Interview with Kevin Conroy Innovation Commander Bature Brewery

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do.

My name is Kevin Conroy. I’m the co founder of Bature Brewery, which we started in my bedroom back in 2017. Since then, we have actively grown this business into what is now  a 1000 litre brewery in Victoria Island, the first craft brewery in Nigeria.

Kevin Conroy
Innovation Commander Bature Brewery

My job is to come up with wicked recipes and push the boundaries of what we’re making, using as much local and seasonal fruits and flavours as possible. The other part of my job is to bulld the brand and grow the business into serving other bars and restaurants.

What sets craft beer apart from commercial brews?

We don’t compete with the mass-produced lagers, which are low on flavour and high in volume. We are more into craft and making smaller batches with a lot of flavouring fresh ingredients and, therefore, a smaller scale. We feel that our beers have a lot more flavour, love and more value to them, as well. We use as much local content as  possible. We use sorghum, mango, coconuts, zobo and whatever we can source locally.
The other thing that sets us apart is that we are truly independent. We are formed in Nigeria, and we are 100% Nigerian registered, and that’s what we take pride in.
We are probably the only brewery in Nigeria to have won an African Beer Cup. We won not only the Gold Award for our style, beating out big names, but we also won the best in Africa, 2021 in Cape Town. We also won the award for the best use of African ingredients. which is a testament to the quality of the raw material we use.

How do you source your ingredients?
It’s a mix between working with partners in Nigeria, and using the seasonal aspect of fruits and spices to add to the beer. We work with a company in Abeokuta which sources all our corn and then they malt it for us. For other ingredients we use, such as coffee, we use a source from Taraba that we really thought added the right flavour to our beers. We use other partners in the Nigerian value chain to source local ingredients. Season dictates what we use. During mango season, we use mangos. For Felabration in October we use zobo. Our coconut style we only do once a year.

What cultural impact do you think Bature will have on the Lagos social scene?

The first perspective is as a location; we want our beer to be synonymous with a great experience. That’s why we have our Tap Room with all of our beers fresh outside the brewery. We also have a stage with live music. It’s like our showroom. The brewery is the first step into the world of craft beer for many people. We should never forget the music that brings people together.
Beer is like a social glue; it doesn’t matter what football team you support or where you’re from, beer brings people together. If people can talk over good beer and talk about the beer because it’s so special, I think we’ve done something brilliant and that’s what we hope to achieve.
We want to be in bars across Lagos. We want to be in 150 bars over the next two years. That’s a very ambitious goal and something that a small company will find hard to do, but we don’t want to be drunk just at our site.
We want to be in places where people go, relax and have a good time. We want to be in places that represent our values of using local ingredients and being in tune with local music and culture. So, for will be the Lagos Larger, instead of an imported brand.
Maybe in a few years time, you could walk Into a bar in Lagos and the beer you’ll ask for will be the Lagos Larger, instead of an imported brand.

What’s your favourite thing about Bature?

Apart from unlimited free beer, for anyone who works with us, creativity, Being able to look around and see something fresh that has never been used in a beer before and having the chance to do that with the team Is one of the most exciting things. The this brewery into something that everyone in Lagos knows about most ambitious and challenging thing that occupies most of my mind is how to grow this brewery into something that everyone in Lagos knows about.

©Culled from lostinlagosMagazine.

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