Traditional beer? The only solid access I've had to information about traditional beer drinking patterns in southern Africa is what I read a couple of years ago in Xhosa Beer Drinking Rituals by Patrick McAllister. Botswana is apparently taking steps to bring traditional beer under the nation's general liquor law regulation. Trade and Industry Minister, Ms Dorcus Makgato-Malesu is reported to have said that issues of traditional beer are sensitive and need extensive consultation. Other politicians have chimed in:
Gaborone South MP Kagiso Molatlhegi, whose constituency includes Bontleng and Old Naledi welcomed the idea saying shebeens need to be regulated as a matter of urgency, adding that there is too much noise pollution in his area because such businesses are not uncontrolled. Adding his voice to the debate Gaborone West South MP, Botsalo Ntuane criticised government's stance on alcohol saying it was antisocial...
It's important stuff. Such important stuff that there appear to be rumours that traditional beer saves one from serious illnesses. Maybe such misconceptions are among the reasons for the government anti-alcohol campaign in Botswana.
I seem to see sorghum beer is called chibuku when sold commercially. One manufactureer describes it this way: "Chibuku has a sorghum malt dominant flavour. There is a biting taste due to the continuous fermentation. It has a thick texture and has thick foam." Jay posted way more about aspects of neighbouring Zimbabwe's beer culture which should also help the curious amongst you but could it be we are all just needing our own thick and biting chibuku?