Posts Tagged ‘africa’

Star Lager (Nigeria)

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.0

A very rare African beer for me now, I can’t remember the last beer I had from the continent but I know it’s been some time. This one will be only my third Nigerian beer and follows on from the bottles of Guinness Foreign Extra and Gulder Lager from the country that I tried back in 2013 and like Gulder this one is also brewed by Nigerian Breweries. I stumbled across this one in a local Home Bargains store in Glasgow recently and was intrigued by the fact that it was the first new African beer I’ve seen available in a while so I quickly decided to grab a bottle despite not holding out much hope of it being a great beer. Currently one of Nigeria’s best-selling lagers and having been first brewed in 1949, the beer isn’t one that I’m expecting much from but it’s always nice to try a new random beer wherever you get the chance; hopefully it’s an improvement on the bottle of Gulder Lager I had previously as well.

Appearance (2/5): This one is a very light amber colour that is clear and looks almost watered down. The beer is topped with a centimetre tall, bubbly white head that holds on better than IO’d expected but it’s still not a great looking beer given how light it is; there is a few bubbles rising to the surface as well but it definitely looks basic.
Aroma (4/10): Initially quite a sweet beer on the nose, this one opens with some grassy hops and corn but is generally quite light. There is a few lager malts coming through and touches of hay around the middle but as expected it is quite a basic smelling beer that has a light bitterness near the end to see things out.
Taste (4/10): Mirroring the nose quite well, the beer is a sweet one in the early going again and starts with a nice combination of corn and lager malts but is naturally quite basic like the rest of the beer too. There is some vegetable adjuncts and a faint taste of skunk around the middle but for the most part has a light bitterness running through it thanks to the subtle hop presence.
Palate (2/5): Light-medium bodied and fairly smooth throughout, the beer was semi-sweet but came through with soft, almost weak carbonation which meant it wasn’t as fresh or crisp as I’d have liked for the style. There was a subtle bitterness nearer the end and while is was both sessionable and drinkable, it was far from a good beer and it became a little bit of a struggle nearer the end.

Overall (8/20): This one was a very basic tasting beer that had a little skunk running through it but for the most part was quite a light beer with a combination of lager malts and corn making up most of the taste along with some vegetable adjuncts. It was lightly carbonated which was disappointing and it wasn’t as refreshing or crisp as a result and as such I doubt it will be one I have again unless I find myself in Nigeria at some point.

Brewed In: Lagos, Nigeria
Brewery: Nigerian Breweries
First Brewed: 1949
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Bottle (600ml)
Purchased: Home Bargains (Glasgow)
Price: £1.49



August 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.05

Another first here with Celtia, this one will be my first ever Tunisian beer and presumably my last for the foreseeable future as I doubt many make it out of the country. This one was brought back for me by my parents after a recent trip and although it’s not one I’m excited about trying I am glad to be getting another country checked off, this being the 58th country I’ve tried a beer from on this blog. As expected the beer is a pale lager and the bottle is a strange looking one with white Arabic print on the back of the glass and no actual label to speak of. Although the reviews on the internet range for average to good for this one it still isn’t a beer I’m expecting a lot from, especially considering how bad some of the African beers I have already tried here have fared in the past. The beer does however dominate the Tunisian market and the brewery that makes it, the rather long winded Société Frigorifique et Brasserie De Tunis, has a 95% market share in the north African country so it must be doing something right.

Appearance (3/5): A light and very clear looking straw with a finger-sized, foamy white head on top that holds a lot better than expected rather than just disappearing instantly.
Aroma (3/10): Quite strong on the nose from the second the bottle was opened. There is a strong, skunky aroma and some corn with a lot of basic adjuncts and some cheap lager malts.  I detected some sweeter notes and a few skunky hops as well.
Taste (4/10): Very sweet with more than its share of skunk, there is some corn and various adjuncts plus a few cheap lager hops and some light bitterness. This is a cheap pale lager and it is very light on taste.
Palate (2/5): Light bodied, very thin and with some strong carbonation and a very sweet mouthfeel and is skunky and slightly bitter.

Overall (7/20): Much like what I was expecting really, a cheap tasting and very light bodied lager that is similar in style to a lot of the Moroccan beers I have tried in the past. It’s not as bad as I had feared going in but it’s not exactly a great beer, nor one that I’d be in a hurry to try again, still you could do a lot worse when it comes to picking a cheap African lager to pass the time.

