Culture Food

Kenyan Minting Pounds After Introducing Traditional Brew in UK

Murateria wine in UK
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Africans in the diaspora have a reputation for their unrelenting entrepreneurial spirit, and such is a heartwarming story of a Kenyan man based in the UK. Kingo’ri Wamabaki introduced a local brew for Britons called Muratelia Wine.

Ideally, the wine is a UK version of a Kenyan traditional brew known as ‘muratina’, popular among Kenya’s Central region. The Gikuyu – the largest tribe in this East African country – revered this brew, which was only taken on special occasions.

‘Muratina’ remains a drink of choice for the elders in the Kikuyu community, especially during dowry negotiations. It is one of the many items a groom’s family is asked to gift to the elders running the dowry negotiations.

Now in the UK, how did it end up here? Here is an inspiring story.

How Muratelia Wine Ended Up In UK From Kenya

Kingo’ri Wamabaki hails from Central Province in Kenya, where muratina is popular. Growing up, it was fascinating how people enjoyed the drink. What he even loved more was the brewing process.

Being in the UK for 29 years, there are things he misses about his Kenyan culture. One of them is the joy of sharing in this drink with his Kenyan community now living in the United Kingdom.

Murateria wine in UK

Murateria wine in UK. Photo by Business Insider Africa

A profile on his LinkedIn page shows that Wamabaki holds a Master’s degree in Economics with a stellar employment record. He worked for reputable UK firms as a financial and data analyst.

However, he quit employment in 2019 to focus on growing his muratelia wine brand in the UK. So far, so good.

Murateria Wine in the UK

Kingo’ri Wamabaki brews his muratina in Chesnutt, UK, where he lives and packages it as required by British law. On his company’s website, he disclosed that the wine was inspired by the traditional brew back home.

‘Muratina’ fruit, in particular, is used in preparing this drink but gives it a fruity flavour and stylish packaging to woo his British clientele. Back in Kenya, it is served in cow horns as culture dictates.

“What makes Muratelia and other brands to come unique is traditional Kenyan recipes inspire them, and we incorporate market insights to develop premium beverages to delight your customers and offer cocktails to create memorable experiences at your venues,” he writes in his website.

Murateria Wine

Murateria Wine in the UK. Photo by Mwakilishi

In Chestnutt stores where it is sold, it would pass off for some exotic wine, but it is African-inspired. The muratina fruit, which is as big as a fully-grown yam or cassava, is soaked in an airtight bucket with water mixed with honey to sweeten it.

It is then stored at high temperatures to allow for fermentation. With murateria, the process is no different, only that some more flavours are added to it to meet his clients’ appeal abroad.

Relevant UK authorities certified murateria wine as a quality drink, meeting all safety standards. This brew saw Kingo’ri Wamabaki earn huge deals with the corporate sector in the UK.

UK natives love its smoothness and sparkling texture, topped by a fruity taste. A bottle of this wine retails for £10 ($11) and is only sold to persons above the age of 35.

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About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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