Nigeria consumes more Guinness than any country other than the United Kingdom, surpassing even Ireland. Nigerian Guinness is tailored to the local market. It is made from sorghum and corn (maize) rather than barley, and is bitterer, with a higher alcohol content, than the original product. Winning advertising campaigns have linked the dark brew to sexual potency.

In Cameroon, as in Nigeria, the bitter beer is big. Stories of Guinness trucks venturing into Cameroonian outback over some of the world’s worst roads have an epic quality. Guinness Cameroon, a separate subsidiary, currently imports all of its grain. The company is however, working to promote “smallholder farmer production of sorghum” to procure local supplies.

The Wikipedia’s map of global per capita beer consumption shows most of Africa as blank. Rabobank’s more comprehensive map (see pic below) shows relatively high levels of consumption in Cameroon as well as in southern Africa. All such global maps of beer consumption, however, underestimate Africa’s share, as a great deal of African beer is brewed at home or in tiny local breweries, escaping official notice.

One Response to “Beership”
  1. stacy 13 January 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    This discussion was presented at the HUMA launch at UCT: Serious about beer: Beer and masculinity in SA and Cameroon
    Anne Mager (History, UCT), Francis Nyamnjoh (Social Anthropology, UCT)
    Chair: Helen Macdonald (Social Anthropology, UCT)
    With Depts of Historical Studies and Social Anthropology

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