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Mbege being poured
Mbege, a traditional chagga brew

Mbege is a kind of banana drink traditional to the Chagga ethnic group of Tanzania located in Kilimanjaro region. It is alcoholic drink made from fermented bananas. The process of making of mbege is labor-intensive and time-consuming as the majority of the process is done by hand without the aid of modern technology. The initial taste of mbege is said to be[by whom?] sweet and is followed by a slightly sour aftertaste.


The bananas are mashed and then cooked in a cooking pot over a fire for 6 hours. It is then covered and left outside to ferment for up to 7 days. The fermented mixture is strained through shredded grass and banana leaves and a thick porridge made from the flour of finger millet and water is added to the strained liquid. A small amount of quinine-bark flour is then added to the mixture in order to tone down some of the sweetness of the bananas. It is then left to sit out for another day before it is ready to be consumed.

In popular culture[edit]


  • Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (Season 4, Episode 1: Tanzania)
  • Kubo, R. and Kilasara, M. (2016): Brewing Technique of Mbege, a Banana Beer Produced in Northeastern Tanzania in: Beverages, 2, 21; doi:10.3390/beverages2030021 (http://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/2/3/21)