Taking a Pint South African Style – Umqombothi

Umqombothi. Say that three times. In fact even say it once. Not easy. But a lot easier to drink? Well maybe not, but it’s an adventure.

After my 1/2 day tour via Acacia Africa that took me to visit the District Six Museum and a local township outside of Cape Town, our last stop, not like any other last stop – a pint. Here our tour guide showed us a local brew house. We walked to a small wooden shack in the middle of the township where people gather to enjoy a locally brewed beer.


a fire warms and the large tin awaits....

Over a fire made from the scrap wood we sat on benches and gathered around to socialize. Our delicacy, an enormous tin filled with Umqombothi. Made from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast and water the thick, creamy and gritty consistency contained a distinct aroma.  And even with the low alcohol content (usually less than 3%) it can hardly be classified as a light beer.

I also learned it is  often used in ceremonies.  Respect is expected when taking a sip. Of course, I paid some. A few times naturally.

I kneel down to pay respect and enjoy a sip among new friends...

And although New York is a city that has (nearly) everything, I realize I might not be able to find this brew. So this Friday my drink might be different, but I still plan to toast to you South Africa. Cheers.

Stay adventurous, Craig

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