Rwandan Beerfest and the Kigali Expat Scene

Mutzig Rwanda beer festival

Last weekend I found myself surrounded by Rwandan beer wenches, in full costume, peddling Mutzig (Rwanda’s faux German brew) to hundreds of drunken locals and expats dancing badly to live music interspersed with ABBA tunes. It was awesome.

For $10 we got food which I never ate but that looked really tasty (one friend was following trays of raw chicken around all night to make sure he got his freshly barbecued pieces), unlimited cold beer, an amazing setting atop a mountain, a fantasticly grassy outdoor dance floor and an all-round world class event that I will return to again and again if I’m in the area.

One thing that made this event really fun for me was how many people I knew there, and I don’t actually even know that many people yet. Kigali is a super small city and there’s a small expat scene with everyone seemingly hanging out in the same cafes, going to the same parties and many, of course, heading to Beerfest. Getting stuck in the expat bubble is something I wanted to avoid when I first arrived but now I’m like – screw it! – it’s fun. I’ve mentioned it before but expats here seem to be doing really interesting things and I’m not really that easily impressed. I love talking to most of the people I meet here.

But back to Beerfest. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting such a smoothly run event. It started off civilised and deteriorated nicely over the hours as more and more people arrived and more and more Mutzig was consumed. The toilet situation was an issue, as a friend of mine wrote exclusively about over on her blog. It’s true, I have no shame.

The setup was amazing up high on a hill but the traffic jam on the way out wasn’t quite as appealing. Most of us just hopped in random cars or in the back of pickup trucks rather than waiting on the free shuttle bus that was put on to take people back to town. I was obviously super impressed with the whole event. It was really fun and I’d honestly plan another trip to Rwanda around it. It was such a good night.

Be there! Beerfest, Rwanda style, 2011!

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