The above is an all too familiar image in the night life. Patrons of bars and taverns do not shy away from indulging their taste buds in beer especially native to Africa. Serial drinkers with their burnt lips and hoarse voices begin their day at the bar and take turns sipping from one cup or carton until evening. The pint makes rounds until everyone has had a taste and a bartender is called to supply a refill. It is only when the coffers run dry or when angry wives patronize their husbands do they leave. Otherwise they stay the night.
Brewing of African beer is a practice that has been passed on from generation.
In the rural areas of Zambia, Kachasu is a sought after drink. Poor urban dwellers have also become drinkers of the locally brewed spirit due to its affordability. The alcohol percentage is said to be as high as 70% in Kachasu and serious concerns among concerned civilians and leaders have been raised as the spirit has claimed the lives of many.
The success of local bar businesses led beer manufactures to capitalize on the need for a traditional thirst quencher among town dwellers. Chibuku Shake Shake was hence brewed to meet the demand in urban areas. The formula is as native as before and the taste is still as sour, however it can be managed by adding spoonfuls of sugar for those with a soft tongue.
Chibuku Shake Shake is found in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and most parts of Africa. Before having a sip, one must first shake the carton to even out the distribution of its contents, hence the name Shake Shake. Like other tavern customs, the drink is passed around from person to person to accord them the chance of participation. I doubt they think about hygiene while they down the drink.
Native to the Bemba people of Zambia is Katata which is brewed by their women. The ingredients are just the same as Shake Shake but the distillation process is what sets Katata apart. As it settles in a container, segments of thick molt beer collect at the base then a transparent thin liquid collects just above the molt – that is where the alcohol itself is found, making it a spirit. Drinkers use a stroll to pull the contents then pass it on to their neighbour while recollecting on the good Ol days.
Non alcoholics don’t need to feel left out as there are traditional beverages especially suited for their preferences. Among them is Thobwa which is a hot opaque drink native to Malawi and the Eastern parts of Zambia.
Chibwantu is made by the Tongas from remnants of nshima (pap) mixed with water and allowed to ferment.
My personal favorite however, is Mukoyo. It turns to beer when left to over-ferment though.
Here’s the recipe below in case anybody wants to try it.
Source : Zamtel 4 me
PS : Save water, drink beer 😋😋
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