Chibuku Shake Shake

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Chibuku Shake shake
TypeOpaque Beer
Country of originZambia
Alcohol by volume3.3% to 4.5%
ColourTan-pink to white
IngredientsSorghum, Maize
VariantsChibuku Super

Chibuku is a commercial sorghum beer based on the traditional Umqombothi home made African beers, the main grains used are malted sorghum and maize but may also contain millet. It was first brewed during the 1950s in Kitwe, Zambia by Max Heinrich, who trained in brewing in Berlin.[1]

The brand name[edit]

The name Chibuku comes from Max Heinrich's habit of recording all consumers' comments and process changes in a book, and Chibuku is an adaptation of the local word for "book" - "Chi" is the pre-fix meaning "language of", "buk" = "book", and the terminal "u" is because most African nouns tend to end in a euphonic vowel. [2] The shake-shake comes from the ritual of first shaking up the beer before taking the first sip. The beer contains starch, the germ and yeast (all normally removed in lagers and ales) and since the solids settle to the bottom of the carton, it needs to be shaken before sipping.

Alcohol content[edit]

The alcohol content in a fresh Chibuku is fairly low starting at about 0.5% ABV on day one, but as fermentation continues in the carton, the longer it is kept before drinking, the stronger it gets. It may achieve 4% ABV before the shelf-life expires after between 4 and 6 days after packaging.[3]

The brand[edit]

Chibuku is a pan-African brand of opaque sorghum beer made by various brewers across Africa.[4] [5] Part of the reason for the success of the brand is the commercial brewing process with systems to ensure a consistent product quality product that is safe for consumers.

Chibuku is often the choice of less affluent consumers who can't afford bottled beer, and this may still be the case for many of the consumers in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.[6] However there are also consumers in the emerging middle class who enjoy the beer as a preference, because of the taste and for the health connotations.[7]


Chibuku is now brewed across Africa by various brewers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Beer Fontier". Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Chibuku". Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  3. ^ "SABMiller takes Chibuku across Africa". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Chibuku Brand page". Delta Corporation. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  5. ^ "UNB Our Beer Brands". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Chibuku Shale Shake". Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  7. ^ Murray, Slater. "Chibuku: Africa's original beer". Beerhouse. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  8. ^ "ABL's 'Chibuku' plant to create 20,000 jobs". Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  9. ^ "DarBrew has packaged un-malted local beer Chibuku Super. The Tanzania Breweries Ltd is expanding its market for traditional liquors.| glObserver Global Economics". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  10. ^ "Chibuku". Retrieved 7 April 2016.