Brewed In: Tunis, Tunisia
Brewery: Société Frigorifique et Brasserie De Tunis
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Tunisia
Price: Gift

Gulder Lager (Nigeria)

April 24, 2013 1 comment

Rating: 2.7

Another beer I tried back at my hotel whilst in London earlier this month, this one is also another from Nigeria following on from the Guinness Foreign Extra I reviewed a few days ago. There is also a Ghanaian version of this beer but thanks to Nigerian law, all beer brewed in the country must be made with a portion of sorghum.  Due to grants for growing this sorghum, breweries are able to buy it cheaply and in turn lower the malt content of their beers and produce the beer at a lower cost. This is apparently the sole difference between the Ghanaian and Nigerian versions of this beer although I don’t suspect I’ll be able to confirm this by trying the Ghanaian version any time soon.
Gulder Lager (Nigeria)

Appearance (3/5): Clear golden in colour with a few bubbles rising to the surface and a very thin, bubbly white lacing for a head on top.
Aroma (5/10): Lager malts and a touch of sweetness along with some corn, bread and a lot of adjuncts filling in the rest. There are a few faint, grassy hops and a touch of skunk as well.
Taste (5/10): Mainly a combination of cheap lager malts and corn with some faint hops and a slight touch of citrus. There is a bland taste overall and a slightly skunky finish.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied and fairly smooth with a slight citrus tang and strong carbonation. The beer is a little thin but not totally watered down.

Overall (10/20): A pretty standard to poor pale lager with a rather bland and uninspiring taste without coming across as bad or offensive. Not a bad taste just an incredibly bland one that is reminiscent of drinking flavoured water. Give this one a miss if there is anything else available.

Brewed In: Lagos, Nigeria
Brewery: Nigerian Breweries PLC
First Brewed: 1970
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (600ml)
Purchased: Costcutter (London)
Price: £2.29

Guinness Foreign Extra (Nigeria) (174 of 1001)

April 22, 2013 2 comments

Rating: 3.75

This version of Guinness Foreign Extra was the first to be brewed outside Ireland in Guinness’ first brewery outside the country. For years Guinness Foreign Extra proved to be a hugely successful beer in Africa, particularly in Nigeria where it had been imported into since the 1940’s. When Nigeria gained independence from the UK in 1960, Guinness opted to build a brewery in Lagos to meet demand. Currently the Nigerians drink more of the black stuff than the Irish and make the country Guinness’ second biggest market with sales predicted to overtake the UK in the not to distant future. This is a beer that I have been looking to try for the best part of two years, basically since I tried the Irish version of the beer. The other reason I had for wanting to try it so much is because it appears on the 1001 beers list as the only Nigerian offering on the list as well as being one of the few African beers to feature. I’ve seen the beer in a number of different bottle shops over the past couple months but for one reason or another only managed to pick it up about a month ago and finally made the decision to crack it open after trying and thoroughly enjoying Dragon Stout from Jamaica recently, hopefully this one is as good as that offering from the Caribbean.
Guinness Foreign Extra (Nigerian)

Appearance (4/5): This one is a really dark looking, deep ruby colour that borders on black and is topped with a centimetre tall, creamy head that is a light brown colour and eventually turns into a foamy lacing on the top of the beer.
Aroma (7/10): A mixture of darker, milky chocolate and some coffee with a huge amount of sweetness and some roasted malts, none of which seemed as strong as they were with the Irish version of this beer other than the sweet sugars. There is some darker fruits too with a slight bit of sourness nearer the end.
Taste (7/10): Lots of milky chocolate to begin along with some darker, roasted malts and a bit of coffee. Again the sweetness of the beer outshines most of the rest and there is some plums, raisins and various other darker fruits making themselves known throughout.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a nice amount of carbonation and a creamy, full bodied mouthfeel that has a lot of sweetness and some grain coming through. There is a touch of alcohol grain in the middle and some bitterness to go with the mainly sweet feel as well.

Overall (15/20): A strange beer this one, I was expecting it to taste only marginally different than the Irish version of this Foreign Extra stout but it seemed completely different although that may be because I’ve only tried the Irish version once and that was almost two years ago. This one was very sweet, surprisingly so even after all I’d read about it online and it was a lot lighter than expected with regards to the roasted malt and coffee flavours I come to associate with Guinness. I also felt the alcohol content was better hidden in this one, with both being the same 7.5% abv., making this beer a better one for it. Perhaps not in the same league as Lion Stout but a good foreign extra beer and worth a try if only for the novelty factor of trying a Nigerian beer.

Brewed In: Lagos, Nigeria
Brewery: Guinness Nigeria
First Brewed: 1962
Full Name: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (Nigeria)
Type: Foreign / Export Stout
Abv: 7.5%
Serving: Bottle (325ml)
Purchased: The Cave (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50

Castle Lager (South Africa) (166 of 1001)

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

Available since 1895, originally brewed by Castle Brewery before being part of a merger to form South African Breweries (SAB) then again merging with Miller to form SABMiller brewery, this beer must be doing something right to have been sold for so long. The fact the beer also appears in the 101 Beers list and will be my first ever South African ensured I was always going to grab a bottle when I spotted it in The Cave bottle shop in Glasgow’s West End the other week, it wasn’t overly expensive either which was a plus for me. I have a feeling this one could be another run-of-the-mill pale lager, particularly since it’s coming from Africa but I’m looking forward to giving it a try nonetheless; a beer from a new country is always nice so regardless of taste this one won’t be a purchase I regret and maybe it’ll surprise me.

