Beer in Africa
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Beer in Africa, especially lager, is produced commercially in most African countries, and varieties of beer are also made by indigenous tribes. Beer is served in a range of locales, from neighbourhood shebeens to upscale bars. Many countries have standardized beer bottle sizes, which are cleaned and re-used, and so when buying beer at a store often people must pay a deposit on the bottle as well as the price of the beer. South Africa consumes the most beer of any African country, with an average of 60 litres of beer consumed per person annually.
- 1 Indigenous beers
- 2 Southern Africa
- 3 Eastern Africa
- 4 Western Africa
- 5 Central Africa
- 6 Northern Africa
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The brewing of traditional beer is a common practice among Africans in rural areas. Varieties and types of beer depend on local customs and resources. Among various beers brewed locally are honey beers and ginger beers. A typical alternative to glass-bottle beers is local beer sold in tetra-pak style paper cartons. United National Breweries amongst others, produces Johannesburg beer, and the popular, if stigmatized, Chibuku beer is popular throughout Southern African countries partly owned and managed by subsidiary companies of SABMiller PLC operating in Botswana,Zambia,Malawi and Zimbabwe. In South Africa and Botswana, sorghum malt is used as an important ingredient whereas elsewhere less to no sorghum is used (mainly maize) and the beer is more commonly known as opaque beer
Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of SAB Miller, produces St Louis. The traditional St Louis Special Light has a 3.5% v/v alcohol content. Due to the popularity of the St Louis brand, KBL has recently introduced an alcohol free St Louis 24 at 0% v/v and St Louis Premium Export lager 4.5% v/v. St Louis Lager and St Louis Export have been awarded a Silver Quality Award at the coveted World Quality Selections (2012), organized by Monde Selection.
Chibuku Shake Shake, so called by the need to shake the carton before drinking it, is a commercial Umqombothi brewed by Chibuku, and remains a popular beer in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. Chibuku Shake Shake is made from a mix of sorghum and maize. In Zimbabwe it is known as "scud". It is sold in paper cartons or brown plastic containers with a wide blue lid. It is thought to be a drink for lower-class people. This thick brown millet beer costs less than a dollar and it is shaken vigorously before drinking it because of its thick layer of sediment collected on the bottom of the carton. It has a powerful yeast flavor that is offset by a lemony tang, surprising given the color. When the liquid has been consumed and you reach the bottom of the carton, standard practice is to slurp up the pile of sludge that remains.
Three Horses beer is the national beer in Madagascar. It is brewed by Brasserie Star. It is colloquially called "THB" (In French te-ash-be).
Malawi has its own Carlsberg brewery. Officially opened on 14 December 1968, Carlsberg Malawi Brewery Limited (CMBL) was the first Carlsberg brewery outside Denmark. This brews beers such as "Green" - standard lager, a stout, Elephant - a strong lager and Kuche Kuche Malawi's own beer (Mowa Wathu Wathu).
Phoenix Beverages (formerly Mauritius Breweries) produce a local lager called Phoenix Beer, two strong lagers; ``Phoenix Special Brew (6.5%) and Blue Marlin (6.0%); and a pale lager called ``Stella Pils. They are also licensed to brew Guinness (of the Foreign Extra Stout variety) and Warsteiner since 2003 (as of 2015, Warsteiner is no longer produced). They also brew beer destined for Madagascar (Three Horses) under licence. Recently, Universal Breweries Ltd has begun operating. They produce a local lager style beer called Black Eagle and a strong lager called ``Black Eagle Xtra (7.0%).
Mozambique produces two of the most awarded beers in Africa: Laurentina Clara, a pale lager, and Laurentina Preta, a dark lager. Manica is a pale lager, and 2M (pronounced dosh-em), produced by the same brewery (CdM), is also popular. Laurentina is now exported to South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Windhoek Lager, named for the country's capital, is the largest brewer in Namibia. Other brands include Special, Export and Maibock. The country, a former German colony, has a long history of brewing and makes pale lagers.
Of South African beers, Castle Lager is the most famous, although South Africa produces a variety of brands which are exported. South African Breweries became the world's second-largest beer producer after merging with Miller Breweries of the US.
Zambezi is Zimbabwe's national beer, brewed by Delta Corporation on Manchester Road, Harare. It is made from malt, maize, hops and water, and is 4.7% abv. Other major beers include Bohlingers, Eagle and South African Breweries' Carling Black Label, Lion Lager and Castle Lager.
