Millet beer

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Millet beer, also known as Bantu beer, malwa, kaffir beer, or opaque beer, is an alcoholic beverage made from malted millet.


This type of beer is common throughout Africa. Related African drinks include maize beer and sorghum beer. In the Balkans a form of millet beer named boza is produced.[1] In the U.S. Sprecher brewery a brand of beer that contains a mix of millet and sorghum known as Shakparo.[2] A form of millet beer is also produced by the Ainu.[3]

Production process[edit]

The millet kernels are soaked in warm water until they sprout.With the goal to increase the content of maltose in the grain.The millet is then dried out, to arrest the germination process.The malted grain is then pulverized and mixed with water.This mixture is commonly known as wort.The wort is later boiled in order to remove any potential bacterial threat.Once the boiling process is complete and the wort cools down yeast is added.The mixture is lastly allowed to ferment.[4]

Cultural References[edit]

Millet beer is directly referred to in Nadine Gordimer's short story: 'Happy Event'. The servant Thomasi complains to his missus (Ella) of another servant's poor behaviour, one of the accusations being: "'I think she makes the kaffir beer,' said Thomasi." the passage ends with Ella dismissing this accusation, "if the girl brewed kaffir beer in her room, Thomasi would be her first customer, not the informant seeking to get her into trouble."

See also[edit]


  • Haggblade, Steven, and Wilhelm H. Holzapfel. (2004). "Industrialization of Africa's Indigenous Beer Brewing", Industrialization of Indigenous Fermented Foods, 2nd ed. New York City: CRC Press.

External links[edit]