Beer guide to Burkina Faso

More than 40 different beers, good prices on imported beers and craft breweries operating in Ouagadougou makes Burkina Faso the beer capital in West Africa.

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Beer from Brasserie Artisanale De Ouagadougou

Local beers

The local beers Brakina, Flag, Beaufort and SO.B.BRA and Guinnes are brewed by the local beer factory owned by Castell group which is one of the mayor players in Africa.

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Often served in 65 cl bottles, for 600 CFA as the normal rate

Brakina (4.2 % ABV) is the most widely distributed and consumed beer in Burkina Faso. Even in the small villages with no electricity, a bottle of cold Brakina can be served any time of the day.

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Even here, three hours from Ouaga you can have a cold beer despite no electricity

The beer culture is relaxed and social. People, mostly men, drink from early lunch time to late night. Women does drink too, many couples eat dinner and drink together. As a foreign women you don´t have to worry that people look down on you if you drink. The culture is so relaxed that mosques and maquis are side by side. In many countries there is a law that forbids beer establishments to be close to a mosque. Not here. Many prefer to drink many low alcohol beers and that’s why Brakina and So.b.bra are so popular with low alcohol and about 600 CFA (1 USD) for a 65 cl bottle. It´s quite rare to se really drunk people. Mostly people drink a few beers slowly but during weekends you need to watch up for all late beer drinkers driving home on motorcycles.

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Fermentation tanks at Brakina Factory in Ouagadougou

Local Craft beer – Brasserie Artisanale De Ouagadougou

Brasserie Artisanale De Ouagadougou is the first craft brewery in Burkina Faso. Swedish Jonathan Gharbi is making the beers and they are sold at the newly opened Resuarant Annexe a Ouagadougou in Zone Du Bois. Beers are normally introduced every Friday and when there is no craft beer, regional beers like Awoyoo or Doppel Munich from Togo are served.

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Gaela and Basil from Annexe with Jonathan delivering craft and regional beers

Latest beer release was the IPA “Make beer not cars” which was delievered in April 2017. The beer before was a 8.5 % strong porter brewed with malt and local sorghum called: Mum, i wanna be a Bogan.

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What´s a Bogan?? well time to learn…
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Malty IPA with some citra and cascade hops

If you want to visit a more local place and have your beer the local way, visit the newly opened Maquis QG in 1200 Logements, Ouagadougou. There you have about 10 different beers and the selection is shifting every week depending on the beers that arrive. Gilchrist who is the guy behind Maquis QG is getting most beers from Togo and Ghana. He has three stouts, Guinness, Trio stout and Castle Milk stout. The 33 cl bottle of Trio extra stout for 500 CFA only is a full bodied and tasty stout, maybe the best in Ouaga.

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Maquis QG has a shifting beer menu and prices are low. About 1000 CFA for imported beers.

QG Maquis is like most places in Ouaga; quite hard to find but follow the google map and you will find it. It is simple but fine for the beer lover and open from 9 AM to midnight every day. There are hundreds of this small beer establishments, called Maquis in Ouagadougou. Often cold beers are served with grilled meat and some home made french fries. You have the simple Maquis with 550 CFA for a bottle and there are the fancy ones where you might pay up to 700 CFA for the same bottle Brakina.

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The speciality at Maquis QG is wild meat; wild rats, monkeys, bock and much more

The secret brewer in Ouaga

If you like Belgian triples and cold cuts, this might be your new home –if you happen to know someone who can show you the place. Beers are Belgian, classical beers lika La Chouffe, Westmalle, Rochefort and Ploegsteert are served with a platter of home-made cold cuts. Belgian triples are crafted on a weekly basis and are served during afterwork hours. Only a few has found their way here so far but is only a place for local beer enthusiasts. The first beer was poured in April 2017.

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IMG_20170419_192008606The brewery is run by a true beer enthusiast and the Belgian beers does match very well with the cold cuts. If you are hungry, eat before. Beer is the focus. About ten imported beers are served and each is also presented in the proper beer glass. Impressive! As the title says; it´s hard to find, but well worth the effort!

Imported beers in Ouagadougou

There are a few super markets in town with good prices on imported Belgian, French and Russian beers. The best super markets for beer are Scimas and Home market. But like the milk and the butter and the wheat flour…. some times it´s all gone. Many of these beers where served at a beer event earlier this year. You can easily collect up to 20 different beers just by shopping the super markets. The beers from the region are not sold at the super markets, they can only be bought at one of the special beer places/Maquis that sell imported beers. Most can be ordered at QG Maquis and the owner Gilchrist will help you (he even speaks english). Another option can be the maquis which is situated in front of hotel Bravia close to the airport, they do also sell beer from Ghana.

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A few of the French and Belgian beers.
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Almaza from Lebanon, Faxe stout Denmark and Budweiser with a few more
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Not too bad! Leffe Royale Cascade IPA and the White Chimay are reall good!

Beers from the Region

The closest craft brewer is making beer in Ghana, visit Inland Microbrewery to have porter and lager brewed with sorghum and other local ingredients. Otherwise the only choices for the beer traveller is different lagers and a few special beers which all are mass produced. Beers are coming weekly from Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast to Burkina Faso. Expect no beers from neighbouring Mali and Niger.

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Club, Star and Castle Milk Stout from Ghana with Togos Awoyoo and Bock from Ivory Coast

Best beers in Africa

With 206 craft breweries, South Africa is the leading craft beer nation. Not so much to say, just make sure you have the time to visit them all. Why couldn´t they share a few with the rest of the continent? It´s not even possible to get them outside South Africa. Then half ways to Europe we have Kenya with three craft breweries and a slow growing small craft beer trend. The Big Five breweries and Sirville Brewery are making 500-1000 liter batches and serves 4-5 hand crafted beers on tap. Not any wild cards but still much more taste and flavours than the regular stuff you pour into your jar a Friday afternoon.

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