Size: 330 ml
Starting on the first tenacious steps of the road to a thousand Belgian beers, you might be forgiven for wanting to begin with a classic. I however decided to largely let fate decide my path, and it started with this – a reason to move swiftly onto number #2.
The Mongozo Banaan does though immediately highlight the monumental history of beer, which takes us much further afield than plucky little Belgium. The Mongozo beers come from a legendary recipe that has been handed down from generations of women tribe-members of the Chukwe people, and Mongozo literally means “to your health”. It is fair to say that since time immemorial, the brewing of beer was the domain of women, while the man of the house hunted, and this was particularly true of Africa, and indeed ancient Sumeria (now Iraq) where ‘liquid bread’ was first recorded. In fact the recipe for Mongozo beer was only eventually handed down to a man due to the great-great-grandmother running out of a female relative within her dynasty to pass it to! Even today in most parts of rural Africa, women tend to prepare the traditional brews for celebrations such as weddings and tribal celebrations, and even then for sale at the local markets.
This beer is made from a traditional recipe which contains predominantly palm-nuts, and it eventually found its way into the Netherlands via the recipient of the hand-me-down – Henrique Kabia. This beer in its content remains a fairly representative form of a truly African banana beer, which incidentally still is the traditional drink of the Masai tribes of Kenya and Tanzania. It started well, with the unsurprising and quite appetising aroma of bananas, and yet the rich cloying taste of a sharp cidery beer. The experience though wore off rather easily in the second half of the drink, whence it became tired, oversweet and eventually rather quite unlikable. There are at least 999 more beers to go and I can’t imagine many more will end up being this bad !
(Post-script) – Having said that if you are interested in those that really are worse than this then please look no further than Ecaussinnes Cookie Beer (#23) and Bon Secours Myrtille (#54). Both utter howlers !