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Pub of The Year – The Gin and Tonic Bar, Rundu, Namibia

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My favourite Pubs used to be in Ireland. That’s before I came across the Gin and Tonic Bar.

This bar is a concrete box plus an irregularly arranged corrugated iron flat roof, located in a small village in Rundu, in northeast Namibia – near the border with Angola. The front walls proudly displayed the words ‘WeLLcom GiN and TONiC BAR’ in orange hand writing.

It still amazes me that a Pub (or in this case, a drankwinkel) is a feature of every town in the world, no matter how poor or squalid it is.  This place would definitely win Pub Of The Year in Rundu – because it’s the only pub there!

My Pub Of The Year is the Gin and Tonic Bar.

I love how unpretentious this bar is!

Best Pub In The World &Amp; Pub Of The Year - Gin And Tonic Bar

The GiN and TONiC BAR had no electricity supply, and inside, was a mud-walled establishment complete with dirt floor. A neat line of standard spirits such as vodka and bourbon occupied the shabby bar. Two bartenders stood behind the bar, waiting for any potential customer to pop-in for a quick brewski.

I had to satisfy my militant curiosity and wondered if they served beer.  Surely, the Pub Of The Year would have this?

‘Hello there – I was wondering, do you have any beer?’ I casually asked the laid-back bartender.

He pointed me into the direction of the 60 litre plastic rubbish bin located in a dusty corner. The bin contained a whitish, cloudy homebrew, and this liquid looked rougher than anything I’d ever tried at university, even the green home brew that beer desperados like myself wouldn’t dare to touch. This beer looked more at home on a three-week, incubated agar plate than in a beer glass.

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Hmm, this is a laboratory!

It was called mahango or millet beer, which is usually brewed and drunk on the same day (this must have been really green home brew). A plastic ladle lay still within the beer and its handle was barely holding on to the bin lip.

I had complete faith in my guts’ ability to handle almost any dodgy foodstuff or beverage, as four years of on-campus college food that required carbon-dating had evolved my battered stomach into a super-digestive monster, able to withstand almost anything that was shoved down my gullet.

I poured the cloudy mixture in a plastic cup, took a sip, and then swallowed the rest. After analysing the initial layer of beer on my tongue, finishing with the grainy after-taste, I concluded that this suspicious looking home brew actually tasted not too bad, considering the less than ideal brewing conditions. I also deduced there was obviously enough alcohol in the beer to kill any feral Namibian bug, thus preventing me from becoming sick with explosive diarrhoea or vomiting.

The bartenders looked at me in appreciation that their brew was acceptable as I walked out. I had to acknowledge their fine improvisation in the beer making process. I accepted that human beings have an undocumented survival instinct that orders us to produce substances that cause us to become drunk no matter what dire circumstances are present.

Oh, I didn’t become sick either!

Cheers from the Pub Of The Year!

This was a guest blogger post on Things You Should Do. Thanks to Julie Gallaher for this opportunity.

For more pub stuff, check out more at On Tap: A Calvacade of Trivia and Tall Stories Celebrating 200 Years of the Australian Pub.

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8 thoughts on “Pub of The Year – The Gin and Tonic Bar, Rundu, Namibia”

  1. Avatar Of Central Coast Accommodation
    Central Coast Accommodation

    Looks like an oasis in the desert! A very high alcohol content is a sure way to stop tummy bugs. I probably would have still opted for the tequila, just to be sure. Well done!

  2. Avatar Of Armands

    What about the prices in this pub? I would assume that based on the money they have spent on decorations and all other luxuries, the price should be very affordable 🙂

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