An African Oddity

So I have finally returned after spending three and half weeks in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia for work where I tried in vain to find a genuine craft brew available to drink. Sadly I failed. There were a couple of options, Mitchell’s in South Africa, and Zikomo in Zambia, but these proved elusive.  No one I spoke to had even heard of them, least of all where to find them. Admittedly I wasn’t long in South Africa, so perhaps I didn’t give Mitchell’s a chance, but touring around Zambia, Zikomo was not known by anyone. I was very disappointed.

But what was I drinking in this land of Macros? Well, SAB make sure Castle Lager is available EVERYWHERE….. They have it brewed in almost every country, either under license or they’ve bought every other brewery up and have it brewed there. The beer of choice in Zambia was Mosi. This was a brew made with sugar and maize, so in effect was a tasteless adjunct lager, but I guess in a hot country, anything ice-cold with alcohol in is welcomed by most. One beer of interest was Castle’s Milk Stout, although not a ‘great’ beer, it was a nice break from cheap lager. It had a good round, sweet, creamy maltiness, and was reasonably appealing.

In a land of chilled lager, there is one company is challenging Castle and is increasing its sales year on year. This is Windhoek (pronounced vindhook) and was set up by German brewers in Namibia in 1920 (Namibia Brewers Ltd). They made a classic German style Pils according to the German Beer Purity Laws, and still are today. It is a pleasant, crisp, well made lager that stands head and shoulders above the competition, and importantly , is widely available throughout the region.

So if you’re going to that part of the world (maybe for the World Cup) let me know if you find some nice craft brews – as I failed miserably

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