it should be taxed higher. Let them say that but the school strikes link was just nonsense.

At the moment Alvaro is not flooding the shelves as it once was. Maybe there's too much surge in demand that production can't keep up? After all sales shot to 3 times the projected estimates. Sayra here we still have it but clearly not as much as there was before. It's not unlikely to carry empties to Nakumatt only to bounce.

Kirima this smear campaign might very well work in the opposite by drawing even more attention to Alvaro and making the sales sore even higher. Such is human nature.

Intelligensia I know that feeling of wanting to smash your radio or telly. What are these things that the guys in the house see that the rest of Kenya does not see? Someone is embarrassing herself!

BP according to the KBC website, questions have been previously raised on the use of one manufacturing line for the non alcoholic Alvaro drink and other alcoholic drinks. But I don’t think alcoholic residue from a manufacturing line is enough to seep into other drinks that follow. Besides, EABL I’m sure has measures to deal with such a problem is it arises.

Rafiki said...

Alvaro is non-alcoholic, but it is not natural either, although it is branding itself as "natural".

You may want to have a look at my post on the following page:

BP ONE said...

Kirima @ blaming Alvaro for the recent wave of school mayhem and arson is misplaced and that is pure politics. Ernest Benn, ( the author of Confessions of a Capitalist and the eldest son of the Liberal politician, John Benn and Lily Pickstone, born in London in 1875.) define politics as:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”

So I am just waiting for the wrong remedy our political leaders will come up solving the school chaos . what really bothers me is the ethics behind hiding the alcohol content of alvero while we very well know among the targeted consumers include religious communities who will avoid all drinks with any alcohol traces even less than 0.5% by volume.
Shiko.. What worries me is not the alcoholic residue from the manufacturing line that might contaminate alvero but how efficient EABL can remove alcohol content from the malt base of alvero