I think it’s appropriate to assume that every Nigerian has drunk malt at least once in their lifetimes. Made from barley, hops and water, malt drinks are the sweet, non-alcoholic sibling to beers and stouts. They are low in sugars and notably less carbonated than sodas.
You may not agree but I think malt drinks are amazing. They’re refreshing, revitalising and not full of nasty sugars or additives.
There are several varieties of the drink available for malt drinkers and armed robbers alike. Yes, even with my love for all things malt, I’m well aware that not all malt drinks are created equally. Here’s a definitive ranking of malt drinks as told by me (Denise):
Hi-Malt isn’t the most popular malt brand in the business. It’s one of those ‘need-to-know’ basis drinks. You can’t just stumble on a can of Hi-Malt.
Frankly speaking, I think this ‘need-to-know’ basis is particularly because only cultists and armed robbers drink this brand of malt.
Are you a shady business owner? Do you find yourself awake and active between the hours of midnight and 3am regularly? Are you called Sniper, Ace or Senior Man at least once a month? This is your drink, my friend. This is it.
When I was younger — yes, I drank malt as a child — Maltina slapped pretty hard. It was rich and flavourful drink which didn’t leave a weird, bitter aftertaste like most malt brands.
Somewhere along the line, something stopped adding up. I don’t know what changed during the transition from glass bottles to cans but honestly, Maltina isn’t the same anymore.
To me, it tastes watered down, doesn’t have the body I used to love and now, it has that weird aftertaste I loathe.
This one breaks my heart.
5. Malta Guinness
Malta Guinness became my go-to malt brand after Maltina took a turn for the worse.
This was also my family’s favourite malt brand — yes, drinking malt as a family is a thing. That was before we discovered Amstel Malt.
My favourite thing about Malta Guinness happens to be the fact that it doesn’t foam as much as the others do. It also does have that weird, bitter aftertaste and that explains why it’s so far down the list. It starts of pretty sweet but by the end, I’m clutching my throat at the bitterness. Not my favourite thing to do, really.
4. Amstel Malta
Amstel Malta is easily one of my favourite malt brands. Sometime last month, a Twitter user reported that she had seen some scary things in her can of Amstel Malta — a leaf or tea bag. Honestly, I’m not sure. I didn’t look too well, it creeped me out. Nevertheless, this is still a top tier malt brand for me. Why? Sentiment.
Amstel Malta reminds me of my Oma. I kid you not, this woman always had at least three cartons of Amstel Malta in her house and who else to feed it to besides her grandchildren? Sis was popping malt down my throat like no man’s business.
Appears, Amstel Malta is an important part of my family.
3. Beta Malt
Like Hi-Malt, Beta Malt isn’t the most popular malt brand. However, this is actually one of the best malt brands in the business.
It shocks me that not a lot of people know this brand. To be fair, I haven’t exactly seen any ads or campaigns by the brand so maybe that counts for the public’s lack of knowledge.
Nevertheless, Beta Malt is one of the best malt brands in the Nigerian market. It’s rich, has an amazing flavour and doesn’t leave your mouth feeling like it’s three days old.
I give them brownie points for the cute packaging too. The design has a rustic feel and the colours work for me.
2. Grand Malt
Simply put, I love Grand Malt. I think it’s one of the best Malt drinks out there and I have reasons.
Firstly, it’s sweet but not overwhelmingly so. The sweetness of malt drinks is usually subtle but that’s not the case with Grand Malt. This drink is sweet but not in the alarming manner in which regular soda is. It’s just right.
Secondly, it has awesome texture. It’s not a light, passing sensation. The drink feels almost velvety.
Thirdly, I adore the packaging. That shade of blue is the most beautiful shade of blue I have come across. For malt drinks that are usually portrayed as “serious”, I love how Grand Malt was able to have fun with their packaging.
1. Dubic Malt
Having to pick between Grand Malt and Dubic Malt for my favourite malt brand was nothing short of a struggle. This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my life. Nevertheless, Dubic Malt takes the crown for me.
This brand is only 5 years old but it already makes the most refreshing malt drink in the country. That’s exactly why I love Dubic Malt; it’s refreshing! It has all the things I love about Grand Malt but it takes up and notch because for some strange reason, this drink is absolutely refreshing.
Dubic Malt is out here doing the Lord’s work. I stan.