Ghana’s First Microbrewery Takes Shape, Uses Local Ingredients

Ghana’s First Microbrewery Takes Shape, Uses Local Ingredients

By Louise Marsakis / From Munchies

At 62 years old, Clement Djameh drinks at least a beer a day. Since 2003, his glass has been filled with drafts he brewed himself, exclusively using a local African grain called sorghum. The only imported ingredients are the hops.

Djameh and his colleague Fash Sawyerr are the founders of Ghana’s first-ever microbrewery, Inland Microbrewery. It’s located inside a crumbling, honey-colored mansion complete with Greek-style columns in Kwabenya, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Ghana’s capital, Accra. At first glance, the place looks abandoned. On the front porch rests a rusted car.

Inside the house is a startling surprise: a fully functioning brewery, complete with custom-made and imported machinery, although some of it is decades old.

One of Djameh and Sawyerr’s most prized pieces of equipment is the “Kegerator,” a refrigerator they installed a beer tap on top of, connected to a keg stored below. It’s used to keep kegs cool at Inland-catered events. Including delivery, a keg costs about $45.

The brewery produces several different varieties of beer, all without the use of imported malted barley, upon which Ghana’s two major commercial breweries almost exclusively rely.

Inland, which now caters mostly to private orders, represents what could become a new industry in West Africa: craft beer that can provide needed income to local farmers who grow sorghum.

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After a brief tour, Djameh poured a particularly good stout, full of plantain notes. It tasted smoother—and more appropriate for Ghana’s tropical climate—than a Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which is also sometimes brewed using sorghum.

In 1986, Nigeria briefly banned the import of malted barley, and its breweries were forced to rely on sorghum and maize.

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