Results tagged “beer”

Life is a cabaret

burkina faso, mali
Smbarnabydogonbeer0001.jpgA couple of weeks ago, when Barnaby was in Mali, he came across something very interesting in the Dogon village of Djiguibombo.  Hidden away in women's houses were huge clay pots of bubbling liquid: millet beer. 

A little odd he thought, for a largely Muslim country, until he realised most Dogon pay more dues to their ancestors than to Allah. 

Unfortunately for him this beer wasn't quite ready to drink.  Millet beer takes three days to make, and each day a different woman's batch is ready.  Having not quite yet fathomed the finer points of Dogon culture and society, Barnaby had gone to the wrong house.

Smbarnabylobibeer0001.jpgBut today in Burkina Faso, Barnaby couldn't help but find the right place.  While visiting the evening market in the (equally animist) Lobi village of Hélo, he found that every other stall was in fact a pub, or as they call it round here, a cabaret.  One smiley lady with a big blue barrel of her home-made millet beer beckoned him in to her stall.  

So he took a seat next to the men on the log and had a little calabash full to see if he liked it.  He did.  Quite like cider, he thought.  So he had another bigger one. 

Then someone got out the salty juicy chunks of pork, and Barnaby thought perhaps he'd arrived in animist heaven.

Beer, wine and vowel harmony

Smborozosorozo0001.JPGThe Hungarian language is fascinating, and nowhere is this better reflected (for me at least) than in the words for 'bar': a borozó is a wine bar, and a söröző is a beer bar. 

At first sight, perhaps, you might not agree that these words are particularly fascinating.

But you'd be wrong. And here's why.

Getting a quick pint in

czech republic
Smbarnabybeer0001.JPGToday Barnaby went to see the Eggenberg brewery in Český Krumlov, where the Czech brewers have been producing beer according to their own secret recipe since 1560!

There was quite a lot to see and do, so at the end he treated himself to a large dark organic beer. Tasty.

Beer from the Middle Ages

czech republic
Smeggenbergbeers0001.JPGThe Czechs certainly like their beer - in fact, they drink more of it than anyone else. One of the world's best-known beer styles, pilsner, is named after the Czech town of Plzeň; and the name of one of the most famous brands (deservedly or not) derives from the brewing centre of České Budějovice (or as the Germans call it, Budweis).

They've also been brewing it for a very long time.  In Český Krumlov, they've been brewing since at least the 1300s, with records showing they were granted a charter to brew and sell beer in 1336.  And at the Eggenberg brewery, they still make beer the same way - local organic ingredients, secret recipe and all - producing a rich, tasty, slightly yeasty brew known for its dramatic effects on the youthful appearance of the local womenfolk and on the digestive systems of tourists.


Culinary Anthropologist