In 1922, Kenya Breweries (now East African Breweries) was formally incorporated as a private limited company. The company’s first beer was brewed on 15 December 1922. The first batch was delivered to the Stanley Hotel, where it was met with mixed reactions. The beer, originally from Kenya, shifted through to Tanzania and other countries in the African Great Lakes region, and soon began to be exported.
The company’s first annual general meeting was held in 1923. George Hurst, the company’s founder, was killed in an elephant hunting accident and in his memory, his brother Charles decided to name the first beer brewed “Tusker”.
In 1929, the company’s board moved to use malted barley in the beer’s production instead of using imported malt extracts, significantly improving its taste and colour and saving the company at least £780 (approx. US$1,240 or €985) per year. In 2012, that is approximately £35,400 (approx. US$56,220 or €44,690), assuming an annual inflation rate of 2% from 2011 onwards.
Wooden beer cases were replaced with plastic cans in 1970. In 1987, Central Glass Industries also began producing Tusker bottles for the first time.