Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Egyptian Beer-The Complete List

I will spare you the long introduction on the history of Egyptian beer. History buffs can click here. This post is all business. Eight people vs. twelve brews and here are the findings...
Beer: Castelo "Hard"
ABV: 8%
Size: 500ml 
Company: Al Masria Co.

The Castelo family has three offsprings: GREEN, BLUE, and RED. I've had GREEN (5% alc/vol-though it was not tasted at this gathering). The BLUE is nicknamed "hard" as printed on the label-who said there wasn't truth in advertising? Castelo only recently started appearing in the ghetto liquor shops. This 8% monster claims "lager" but I would vote more along the lines of a malt liquor in training. I suppose after a night of pounding down a few, consider yourself lucky if you don't wake up blind.

What was said:
Skunk part II
Bottle of Old Spice
Bad as in running over a skunk and putting its butt in the beer.
Beer: Meister Max
ABV: 8%
Size: 330ml
Company: Al Ahram Beverages Co. Subsidiary of Heineken International

By far the most popular can littered on any given beach in Alex; it's hot and your itching for a quick buzz so you grab yourself cold Meister in a paper bag. For fans of a light malt liquor.
What was said:
I’d buy this!
Going fishing
A good non-high falutin’ beer
a blue collar beer
It sits bad
It’s not good enough to be a stella

Beer: Gold Berg
ABV: 10%
Size 500ml
 Company: Al Sherka Al Masneya al alameni Lmostalzamot Al Siaha wa Al Mashrobat (really!).

Punishing desperate beer drinkers since 1944 is what the label should read. Someone bought a bottle of Castelo and took a couple of swigs then filled it with rubbing alcohol. I don't think anyone in the group took more than one sip. The punch line is the Jewish name.  

What was said:
Mickey’s but not as good
Taste like rubbing alcohol
Sweet and horrible
Bad, bad after taste
An after taste like an annoying guest that doesn’t want to leave... like herpes.

Gives you the worst burps

Beer: Sakara King
ABV: 10%

Size: 500ml
Company: Al Ahram Beverages Co.

The name Saqqara (Sakara) is derived from the area home to several step pyramids-about a 20-minute drive from the more famous ones. The label reads 100% brewed without any added alcohol and after one wiff you know you're in for a long night with this beast.

What was said: 
Smells stale... like penny pitchers.
It’s only purpose is to get you drunk
Sweet but bad
Better than Gold Burg
Taste like skunk
Strong alcohol smell
Makes my tongue go “Blah” and the roof of my mouth go numb.
Beer: Luxor XXX
ABV: 10%
Size: 500ml

Company: El Gouna Beverages Co.

In keeping up with the Joneses, Luxor pumps out their 10% rival. I'm sure some of you are thinking that Egyptian beers are not only large but pack a lot of alcohol. I think it was Ana who pulled out a regular 12 oz can from the fridge and thought it was small, and someone had to remind her that it's the normal size. The goal for the average drinker in Egypt is to get wasted; this is the only rational for the size and ABV. The triple X is by far the most drinkable of the bunch.  

What was said:
 NC 17
Not a fishing beer... unless you want to drown.
Not bad after the last beer... but that’s not saying much.
It reminds me of the last guest that wouldn’t leave... bad after taste.
Wine like quality

Sweet and fruity
The burps are not bad after this one
Beer: Heineken
ABV: 5%
Size: 330ml

Company: Al Ahram Beverages Co. Subsidiary of Heineken International

I know, you're thinking that Heineken isn't an Egyptian Beer, but it least the Egyptians made it that way. Fits like an old glove. I wouldn't offend the party guest by turning one down, but I won't go out and buy it unless you're lucky enough to find one on tap. If you find tap beer anywhere in Egypt get yourself a glass and go buy a lottery ticket.  

What was said:
Dirty... but a fishing beer
Sweeter than Stella

A little skunky
It’s drinkable
I would actually drink this
I would take this over to a friends
Beer: Luxor Classic
ABV: 10%
Size: 500ml
Company: El Gouna Beverages Co.

The can says it all "Safari Size" take yourself a six pack the next time you go look for the Lion King. A very basic but consistent lager that would go well at a frat's a beer. Slightly better than Stella but overall forgettable.

What was said:

Tasteless... dirty.
I’d finish it.
Like cheap beer from a bottle
Nice little after taste
Bad after burp!
Beer: Luxor Weizen (Hefe WeiBbier)
ABV: 5%
Size: 500ml
Company: El Gouna Beverages Co.

Last year I had the good fortune to run across a magazine that had an ad for the liquor store Cheers. One of the items on their menu was a Hefeweizen Beer and that got me a little excited. Word has it that the beer is brewed by Germans, it might be just a myth. I took one sip and was by far the best beer in Egypt. A constant in my fridge. We would bring up cases from Cairo before Cheers opened a store in Alex. After the revolution, production was suspended and we went and bought out any store that had "Luxor White" as it called in the shops. The company called me when the new batch was made and drove up the first 12 cases to our school. Last summer Ana and I tried several Hefeweizens in Germany and Luxor Weizen can stand on its' own.

