Tusker drinkers in the last two years have complained that our national beer has the consistency of your worst political sycophant. It is not the same beer you will drink in two different clubs in the city in one evening. But EABL have redeemed themselves by introducing an Ale beer, which the Cool staff can’t stop having.

In almost every social setting there are two things you’d never miss. One is an annoying MC. Usually loud and boisterous and only on the stage because they can laugh loud, have a beer belly and a higher social standing.

This is the go-to guy. Runs a business. Maybe works in government or in the corporate sector. You know the type. Shirt barely hangs on to the waist, coat – even though expensive- sits to the sides of his belly like glaciers only less beautiful and pockets heavily sagging thanks to a bunch of keys. Keys that no one even knows what they open. Could be the granary in his great grandfather’s land that’s not been used in eons. But they are nice chaps. Amidst the forced laughs, they spill some unintentional wisdom and occasionally a good joke slips out. Tolerable those ones.

When it comes to lagers, those chaps at the breweries do not really care much about hierarchy so when they brew your favorite froth they throw in the bottom of the rung yeast. Literally. They use bottom-fermented yeast. The yeast that drudges the cruel corners of the yeast world. That is where all the difference lies.

The second thing is beer. Yes, lager. A social setting is not a social setting without lager. The drink that has since immemorial initiated young boys into men. A golden frothy liquid that lubricates these social conventions and greases you through family, friends and even foes with ease. It is also the cause of that unsightly drunk uncle who reminds you that the last time you met he wiped snort of your nose with the back of his hand. The type who demand a handout and walk away happily singing, off-key, to whatever the deejay serenaded the crowd to.

But things are about to change. Ale is on the way.

Now here is the thing about ale, it looks like a lager, but it is not really a lager. You would be forgiven to think that the name is a marketing gimmick to slap on a higher price tag. It is not. It literally stands a pedestal higher above a lager. See when it comes to beers the common ingredients are water, hops, malts, and yeast.

When it comes to lagers, those chaps at the breweries do not really care much about hierarchy so when they brew your favorite froth they throw in the bottom of the rung yeast. Literally. They use bottom-fermented yeast. The yeast that drudges the cruel corners of the yeast world. That is where all the difference lies.

When it comes to Ale, they do a proper job and use the top-fermenting yeast. This is the yeast that probably comes from a silver spoon, a trust fund and a nosy accent when pronouncing words with the letter R. But that is what also makes it taste different and unique from a lager. And before you ask, yes it also has water, hops, and malt too.

So, when I tried the Tusker Premium Ale, a bit late to the party but got there nonetheless, I had praises to sing about it. It is not like ati I was treating it with respect because it is the id to the rich uncle at the gathering. No, this beer was just good. And if you consider lager a gift from the gods, this one right here is a temptation from the devil.

Here is how good it is. I get a call from Silas; he asks me if we can catch one and I spin an article really quick. I’m a bit reluctant because I’ve not had anything hitting the keyboard in weeks. I thought it had something to do with turning 27, you know. When you know you are young but then you are also not young? That’s the age people die of hangovers.

But, like the good champ I am, I took up the challenge, left the office circa 5 p.m headed over to Jioneez. It is like a Number 7 but in Eastlands. What it lacks for in space it makes up for in parking space. It is located where the former Nakumatt Embakasi used to be, sitting right under a church so those pious pricks can really judge patrons. It is a nice and cozy place. If you’ve had a girlfriend for three months and you guys move in together, this would be the best joint to catch pints, a game or squabble over who should wash the dishes.

On taste, well if I could put it in any way it tastes like what a clean-cut gold bar looks like. You know? Refined gold, which went into a hot kiln and was moulded by a master artisan and has that clean glimmering finish. That’s Tusker Premium Ale for you.

It does have a nice interior if you choose to sit inside. The walls have an authentic brick feel to it such that if you closed your eyes hard enough and ignored the Rhumba you would think you were in a classic London bar. The ones that open on to the street and blokes get in like they live there.

Anyway, at Jioneez (still cannot get the right way to pronounce this name – every time I say it I half hope someone will shout Jiambeez) Bad? Oh well. I tried the Tusker Premium Ale. Cold. Always take your beers cold. If you have the flu leave the beer alone.

That first sip feels like what it would when you get lifted into heaven. Beers have that effect, lagers too, but where lagers feel like a soft pillow this feels like a cloud.

On taste, well if I could put it in any way it tastes like what a clean-cut gold bar looks like. You know? Refined gold, which went into a hot kiln and was moulded by a master artisan and has that clean glimmering finish. That’s Tusker Premium Ale for you.

There’s artistry to its brewing. The brewer worked carefully around the ingredients and it gives off a full-bodied taste. This is a beer that you’d immediately know is flat and hate if you had it warm. I found that the best way to enjoy this beer was in small sips. Like champagne. After all it is like the champagne of beers, right? Looking down on the bottom yeasted lagers like peasants.

My advice: try it. Not to compare notes. Actually, do that, between it and your favorite beer. If you are just starting out on beers or are out to experiment, this will give you a smooth transition. But do not expect honeydew. It is a beer after all.

 

 

 

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