West Africa Invades the American Beer Conversation
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because a good beer is a great way to bring people together.
By Amberly Ellis
In 2012, two friends originally from West Africa and now living in Washington, D.C., noticed something about their local beer market: an absence of imported African beers. Seeing this as a challenge, Kofi Meroe and Amado Carsky started home-brewing together, incorporating techniques and the unique flavors they knew growing up.
The result? Sankofa Beer Company, which looks to bring influences from the mother continent to craft beer in the U.S., via a brewing environment that reminds the pair of home. “Whether it be the ingredients or the inspiration, we want to bring West Africa to the beer conversation,” Carsky explains. The company is named after the Sankofa bird, an African symbol that means the future is seen by looking to the past.
Among its current hoppy offerings, Sankofa’s flagship recipe, HYPEbiscus, is a pale ale brewed with organic dried hibiscus flowers. It has subtle malt notes, a tropical flowery aroma and a dry finish. On the horizon, the pair is looking to launch two new brews: Harmattan Haze wheat beer and Cocoa Coast chocolate milk stout.
The brewers hope Sankofa Beer will be available in bars, restaurants and stores in Washington, D.C., by mid-2018 and distribution to other states and beyond is planned for next year.
- Amberly Ellis, OZY AuthorContact Amberly Ellis