Snordog Brewery

2009 Labels


The Snordog Brewery, located in Nairobi, Kenya, brews a variety of pleasing ales providing an alternative to the ubiquitous Tusker Lager. We at Snordog like to incorporate current events and interesting personalities in the design of our labels. Enjoy the 2009 line-up.


Mike's Extreme Ale - This was a strong ale at 8.5% ABV. A sweet beer with plenty of hop and malt flavor. A whopping 17 lbs of malt and 6 oz of hops went in this 5 gallon batch. Mike is a Montana University Football fanatic and provided the label illustration - Go Grizz!


Hell's Gate Red Pepper Ale - The inspiration for this hot pepper beer came from a recent visit to the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, NV for their 15th Year Anniversary Celebration. While working my way through the unbelievable 32 different beers they had on the menu, I came across Cerveza Chilibeso. I was hooked and struck up a conversation with one of the brewers to get some hints at how to make something similar in Kenya. The result was Hell's Gate Red Pepper Beer. Hell's Gate is a National Park in Kenya known for its obsidian deposits and geothermal activity.


Steelers Nation ESB - We brewed this on Superbowl Sunday (the game actually came on at 0245 in Nairobi so we needed something to do while we waited. There are plenty of Steeler fans in Nairobi, so we decided to honor the team with this beer.


Willie Maize Pale Ale - This beer features Minister of Agriculture, the Honorable William Ruto on the label. Minister Ruto was in the news in late January 2009 for his suspected involvement in the "Maize Scandal" which resulted in a countrywide shortage and skyrocketing prices for maize meal which serves as the staple food throughout the country.


Renegotiating Power Sharing Ale - This German Alt style beer features President Mwai Kibaki (on the left) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Kenya's Grand Coalition government has had some problems making any real progress on the mandates set forth in negotiations with Kofi Annan in 2008. Apparently the two primary political parties ODM and PNU can't come to terms with how much power each should hold. A meeting was recently held in Geneva with Kofi to try and iron out the issues.


Evolution Porter - Charles Darwin is featured on the label of this beer celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his classic "On the Origin of Species"


Mungiki Mayhem - This dunkelweizen features the Mungiki, a Kenyan politico-religious group and a banned criminal organization. The ideology of the group is characterized by revolutionary rhetoric, Kikuyu traditions, and a disdain for Kenyan modernization, which is seen as immoral corruption. Mungiki is often referred to as Kenya's Costa Nostra, Yakuza, or Kenyan Mafia due to its organization. For more information on Mungiki see the Wikipedia article.


Dancing Dog Bitter - This label features Sanuk the Beer Dog in her younger days. We first brewed this beer back in 1999 and decided to give it another try.


Kenya Sevens Cream Ale - This label celebrates the Kenyan Sevens Rugby team and their outstanding season


Piper's Wee Heavy - This is a scotch ale and features Piper, our Portuguese Podengo, on the label. Now all the dogs have been featured on a label.


Bailout Pale Ale - This is a refreshing golden colored hoppy pale ale, dry hopped with Summit hops. The label comments on the US Government bailout of financial institutions.


Big Bird Pale Ale - This label is in remembrance of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych who passed away in April. He won Baseball Rookie of the Year in 1976 while winning 19 games for the Detroit Tigers.


Snordog Coffee Stout - This marks the 3rd time Snordog has brewed the coffee stout. It is made with 1 of cup cold extracted Kenyan coffee added after the boil. 


First Dog Amber Ale - With all the excitement over the First Family's new dog and the fact that dogs are often featured on our labels, we decided to give Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog, his own label.


Crackshot Brown Ale - This label commemorates the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips through the actions of US Navy Seals. SEAL snipers took out three armed Somali pirates to free Phillips. For more, see the NY Times article of 14 April The idea for the label came from the Pirates vs Ninjas craze of a few years ago.


Budgetary Blues Ale - this is another in a series of labels concerning government scandals which seem to rock Kenya's Grand Coalition Governments on a weekly basis. In this case a 9.2 billion Kenya shilling discrepancy was uncovered in the supplementary budget proposed by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta )pictured on the label) and approved by Parliament. The Nairobi Standard reported "Concerns are now being raised about the competence of Parliament in its oversight functions.The discrepancies have laid bare the structural weaknesses of Parliament and the casual treatment MPs give important business. It also exposes the incompetence of Parliamentary committees to handle technical matters like the budget estimates." Kenyatta claims the problem can be explained by a typographical error. Former Public Investment Committee chairman Justin Muturi said "attempts to explain the Sh9.2 billion "error" as a typographical one should be treated seriously. If it was an error then the House with its 222 MPs was duped and used as mere rubberstamps for figures they did not understand."


