Mbege is a traditional fruit brew of the Chagga people of Tanzania, this sweet and sour beer’s not so secret ingredient is the banana.
Mbege is also known as banana beer, though in reality it’s more of a wine-beer hybrid. Most of the alcohol comes from fermenting bananas, and, of course, when you ferment fruit you get wine. But, Mbege is also finished off with a thick, mashed porridge of malted grain (in this case, millet) which also contributes to some of the fermentation and gives the drink more of a beer-like consistency. Additionally, Mbege is also bittered like beer, using the bark of the msesewe tree, which contains quinine. Armed with knowledge and inspiration, I set off to create some beer.