St. George Beer from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
St. George Beer
Brewed by BGI Ethiopia PLC (Industry)
Style: Pale Lager
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A beer from Ethiopia??? Yeah you bet ya I’d like to try that. Apparently Ethiopia has a thriving beer industry. Well you learn something new everyday, eh!?
St. George Beer is the most popular and oldest beer in Ethiopia. Founded in 1922, it is brewed by BGI Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, St. George is named after the patron saint of Ethiopia, a patron saint it so happens to share with England and which underlies the country’s deep Christian past.
The founder of St. George Brewery was a Belgian called Mussie Dawit, who later sold it to a German company. At the beginning, the factory used basic raw materials like barley and hops all imported from Europe, and the management staff of the factory and the leading technicians who controlled the brewery’s activities were all foreigners. Eventually, however, an Ethiopian company took over the brewery in 1952. This company was said to have been organized as a share holding entity, the larger share of which was owned by Emperor Haile Selassie, the Rastafari messiah and big time leader of Ethiopia.
Over time the brewery grew and grew and became increasingly popular in the country, with the locals proud to drink an Ethiopian beer and not some import from afar. The factory is now owned by BGI, an internationally acclaimed Brewing Company that exports to Europe and to North America.
Review: 33cl bottle of St. George Beer: ABV: 4.7%
The beer has an interesting cover on its bottle. We get to see a medieval type knight slaying a dragon. Well of course that knight is St George, the geezer that slayed that big old dragon back in the day and I think might also have something to do with the Knights Templar (See my article on St Georges day). Plus there is funny looking writing on the label which I’m led to believe is the Amharic language, the ancient language of Ethiopia. Overall it is a nice stand out distinct design and in a lovely looking brown bottle.
On appearance we get a nice golden colour and a nice big head on the pour. A lot of nice carbonation going on. Overall it looks a good beer, very clear and a decent head but colour and head both fade a little and there is no lacing.
Aroma is faint but I got a sweet malty smell and some barely, bit tinty and lagery as well.
Taste: Has an off taste, initial taste of cardboard? Not nice at all, like unprocessed straw. Not nice at all. Very sweet grain flavours and sweet malted barely tastes.
Second pint, slightly better but still not great to be honest, very sweet, too much so, and very corny. Not a session beer for sure, or for anything to be fair.
I so wanted this to be a good beer. but I guess its a long way to Ethiopia, and I’m sure it tastes better under an African sun……………