Migingo Island Fisherman's Ale - this label was inspired by the arguments between Uganda and Kenya over who owns Migingo Island in Lake Victoria. The rhetoric was escalated when Uganda's President claimed Kenya might own the island, but Uganda owned the water surrounding it. Taking a look at the tiny hunk of rock entirely covered with corrugated metal roofed huts, one has to wonder what all the fuss is about.


Saison Du Mont - This Belgian style farmhouse ale was brewed for AHA's Big Brew 2009 in honor of Dave Levonian

Lessons of Longonot Pale Ale - This label features four West Point Cadets that visited us in June. From left to right: Victor, Maryanne, Duncan and Kelly. The photo was taken from the rim of the crater on Mt Longonot. It was a spectacular view and a rugged climb.


Geneva Joyride IPA - This label shows Minister for Internal Security, George Saitoti, giving his 5 minute speech to address comments made by a UN rapporteur regarding extrajudicial killings in Kenya. Thirteen individuals took the trip, 5 flying in first class. The total cost of the trip for one person to deliver a 5 minute speech was 5 million Kenya shillings - yet another example of extravagant spending by the Grand Coalition Government.


Goliath - a massively big beer. This strong ale was named for the Goliath beetle - a massively big beetle.


King of Pop Pale Ale - This British syle pale ale was named in honor of the late Michael Jackson who passed away on 25 June 2009 at the age of 50.


Icon Hefeweizen - A German style hefeweisen commemorating American Icon Farrah Fawcett who also passed away on 25 June 2009.


Hillary's Cocoa Porter - this beer was brewed with cocoa powder and cacao nibs. It has a pleasant chocolate aftertase over a mild porter background. Named in honor of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Kenya for the AGOA Conference in August 09.


Full House Pale Ale was the second of Snordog Brewery's twin ales (see Htoo Brew from 2008). We divided the wort and fermented with different yeasts and dry hopping regimes. This year's honor goes to the Olsen Twins - Ashely and Mary Kate. Enjoy.


There has been much debate in Kenya over the failure of the government to bring those accused of wrong doing to justice. Everyday we read in the news of another scandal. Very rarely are those in high positions brought to justice. The failure of the government to establish a tribunal to investigate post-election violence in early 2008 has resulted in the names of those suspected of instigating widespread mayhem being turned over to the International Criminal Court for prosecution


This is the third batch of Hell's Gate this year - I'm hooked on this pale ale with a pleasing roast pepper flavor followed by a touch of heat. This beer will certainly become one of Snordog's house beers in the future.


Double Time is a Belgian style Dubbel ale that finished at 7.6 ABV. On the theme of doubles, we decided to honor Usain Bolt after he achieved the the unique status of being the fastest man in the world at both the 100 and 200 meter dash.


Justice Unserved - this pale ale documents the sacking of Aaron Ringera, Chief of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commision. Despite having almost unlimited opportunities to bring prosecute, he was forced out of the job after 7 years without convicting a single criminal of involvement in corrupt activities - a sad commentary on the Kenyan justice system.


Great Migration Blonde Ale - we visited the Masai Mara this year during the great wildebeast migration. The label photo features a wildebeast leaping over one of the many crocodiles that blocked safe passage ascoss the river.


Simba Brown Ale - an American style brown ale featuring a photo I took at the Masai Mara in September.


Jamacian In Limbo Pale Ale - this pale ale documents the bizarre tale of Shiekh Addullah al-Faisal's stay in Kenya. The radical Muslim cleric from Jamacia entered Kenya from Tanzania under questionalble circumstances. He was asked to leave Kenya, but no airline would accept him as a passenger due to his al Qaida leanings. While he was in limbo, protests from his supporters broke out in Nairobi resulting in several fatalites. He was eventually put on a private jet and sent on his way.

Reparation Pale Ale - this pale ale featuring Pacific Gem hops from New Zealand, was named to bring attention to the Mau Forest crisis in Kenya. The Mau Forest is the principal watershed in the country and has been slowly destroyed over many years through clear cutting the forest, first to establish tea plantations and later to create small farms and grazing land. Legal title to the developed portions of the forest is very much in question and is further complicated by issues with corruption. The Government wants desperately to replant the forest in hopes of restoring the watershed. Occupants want reparations for vacanting the land to which they hold questionable title.


Obscured By Clouds Porter - this porter, brewed in 2009 was named after the eclipse we witnessed in early January 2010.


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