Tuesday, August 2, 2011

East African Breweries Tusker Lager

This is the first African beer to be reviewed on ILTS. We don't have anything against Africans or anything, it's just that there aren't many African beers out there. At least not that I know of, cuz I'm just an ignorant white American male.

East African Breweries Limited  is a huge consortium of many smaller breweries and distilleries, and they even own a glass company. Not crystal meth glass, but I think real glass like you'd have in your car windshield, if you have a car windshield that is. Somehow they are in bed with Smirnoff, and they even have a graduate programme (correct spelling). I'm pretty sure you would get a PhD in African beer-ology if you complete it, which is a helluva lot better than the one I have (#humblebrag).

Tusker has been made by EABL since 1923, when one of their founders, George Hurst, was killed by an elephant during a hunting accident. They then named the beer "Tusker" in honor of the murdering beast. I don't know about you, but I think this story sounds fishy. I bet old George was into some sort of elephant-bestiality-salad-tossing-thing, and when he wasn't doing a good job, the elephant got bored and sat on the poor bastard. Elephant-bestiality sounds innocent enough kids, but always make sure that you are in a safe position and can't get squished! Despite poor George's demise, Tusker has gone on represent 30% of Kenya's beer market. Again, this ignorant white American male does not know what the other 70% is, but there must be other African beers that people buy down there.

The Tusker Lager is a weird kind of beer, something of an enigma if you will. It is classified by the United States Library of Congress as a lager, but it is quite dark and tastes rather like a stout or a bock. You can really taste the malt in this brew, even though it is really light tasting and pretty easy to drink at only 4.2% ABV. I'd imagine an African Elephant could drink 75 of these no problem (but the Indian Elephant could only drink 52, what a pussssayyyy). I got one of these in 12oz bottle format for $1.79 at the co-op, which is a pretty nice deal for an African beer. Imagine the shipping costs! The curb appeal is sky high because there is an elephant on the label and its named after a killer elephant. Is there a Jaws beer out there?

Let's keep expanding our horizons, ILTS brethren, and try this and other African beers. It can only make you a better person.

Drinkability: 6/10
Taste: 5/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 8/10

Overall: 6.25/10

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