Rich’s Beers of the World: Kenya

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Beer: Tusker Lager

Brewed by: Kenya Breweries, East African Breweries

Brewed in: Nairobi, Kenya

Type: Pale Lager

Thoughts: Beer is cheap in Kenya and we drank a lot, but there was quite a limited selection, which centred almost entirely around Tusker… Tusker is to Kenya what Guinness to Ireland. Hence we were forced to drink a lot of it.
It is always amazing how important situation and environment is on the taste of a beer. After a 9 hour bus ride from Moshi (Tanzania) to Nairobi, a bottle of cold Tusker on our hotel roof top bar was pleasant. But with the busy streets of Nairobi below it didn’t quite feel right. Fast forward a few days to a quiet Samburu safari park. After finishing a long day of safari with dusty eyes, wobbly legs, and the image of wild elephants fresh in my head a cold Tusker tastes just perfect. Whilst the hoppy taste felt at odds with the roof top bar in Nairobi, it’s character feel perfect in the middle of a safari. It is almost like tusker knew this when they chose an elephant as their logo.

Summary: Tusker = Safari = Kenya = Tusker

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Beer: White Cap

Brewed by: Kenya Breweries, East African Breweries

Brewed in: Nairobi, Kenya

Type: Pale Lager

Thoughts: Generic lager, with no significant flavour, but Melissa was a fan.

Summary: Pretty forgettable

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Beer: Tusker Malt Lager

Brewed by: Kenya Breweries, East African Breweries

Brewed in: Nairobi, Kenya

Type: Malt Lager

Thoughts: After experiencing standard lager after standard lager in Tanzania and Kenya, the appearance of something different in the form of Tusker Malt Lager was a welcome change. Its difference to standard Tusker was clear. This beer was very smooth and had a rich taste. Interestingly it left no hint of an after taste in the mouth.

Summary: Nice alternative version of Tusker

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Beer: Pilsner (Yes it was literally just called Pilsner)

Brewed by: Kenya Breweries, East African Breweries

Brewed in: Nairobi, Kenya

Type: Pilsner

Thoughts: The first holiday Melissa and I ever took together was to the Prague, Czech Republic. Whilst we were there we took a day trip to the town of Pilzen, the birth place of Pilsner beer. Although there was nothing wrong with the Pilsner Urquell brewed in the town, I’ve never been a huge fan of Pilsner beers. But this one was different. It tasted weaker than a standard European pilsner which would disappoint the Czechs, but for me it was wonderful. It even made a pilsner enjoyable in the heat of Lake Nakuru, Kenya.

Summary: Not a classic Pilsner, but an improvement to my taste buds

Beer: Summit Lager

Brewed by: Keroche Breweries

Brewed in: Naivasha, Kenya

Type: Pale Lager

Thoughts: Summit was a delightful beer and the fact that it is brewed locally in Naivasha made it taste even better whilst on safari in Lake Nakuru. It was very tough to distinguish between Tusker and Summit for my favourite Kenyan beer. But unfortunately, when we visited Lake Naivasha where summit is brewed, the Safari lodge bar did not stock it… only Tusker. So I’m still not sure which is my favourote. I think a larger sample size is required before any decision is made… for science of course.

Summary: Great beer, more samples required

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Beer: Tusker Cider

Brewed by: Kenya Breweries, East African Breweries

Brewed in: Nairobi, Kenya

Type: Cider

Thoughts: What a hidden gem. Surprisingly Kenya makes good cider. Tusker cider was a tasty mix between scrumpy and sweet. It delivered a fresh apple taste and it is one I would definitly drink again at home.

Summary: Turns out Kenyans make decent cider

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