An Elephant Never Forgets

Brewery and Country of Origin: East African Breweries Limited of P.O BOX 30161 00100, Ruaraka, Nairobi, Kenya

Date Reviewed: 6-28-12

When hunters, fishermen, or victims of animal attacks finally kill that noble beast they've been persuing, often it's head or entire body ends up mounted on a piece of mahogany above the mantel. This is not only a physical token of achievement; in a way, it is a means to pay respect to the beast's size, strength stature, perseverance, stamina, and so on. But when the one who is killed is a human, well, that's a different story. Murderous animals are usually hunted down and killed, but that's about it. Since 1923 however, the East African Breweries Limited company has been paying homage to a famed Tusker Elephant which killed one of the co founders of the brewery, George Hurst. Interestingly enough, the date makes this one of the first beers produced in East Africa altogether. But that aside, we couldn't make out why anyone would want to make a branding decision like this. Yet for whatever set of reasons, we couldn't argue, because in spite of the fact that you wouldn't really have to go far in any direction to find a beer that is better than this, the Tusker is still a noble and one of a kind entity.
Date Sampled: 6-27-12 At: Living Room, 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: Pale Lager
Alcohol by Volume: 4.20%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 14 oz Sam Adams Glass
Rating: 2.49


This beer is light gold with a nice half inch foam head which is fairly thick. The beer pours with a slightly choppy pour with a decent amount of carbonation action. Clear and shimmering, this beer lights up when held up to the light.


With a faint and malty aroma, this beer's overall smell is without much substance, lacking in any real definition or prominence. This is supplimented with a dull, grainy aroma to accompany the presence of malt.


Very light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. This is an easy drinking beer which won't make you feel full after a few. A medium high level of carbonation helps to give this beer's overall feel a more interesting texture, and the overall light body and low viscosity leave this beer in a category similar to the rest of lighter lagers.


This is a fairly sweet, grainy and somewhat malty flavored beer which has no real hops presence in the overall taste. Beer drinkers looking for a complex, in depth, or substantial set of flavors should look elsewhere. Simple, refreshing, and easy to drink, with a slightly dry and bitter finish including a short lived hoppy aftertaste.

Our Take

So no, this isn't a beer whose taste is of elephantine proportions or so unforgettable that you'll love it forever. And no, it's not voting for Romney this fall. What this beer actually is, is a living legend of the mysterious African brewing industry. Sure, they don't have the history, resources, and technology of those guys in Europe, but that's not to say the passion isn't there. African modernized beer has not been around forever, and relatively speaking, it's not the worst thing we've tried. That said, despite the fact that almost a century of tradition and glory has gone into this particular beer, those are intangible assets that don't translate into remarkable taste. Definitely something fun and exotic to try, but if you're at all serious about your taste, perhaps Kenya isn't the right country for you.