Beer Labels From The Snordog Brewery - Nairobi, Kenya


With the recent addition of a new HP color laser printer, the Snordog Brewery has gone upscale. The cryptic abreviations on the bottle caps drawn with a sharpie have been replaced with color labels. This page contains labels from all the beers brewed during 2008.


Big Bug Brown Ale - Our first effort was named after the rhinoceros beetle on the label. We purchased some local compost and recovered 4 beetles in the process. A few photos later and the label was ready.


Test Brew #1. The Snordog Brewery switched over to all grain brewing with Test Brew #1 using ingredients inherited from Russ Kruska. Pombe ya kienyeji is Swahili for home brew. It is usually associated with local brews made by villagers, but you can't fault a guy on trying to improve on the image.


Test Brew #2 - This was our second effort using ingredients inherited from Russ Kruska


Htoo Brew - Luther. Htoo brew resulted from a third test batch experimenting with 2 varieties of yeast. The wort was split into two fermenters and each a different yeast was added to each. Looking for famous twins to grace the label, we selected the Htoo twins, Luther and Johnny. They achieved some degree of fame in the late 1990's leading an anti-government rebel group God's Army, a splinter group of the Karen National Union in Burma. They were said to have magical powers including invulnerability to bullets and mines. See the Wikapedia article on the Htoo brothers for more information.


Raila's Rye Ale. Raila Odinga was the opposition party (Orange Democratic Movement) candidate in Kenya's Presidential Election of December 2007. Many of his followers were convinced the election was stolen by the President's Party (PNU) which led to almost 2 months of terrifying post-election violence in Kenya


Power-Sharing Pale Ale. This beer was named in honor of the power-sharing agreement brokered by Kofi Annan that put an end to post-election violence in Kenya. It features the Kenyan Flag with a pensive Kofi in the upper left corner and the two political rivals, Raila Odinga and Mwai Kabaki in the lower right.


Authorized Departure Porter. During the Political unrest, our staff in Kisumu and Kericho were forced to return to Nairobi over the weekends. This was a good from a brewing perspective as additional help was available. On the down side, they consumed the beer as fast as we brewed it. This label honors our displaced staff.


Kiboko Bay IPA. Kiboko Bay in Kisumu is a popular bar and restaurant that we frequent. If you get there around 6:00 PM you can enjoy a local beer and watch the sun set over Lake Victoria.


Mt. Kenya Amber Ale. Mt Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya at 17,058 ft.(5199 Meters). Mount Kenya lies in the Kenyan highlands, 150 km (95 miles) north-northeast of Nairobi.


Black Spot Extra Special Bitter. I noticed this sign on the Findlay Tea Plantation in Kericho. Apparently it is used to mark a dangerous section of the road. There are 4 signs on the main road, two with smiling skeketon faces and two with scarry faces - I'm not sure what the significance is.


Warthog Pale Ale. We went on our first safari a few weeks before bottling this beer.


White Rhino Pale Ale - another in the Safari Series


We bottled Chiswick Ale in honor of the Beer Hunter. We brewed this beer for 2008 Big Brew.


Amnesty Ale was created to publicize the struggle in Kenya over determining whether those involved in post-election violence should be granted amnesty or be subject to the rule of law.


I made a wheat beer and was looking for a name and found Wazimu whch means hallucintion in Swahili. At 6% abv, drinking a few might justify the name.


Calls for Mass Action are common in Kenya politics with hot-button issues. Mass Action Ale is brewed in honor of the spirit of local participation in the political process.


We decided to experiment with adding honey to batch. Ann picked up 500 grams of honey from the Samburu region of Kenya and the label shows a Samburu woman.


Big news this week in the Kenyan media was the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel in downtown Nairobi. Questions about an apparently secret deal to a group of Libyan investors for significantly less than the appraised value have got people claiming scandal. The label features clockwise the hotel, the Minister of Finance, Mr Kamesh Pattni who gave up the hotel to the government for immunity in a previous scandal, and the director of the Kenyan Central Bank.


Snordog Coffee Stout - I added a cup of medium grind Kenyan coffee after the boil. This proved to be a very popular beer.


Kaylee's Kolsch - This beer was an attempt at making something very light - both in color and flavor. It features our new golden retriever puppy "Kaylee" on the label. Kaylee was named after the female engineer in the series Firefly.


Grand Coalition Imperial IPA - This was a high gravity beer, starting at 1.090. It features the President, Mwai Kibaki, and the Prime Minister, Raila Odinga - cornerstones of the Grand Coalition Government.


Kibera Special Ale - This beer was an experiment using sorghum malt, flaked maise, wheat malt, and cane molasses. It turned out preety good and has a kcik to it. Kibera is the second largest slum in Africa with well over 1 million residents. For more information on Kibera, follow the links to Wikipedia and Moja Moja


School Blaze Ale - This label was inspired by a series of dormatory fires set by high school students across Kenya. Students were apparently upset with school leadership, and the requirement to take exams. For more background see CNN, AFROL News , and The Independent


Hockey Mom Ale - This beer was named for the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin after her speech at the Republican National Convention where she asked what was the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom - answer: lipstick


Rustler's Reward - This label was inspired by the continuing battle between herders and rustlers in northern and eastern Kenya. The depicts a Samburu Tribe warning to potential rustlers. For more background on the problem see The Independent and The NY Times


Bob Mugabe's Hyperinflation Ale - This label was inspired by the incredible 11 million % inflation rate in Zimbabwe this summer. In July a loaf of bread cost more than 100 billion dollars. The British Pound was equal to 1.2 trillion Zimbabwean dollars. President Robert Mugabe remains in power despite losing an election in August. For more background see Wikipedia


Undead IPA - I am a big fan of zombie movies and novels, and decided to devote a label to the undead.


Jolly Somali Amber Ale - This label was inspired by piracy on the high seas off the coast of Somalia. A record number of ships were captured and held for ransom by Somali pirates in 2008.


Matatu Madness Brown Ale - This label was inspired by the Matatu industry in Kenya. Matatus are mini-buses that serve as one of the primary means of local transportation within and between cities in Kenya. Matatu drivers are notoriously reckless and rarely follow any of the commonly practiced driving norms. They are probably responsible for more than 70% of traffic accidents and are involved in the majority of fatal accidents.


Snordog House Ale - This label is a take-off on the country-wide Zain telephone network effort to paint as many buildings as possible in their corporate colors. Throughout rural Kenya, many businesses accepted a free paint job in pink and yellow in exchange for serving as giant billboards for Zain. The photo is from a hardware store outside Kisumu. The business logo was replaced with the Snordog Brewery. The Zain logo can be seen between the doors.


Tuck's Belgian Dubbel Ale - This Belgian style ale finished at 8.3% abv and was named after Tucker, our Norwich Terrier.


Rod's Pay to Play Pale Ale - This beer honors Illinois Governor Rod Blagjevich and his attempt to sell the Senate Seat of President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.


College Daze Pale Ale - This label was inspired by the young Barack Obama in this photo by Lisa Jack taken in 1980 when he was a freshman in college.


Waiting For Waki Pale Ale - The label commemorates the release of the Waki Commision Report. The Waki Commision was established after the political violence that followed the Presidential elections in Kenya last year to determine the causes and identify those responsible for the chaos. When the report was presented to President Kibaki, a sealed envelope containing the names of those recommended for prosecution was given to Kofi Annan with instructions to turn it over to the International Criminal Court on March 1 2009 if the Kenyan Government did not institute a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for over 1000 deaths and the internal displacement of over 350,000.



Check back soon for more labels new labels.



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