Sprecher Brewing Co. has released two African-style beers, Shakparo Ale and Mbege Ale.
Craig Burge, brewmaster for the Wisconsin brewer, developed the beers after extensively researching the history of brewing in Africa, African beer styles, ingredients and traditions. Burge focused on traditional African beers that have a taste not readily available on the local market.
“I don’t see this as a departure so much as a broadening of what we excel at, which is brewing quality beers with really distinctive flavor profiles regardless of their county of origin,” Burge said.
Many traditional African beers are brewed by the women in a village, are unfiltered, and have little carbonation, he said.
Sprecher’s Shakparo Ale is a west African Shakparo-style beer brewed from sorghum. An unfiltered, light, crisp ale with hints of fruits and spices, it is best characterized as an easy-drinking beer, he said.
Popular in eastern Africa, particularly the northern regions of Tanzania, Mbege-style beers are brewed from bananas. Sprecher’s Mbege Ale is an unfiltered ale that gets its flavor from fresh bananas.