The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - FRONT -

Time to panic A decade ago, Zimbabwe was wracked by hyper­in­fla­tion. Now it’s fac­ing a liq­uid­ity cri­sis of sorts, with its big­gest brewer warning that the coun­try is about to run out of its favourite beer. Chibuku Shake Shake has been in short sup­ply for weeks as pro­duc­tion slows due to a short­age of the foreign cur­rency needed to im­port ingredients; the mea­gre cur­rency re­serves held in Zimbabwe’s state cof­fers have been re­served to pay for es­sen­tials such as im­ports of fuel and elec­tric­ity. Chibuku Shake Shake, which is pink-grey in colour with a sour taste and grainy tex­ture, is based on tra­di­tional recipes us­ing maize or sorghum; it takes its name from the pop­u­lar rit­ual of shak­ing the con­tainer be­fore tak­ing the first sip. The short­age has caused cus­tomers to panic buy, but alas, it has a shelf-life of only a few days – and the beer gets stronger as it con­tin­ues to fer­ment in the con­tainer, with its al­co­hol content in­creas­ing from 0.5 per cent when fresh to 7 per cent af­ter a week.

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