Bottle row hurts bar owners

Bar owners have called for an end to the raging row between the country’s two top alcohol makers over the ownership rights of beer bottles. 

East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) and Keroche Breweries are currently embroiled in a legal tussle over the use of the 500ml euro beer bottle, with the former staking claim to it. Keroche, on the other hand, argues the bottles cannot be patented.

Charles Loidima, the representative of Narok County's bar owners, said the tussle had resulted in “disorder and mischief” in the market by tampering with the return and flow of the bottles.

“The engraving of universal bottles has resulted in problems that are unnecessary,” he said in a statement.

“Once collected from the market, we have encountered problems where our vehicles are stopped, searched and the engraved bottles seized by police officers claiming they belong to one brewer or the other.” 

He said the market creates a pool where all universal bottles are exchangeable for use, and that is what the two companies normally do.

Keroche has filed a countersuit accusing EABL of abusing its market power by sanctioning the arrest of those found selling the Naivasha-based brewer’s products packaged in EABL's beer bottles.

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Bar ownersEABLKeroche Breweries