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Name: TAYLOR, William 'Bill'

Death Date: 6 Jan 1968 Nairobi

First Date: 1924

Last Date: 1968

Profession: Brewer - spent a short term with Style and Winch's brewery and later Burtonwood in England. He was engaged by Kenya Breweries to brew the beer, keep the accounts and help sell the product.

Area: Ruaraka, Red 31 - W. Taylor, Box 161, Nairobi

Book Reference: Brewery, Manual, Red 31, Macmillan

General Information:

Brewery - description of yeast as described from memory by Mrs Taylor when her husband took over as brewer. "The culture came from England by sea, a journey then taking six weeks. Late on one of those first nights I went into the brewery where Bill sat, exhausted, waiting for the yeast to rise. 'If it doesn't activate,' he said 'all is lost and we'll have to go home'. Then his head drooped and he was asleep. I continued to watch for the cauliflower head and after a while I saw the small white bubbles and wakened Bill. 'Hurrah', he shouted. 'We are saved'. .......….
Bill Taylor, who borrowed the money from the company for the purchase of a touring car, painted the vehicle yellow and black in Tusker colours and delivered the orders. Often all the staff stopped work while they pushed the car through mud up to the top of the hill. In the evenings Bill Taylor took his gun and went out to the nearby countryside to shoot kongoni and other buck to augment the staff rations of maizemeal and beans. Mrs Taylor worked in her house and garden and sometimes helped in the brewery. .........
Perfected a particular pasteurisation process for the beer, so that it would keep, in 1925. .......….
During 1930 Bill Taylor again proved his value as a good servant of the company. At a very low cost for plant alterations he was able to brew lager beer. Within a few months the brewery had changed its brewing facilities from the use of malt extract to malted barley and could now produce what was to be in the future the most popular type of beer consumed in EA. The first sampling of lager was good. It was time for more publicity and Mr Binks offered at a shilling a foot to make a cinematograph film of the brewery for exhibition at the various cinemas throughout EA. ............
In May 1932, Mr Taylor announced a new product. Coupled with the production of the new brew Mr Taylor was informed that he had been successful in a recent examination which admitted him as a Diploma Member of the Institute of Brewing. This, according to the directors, warranted a celebration. A dinner was planned to be held at the Stanley and when Mr Hurst remembered that the occasion was also the 10th anniversary of the company all male shareholders and members of the staff were invited. ........…..
1936 - and they had Bill Taylor as brewer. This man was full of resourcefulness, not only as a brewer; he was also an engineer, bookkeeper, salesman and a businessman of no mean repute. When it was estimated that a lager plant would cost £10,000 Bill Taylor had gone to work and adapted existing plant at a cost of £300 ....... During 1937 that old and steadfast employee Mr Bill Taylor left the company. He had risen from brewer to General Manager. It was now his intention to start his own brewery. ........…..
Although Bill Taylor had left the employ of EA Breweries in 1937 it is not to be thought that he rested on his laurels; brewing was in his blood and he knew the whole process from malting to sales. Soon enough he was an active competitor to his old company, and continued to be so throughout the war and into the peace ...... After the war the British brewing company Ind Coope and Allsopps began negotiations to purchase Taylors Brewery.
Macmillan - 1930 - …. Its capable and experienced brewer, Mr H. Taylor [sic], formerly with the Burton-Wood Brewery Co. Ltd. Of Liverpool, Manchester etc.
Obituary - East Africa lost one of its most colourful characters, and a pioneer of its brewing industry, with the death on January 6, 1968, of Mr Bill Taylor. Bill came to Kenya in 1924 as Technical Brewer for Kenya Breweries and was probably the first holder in East Africa of the Diploma Certificate of the Institute of Brewing, less than 40 brewers holding the diploma at that time.  He was largely responsible, in 1934, for the designing and building of a brewery in Dar es Salaam - now the ultra-modern Tanzania Breweries Limited. Bill was one of the original directors and ran the new brewery as general manager. In 1938, Bill launched out on his own account, promoted a new company - Taylor and Company - and built a brewery at Ruaraka, site of the present Allsopp Brewery. He filled every role in this company - managing director, secretary, head brewer, accountant and engineer. He produced the first lager beer in Kenya and introduced pasteurisation of beer to the country. The war brought a boom to the fortunes of Taylor and Company and thousands of thirsty British soldiers will remember Bill with gratitude. He produced at this time "Taylor's Brown", "Safari Stout" and bottled "Sunshine 42" his slogan for the latter being "Gallons of Joy". As his many friends and recipients of his greeting cards will know, this was Bill's slogan for the remainder of his life.
In 1948, Ind Coope Limited acquired an interest in Taylor and Company and three years later the name of the company was changed to Allsopp (East Africa) Limited, Bill then assuming the role of technical director. He finally resigned from that company in 1962, after 38 years service in the brewing industry. Despite his severe physical handicap - Bill lost both legs about ten years ago - his cheerful, ebullient personality was unchanged. He still remained fairly active and transferred his passion for perfection from brewing to photography, in which field he became accomplished in the three-dimensional technique. His friends will long remember Bill Taylor and his "Gallons of Joy" - supplied by Ian W. Joiner
Gazette 19 Jan 1968 probate
Barnes Langata Cemetery, Nairobi treasured memories / of / William Taylor / died 6th January 1968 / loved by all

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