Ethiopia has several beer brands, the most popular being St. George Beer (named after the patron saint of Ethiopia) which has been brewed since 1925. Other popular brands include Meta, Harar, Bedele and Dashen.
Golden Star, brewed by the Golden Star Brewery, is the unique beer in Eritrea after the closing of Asmara Brewery (ex Menotti) which has been brewing beer since the colonial era.
Tusker, brewed by the Kenya Breweries Limited, is the most popular beer in Kenya. Popularly known as "Keroro" beer, Tusker is a source of Kenyan pride highlighted in the late 1990s, where East African Breweries played the patriotic card to win a marketing war against Castle Breweries, a subsidiary of international brewing giant SABMiller. In the nasty media campaign that followed Castle, which had constructed a multimillion-dollar brewery in the industrial town of Thika, was depicted as foreign and uncommitted to Kenya. The prolonged marketing wars came to an end in 2002, when the two brewers reached a settlement in which they carved out the beer market in East Africa among themselves. Castle agreed to exit Kenya, and EABL decided to leave the Tanzanian market to the SABMiller subsidiary.
Beer (known as pombe in Swahili) is an integral part of Tanzanian society and local brands hold a strong sense of national pride and economic value. Tanzania is the 6th largest per capita consumer of beer in Africa. Over 90% of the beer consumption is done by homemade style brews however the most recognizable bottled brands include: 
- Kilimanjaro Premium Lager (4.5%)
- Serengeti Premium Lager (5.5%)
- Ndovu Premium Malt (4.8%)
- Uhuru Peak Lager (5.8%)
- safari lager
A southern Uganda beer is the Nile Special, produced in and distributed from Jinja, the source of the Nile at Lake Victoria. Others are Club, Bell Lager, Eagle the local beer made using sorghum, as well as Guinness and Tusker.
La Béninoise is the national beer of Benin. Peace Corps volunteers tend to favor it due to its relatively low cost, but many volunteers prefer Castel or the Togolese beer, Awooyo. Locally brewed millet beer, known as tchouk, is popular in the northern regions. When beer fails there is Sodabe, boxed wine, and plastic sachets of whiskey.
In Cape Verde the main brand is the Strela beer.
Ghana's most famous brands are Star beer and Club Premium Lager.
Guiluxe, a favorite of expatriate Peace Corps Volunteers, is the only known locally brewed beer in Guinea.
Club beer is domestically brewed by Monrovia Breweries.
Niger has Biere Niger and Flag in small bottles, Grand Flag in large bottles.
Nigeria produces a version of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout that uses sorghum. A ban on imports of barley malt imposed in 1990 forced brewers to find ways to produce beer with locally available sorghum and maize. The Nigerian version is distinct from other Guinness FES's found around the world.
International Breweries Plc in Ilesa brew Trophy Lager, Trophy Black and BETAMALT.
Star Beer is the most widely distributed domestically brewed beer by Sierra Leone Brewery Limited.
Eku Bavaria and Awooyo are two brands in Togo. Flag and Castel are also widely available.
The most popular beers are Castel and 33 Export, and in larger cities Beaufort, Beaufort Lite, Mützig Lager, Guinness, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and Guinness Smooth can be found. Local brews include palm wine in the southern part of the country and millet beer called 'bil-bil' in the north.
Ngok is a popular beer only available in Congo, which makes it a popular choice to sneak across the border to DRC. Its logo is a crocodile.
Most beers in Congo (DRC) are brewed by Heineken with the most popular being Primus.
Régab is the most widely distributed domestically brewed beer in the country.
The leading local brand is called Stella (not to be confused with the Belgian Stella Artois). Available in original, export, and premium varieties. Other brands on the market include Meister, Luxor and Sakara, and the non-alcoholic "Birell" and "Kaliber".
A number of breweries or microbreweries operate in Tunisia. The largest is Celtia located in Tunis. See the corresponding French Wikipedia article for details.
- "SABMiller About us". Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Botswana’s St Louis Brands Scoop An International Award, ibotswana.co.bw, wednesdey, 16 May 2012
- Kiishweko, Orton (13 August 2012). "Dar Is Africa's 6th Biggest Beer Market". Retrieved 7 January 2016 – via AllAfrica.
- "United Republic of Tanzania - Beer" (PDF). World Health Organization. 2003. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- Adekunle, Julius (2007). Culture and Customs of Rwanda. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-33177-4.