Saturday, February 11, 2017
More African Beer Labels
Proving that I really can take this blog just about anywhere, I thought I'd share with you the rest of my West African beer label collection. As I revealed in the last post, these are souvenirs of my trip through West Africa in autumn 1994. None of them top the Mamba label for excitement, but they're cool in their own right.
First, Castel beer, which we drank in Mali. I believe it's available in other West African countries, too. I think a lot of these beer brands were licensed by various local brewers from one country to another.
So. B. Bra was a beer from Burkina Faso. Although it touts itself as "Bière de Qualité," in my journal I proclaimed it "really nasty."
Another Burkinabe beer. I don't remember anything about this one.
Flag is another common multinational brand -- in fact, we had Flag beer in Morocco, though with a different label. This one was from Burkina Faso and must be brewed by the same company as the one above -- they share the same yin/yang trademark.
I bought Star beer in northern Ghana, but I think -- based on what I've only now seen online -- it may be a Nigerian brand. I remember being amused by the little expiration dates at the bottom of the labels. Does beer really ever expire?
I think Gulder is Nigerian, too, though I got it in Kumasi, Ghana. From my journal entry of Oct. 15: "Then we went drinking – stopped at a bar and had Gulder beer, and then another – by the middle of the second one we were toasted. These 66 cl beers are not to be believed."
(Many African beers come in big bottles. These were roughly 22 ounces, with alcohol at 5 percent.)
I got Club and Club Dark in Accra. Again, I made no mention of it in my journal, so I have no memory of whether it was any good or not.
And now, for no particular reason:
Here's a picture of my friends Pam, Kelly and Carolyn in front of the New York Cafeteria in Banfora, Burkina Faso -- a little town in the southwest corner of the country, near the border with Cote d'Ivoire. I just thought it was funny that we were in such a remote location -- and back in those pre-Internet days, it felt really remote -- yet we found traces of the Big Apple!