Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

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A taste of greatness?

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Guinness-Nigeria-PlcNigerina Guinness

I’ve just finished a bottle of Nigerian brewed Guinness bought from an off licence in London.

The beer might look similar to any other bottled Guinness but the taste is different.

A dark stout wort concentrate is imported from Dublin, Ireland, and this is blended with a Nigerian brewed pale beer made from locally grown sorghum and maize, resulting in a sweeter beer. The change in recipe resulted from a Nigerian Government ban on the importation of malted barley in the 1980s.

This bottle was aged and had swathes of brett flavours – perhaps that’s what gives it its “greatness”.

Nigerians first started to drink imported bottled Guinness in the 1940s, when the country was a British colony. Guinness took the decision to build a local brewery rather than import it when the country gained its independence in 1960.

A modern, purpose built, brewery was completed in Ikeja, a suburb of the country’s capital Lagos, to meet the growing local demand. It was Guinness’s first brewery outside the British Isles.

Today, Nigeria is the second largest market for Guinness in the world – locals drink more than the Irish and some experts predict consumption will overtake the United Kingdom’s in the next few years. Perhaps that isn’t that surprising as Nigeria’s population of 120 million is 30 times larger than Ireland’s.

Shamrocks, leprechauns or other Irish images are not used to sell the Nigerian Guinness and few local drinkers have probably heard of the significance of St Patrick’s Day to Irish and Irish American culture.

Guinness in Nigeria is sold as an aspirational African drink using slogans such as “Are you the Warrior” or “Millions of Nigerians Choose Greatness”, in which the Guinness Harp logo has been transformed into a map of Africa. Typically advertisements show successful business people or allude to physical prowess.

However, despite Guinness’ success, lager is by far the most popular type of beer drunk in Nigeria with Star, which is brewed by Nigerian Breweries, leading brand sales.



Written by timhampson

August 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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