• Beer is the third most popular drink overall after water and tea.
  • Beer is packed with nutritional value, Beer has a greater protein and vitamin content than wine, while its antioxidant content is equivalent to that of wine.
  • Studies have found a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease in people who drink from one-half to two drinks daily, compared to abstainers.

Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world. Studies have found a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease in people who drink from one-half to two drinks daily, compared to abstainers.

It is also the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Dating back to at least the 5th millennium BC in Iran, beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced.

What more beer is packed with nutritional value, Beer has a greater protein and vitamin content than wine, while its antioxidant content is equivalent to that of wine.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta enjoying a mug of Keg beer. (Radio Jambo)
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta enjoying a mug of Keg beer. (Radio Jambo)

Brewed from cereals grains such as barley and packed in their signature brown bottles, nothing beats a cold beer on a hot day.

Here are the most popular beer brands in Eastern Africa you should definitely try the next time you are in town.

Tusker - Kenya

Bottles of Tusker Malt beer are seen inside a crate at the East African Breweries Limited factory in Ruaraka factory in Nairobi.
Bottles of Tusker Malt beer are seen inside a crate at the East African Breweries Limited factory in Ruaraka factory in Nairobi.

Tusker is arguably one of the best known beer brands in the country.

The beer is owned by East African Breweries Limited and is the highest selling beer in East Africa with over 700,000 hectolitres being sold in Kenya per year.

Tusker beer. (Kenyans)
Tusker beer. (Kenyans)

It is a 4.2% ABV pale lager.

Other beer brands you can enjoy in Kenya includes: Pilsner Lager, Tusker Malt, Guinness, Heineken, Summit Lager, White Cap, Balozi etc.

Nile Special – Uganda

Nile Special beer. (Travelblog)
Nile Special beer. (Travelblog)

“You’ve Earned It!”

ABV 5.6%

Owned by SABMiller but brewed in the birthplace of the Nile River in Jinja, Uganda

When out in the nightlife this is likely to be the most popular beer you see people drinking.

Other beer brands you can enjoy in the pearl of Africa includes: Club Pilsner Beer, Bell Lager, Castle Milk Stout, Senator Extra Lager, Tusker, Eagle Extra, Nile Gold: Crystal Malt Lager etc.

Safari Lager and Kilimanjaro premium lager – Tanzania

Tanzania's Kilimanjaro premium lager. (Pinterest)
Tanzania's Kilimanjaro premium lager. (Pinterest)

“Ujazo Zaidi Ladha Kamili” (filled to the bream packed with real taste) what a caption, right?

TBL Alcohol volume 5.5 % Pale Lager

Safari Lager is one of the oldest beers on the market and as a result a classic for many.

Some find it to be very strong, the aroma varies from a hoppy note to a fruitier one. The after-taste can be quite bitter.

I drank this beer during Tanzania week in Kenya and although I loved it, I struggled to finished it so it is not for everyone.

Safari Lager
Safari Lager

Kilimanjaro premium lager on the other hand went down smoothly and one is never enough.

It is a smooth nose, not too malty and not too strong.

The flavour is crisp but light and it doesn’t have a strong after-taste. It is a great all-round light beer and has an alcohol volume of 4.5%.

Serengeti Beer, Ndovu Special Malt and Tusker Beer are also found in Tanzania.

Virunga Mist – Rwanda

Virunga Mist beer.
Virunga Mist beer.

According to RateBeer.com, Virunga Mist is one of the most popular beers in the land of a thousand hills.

Virunga Mist is a Dark Ale type of beer fermented with malt, cereals and hops with a characteristic full body or heavier taste than most beers in Rwanda.

Virunga Mist beer
Virunga Mist beer

It is a strong dark beer with 6.5 per cent alcohol volume and is available in a brown 33cl bottle

Other beer brands you can enjoy in the land of a thousand hills includes: Impeke Sorghum beer, Mutzig Lite, Turbo King, Legend Extra Stout, Akurusho Biere de Banane (Banana Wine) etc.

Primus and Amstel beer – Burundi

Primus beer.
Primus beer.

Burundians love to drink and Primus is usually the first beer they all taste.

Primus is the common man’s beer and is actually brewed in Bujumbura (the Primus factory is the biggest dollar business in the entire country.)

It’s a light lager of about 4% alcohol in a .75 liter bottle. It costs about $1 – $1.5 / bottle.

Amstel beer.
Amstel beer.

Amstel beer is considered a level up from the Primus and higher class Burundians would never be caught dead drinking a Primus.

It comes in two styles, blonde and bock. The blonde is your average tasteless lager and the bock is a little stronger and darker with a bit more flavor from the roasted barley.

Garden Bräu Blondy - Ethiopia

Garden Bräu Blondy
Garden Bräu Blondy

Hey Waiter! Can I have two big blondies please? I have to give it to them they found a name perfectly fit for a beer and it sounds right even ordering it.

According to RateBeer.com, Garden Bräu Blondy is one of the most popular beers in Ethiopia.

This unfiltered, bottom fermented beer is made of 100% pure German barley malt.

Garden Bräu Blondy is one of the most popular beers in Ethiopia.
Garden Bräu Blondy is one of the most popular beers in Ethiopia.

The hop used for this quality beer is imported from one of the world’s largest hop growing regions, the Hallertau, near Munich

Other beer brands you can enjoy in the Addis Ababa includes; Garden Brau Ebony (Dunkel/Tmavý), Raya, Bedele, Harar and Habesha Cols Gold beer all which are pale lager.