Castle Lager

Appearance (4/5): Very light looking and clear body that is a golden straw colour, topped with a half centimetre tall head that is quite bubbly looking and manages to last rather well for the style.
Aroma (5/10): A pretty light beer on the nose that had me struggling to detect anything much at all. There is a little grain and some clean smelling, basic lager malts. I also smelt some corn and a few vegetable adjuncts on top.
Taste (5/10): Clean lager malts and a faint, grassy hop aroma coupled with a slightly grainy taste and some light bitterness. There is some corn in there too.
Palate (2/5): This one has a light body although not quite a thin one or watery but light nonetheless. There is a very light bitter feel and the beer is slightly grainy with a dry finish.

Overall (11/20): This one is a basic, pretty bog standard lager that wasn’t too offensive but was pretty poor overall and not one I will have again if I can help it. The beer looked quite nice and head retention was pretty good but other than that it didn’t really offer anything else. Not a particularly noteworthy offering and a bit of a disappointment for my first South Africa beer, although not an entirely unexpected one.

Brewed In: Sandton, South Africa
Brewery: South African Breweries
First Brewed: 1885
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: The Cave (Glasgow)
Price: £1.49

Stork Première

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.3

I had heard only a little about this beer before visiting Morocco & got to try some of the stuff in Agadir at an English themed  pub. Working out at just over £2.50 for a 330ml bottle it was slightly more expensive than some of the other beers available in the pub & quite frankly I didn’t think it would be worth the extra money but gave it a go none the less. Again, as with most other local beers the label design was stuck somewhere in the 1980’s with nothing more than some bold colours for strips & ‘Stork’ printed across the middle. As you have probably guess, I wouldn’t be drinking this beer all that often even if it was widely available in the UK. Lacking in most things but still ranking a head of most of the other Moroccan beers I have tried. Not to be recommended.

Appearance (2/5): Pale straw in colour but not overly light, with a thin bubbly head that turns to a soapy lacing after about five or ten seconds.
Aroma (5/10): A mix of sweet grain & faint smelling hops that hint at a syrupy aroma. There is some corn & various other adjuncts present, including vegetables & more grain. Not terrible & definitely one of the better smelling Moroccan beers.
Taste (5/10): A mix of sweet adjuncts and corn that has a little bit of a hop like taste to it, all of which matches the nose quite closely. There is also some grain in there too.
Palate (2/5): Sweet & somewhat smooth with a bit of a dry, sticky finish that is a surprise after the initial refreshing taste to it. Not really all that great but drinkable.

Overall (10/20): A lot sweeter than most of the other Moroccan beers I have tried & slightly better than most of them too, although not by much it must be said. It is a drinkable beer but not one I’d hope to drink again, nothing more than your standard macro lager & certainly not impressive.

Brewed In: Casablanca, Morocco
Brewery: Société des Brasseries du Maroc
Full Name: Biere De Luxe Stork Première
First Brewed: Brewery from 1919
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Marrakesh, Morocco
Price: 32 dirham (approx. £2.56)

Flag Pils

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.3

Again another beer that I sampled on my travels in Morocco recently, coming across this one in a French styled restaurant in Agadir. It was a beer that I later found to be quite common in supermarkets around Marrakesh but not so common in the city’s bars and nightclubs, of which there wasn’t too many. Perhaps the reason it wasn’t the most common of the Flag beers had something to do with the words “for export only” written on the side of the bottle. In what was becoming a bit of a theme for Moroccan beers, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to or expecting much from this beer & I don’t think matters were helped much by the fact that the label on the bottle was again dull & boring. Never the less I was trying a beer that I probably won’t get the chance to try again so I felt I had better make the most of it.

Appearance (2/5): A crystal clear, light straw looking beer that has a thin bubble like head which barely qualifies as a head. The lacing is bone white in colour & begins to fade after a few seconds.
Aroma (4/10): Skunky grain & some vegetable adjuncts are what I get from this beer initially. There is a little bit of corn & your usual macro pale lager aroma which is faint to sweet overall.
Taste (5/10): Matching the smell there is a skunky taste right off the bat & this is blended with some corn & various cheap adjuncts such as grain & corn. Very little going on here & again it is much like many macro pale lagers I have had before it but an improvement on the smell at least.
Palate (3/5): As expected this is another very light bodied beer that is smooth for the most part with a little bit of grain sneaking in towards the end. It is slightly dry in the finish but refreshing none the less, although that may be due to that first beer feeling you often get.

Overall (8/20): A standard macro pale lager that is definitely nothing special & wouldn’t deserve another tasting anywhere else in the world although in Morocco that isn’t the case. It is better than the Flag Spéciale version I reviewed earlier but again not by much.

Brewed In: Casablanca, Morocco
Brewery: Société des Brasseries du Maroc
First Brewed: Brewery from 1919
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: La Four De Paris, Agadir, Morocco
Price: 24 dirham (approx. £1.92)