What was said:
Not bad!
Great in Comparison
It’s the best beer in Egypt
The best beer of the night
Smells like bacon

Beer: Sakara Gold
ABV: 4%

Size: 500ml
Company: Al Ahram Beverages Co. Subsidiary of Heineken International

Egypt’s answer to Coors Light. If you need a light beverage on a warm day or something in your hand to be polite at the boss's party, Sakara might do the trick. The company wants to assure the customer they are drinking “quality beer” by mentioning no less than four times on the can. The power of suggestion does wonders.  

What was said:
 Great for fishing trips
Good when cold
Dirty... it taste like a dirty glass.
I feel bloated
Beer: Sphinx Classic
Alcohol: 5%
Size: 500ml 
Company: Al Masria Co.

From the company that brought you the Castelo line. It has tourist written all over it. This lager is loaded with sugar and stinks like a Heineken gone south.

What was said:
The skunk has arrived
No good
If Heineken had a XXX
Did it come out of the Sphinx’s ass?

Beer: Stella
ABV: 4.5%
Size: 500ml
Company: Al Ahram Beverages Co. Subsidiary of Heineken International

Authentic Egyptian Enjoyed Since 1897. There it’s been said, actually 4 times on the can. Egypt’s oldest brew and I have to say the blue can is an iconic image in these parts. Although the beer might not take a ribbon for the best lager ever made, it does boast great design qualities. If you make it out this way, do yourself a favor and order a Stella then move on to a Luxor.  

What was said:
This is also a fishing beer... getting drunk in the sun.
It’s dirty but not nauseating
A little skunky
Weak smell
My burps are bubbly  
Beer: Bob’s Islamic Pale Ale (IPA) Batch no. 6
ABV: 7% 
Size: 500ml
Company: Bob and Ana's Closet

Made three times a year, each batch producing 36-500ml bottles. At times inconsistent, but overall a West Coast style IPA. A little too hoppy for most but I like it.  

What was said:
Smells like lemon
Grapefruit notes

Beer: The suicide  
ABV: 7%+
Size: A big pitcher

A deadly mixture of all the tasted Egyptian beers-it had to be done.

What was said:
It’s not bad
It’s the skunk but blended
My belly is warming up
Surprisingly decent 
Name: Bubba
Age: Old enough to drink
Race: Daytona 500
Favorite Color: None of your damn business 
Name: Negatron
Age: thirtysomething
Race: Cajun
Favorite Animal: Badger
Name: Red
Age: How old are you?
Race: Viking
Favorite Smurf: Papa
Name: No Neck
Age: Older than you
Race: Wookie
Favorite Bake Potato Topping: Bacon 

Name: The Burp Master
Age: 12
Race: Candy Land
Favorite Food: Sugar

Name: Monkey
Age: My place or yours?
Race: Francophone
Favorite Quote: "Wait, I thought this was going to be a wine tasting"

 Name: DM Fan
Age: Child Bride
Race: Chicana
Favorite Pastime: Kicking cats

Name: Egyptian Driver
Age: Young and wreckless
Race: Trekker
Favorite Song: Whatever the ipod is playing
Cheers makes the Luxor and nice organic wines, they also carry all the items on the Drinkies Menu. 
The limited list and the tasting notes on their wines.
Your Drinkies order arrives by a motorcycle inside a black box. Out of the black box comea a black plastic bag. 45 minutes or less from their store to your house, but it seldom arrives on time.  
Drinkies offerings.
Potential Egyptian beer names;
King Tut
...feel free to add your own in the comment section


  1. "Gold Berg" is actually a German name - "Gold" being the German word for "gold," and "berg" the word for "mountain."

    Now, if the name was "Goldberg" instead...

  2. man, you had to go ruin it form me, i totally thought it was goldberg and they just broke the word in half so it could fit on the label.

  3. I was a beer shop yesterday and the guy tried to sell me the German beer Gold Berg. I told him it wasn't German and he argued "Stella Egyptian, Gold Berg German"...I had to leave.

  4. Gold Berg bronze (5%) is actually not that bad. I prefer it over both Sakara and Stella. A bit expensive though.

    The silver (8%) is also somewhat drinkable. The gold I did not try, but it is very rare to find a 10% beer that is not horribly sweet.

  5. I recently spoke with Cheers and the Luxor Weizen is now in the history books. They don't see it coming back in production. Sakara also came out with hef but that too is long gone. As mentioned above Gold Berg does have Bronze and Silver that I've seen in more of the shady shops around Alex but didn't feel inspired to pay the outrageous prices. I will update as needed.

  6. First on the serious note: it seems like Egypt would have better beer since they were one of the first to create it.

    But additionally, this is one of the funiest reviews that I've ever read. I really want to try one of these... sort of.

    And what's with making so many of them 10%? No wonder they taste like alcohol.