From the HBD Archive
From: ("John Olson")
Subject: Himalayan homebrew
Date: 1992-04-24 16:49:44 GMT

The Himalayan homebrew we saw a lot in Nepal is called "chang." It looks like
milky water, has little white chunkies in it, and tastes
like bread yeast smells. It seemed mildly alcoholic, after handicapping it for
the altitude.

It was quite enjoyable, however, but mainly because of the surroundings.

The Sherpas brew chang from millet, in large plastic food drums left behind
(i.e. dumped along with all the other trash) by departing expeditions.
Because so many drums are dumped, production capacity seems quite high
along the tourist routes. There was one in the corner of every kitchen we

They do not seem to boil or sanatize anything. In fact, apart from a working
knowledge of fermentation, it appears that the concept of microorganisms of any kind has not reached much of Nepal.

A landlady serves her guests room-temperature chang in clear glasses from a
pitcher that she fills by dipping into said expedition drum. She comes
around with the pitcher once in a while offering refills. The bill is on
the order of pennies.

All Western medical advice says don't drink the chang, for the same good
reasons you don't drink the water (which reasons are abundantly obvious in
Nepal), and most of our group prudently didn't. Two of us with less
concern, who had somehow avoided GI problems and were feeling immortal,
enjoyed it on several occasions with great pleasure and no ill effects.

Chang is very nice enjoyed while sitting back in a lodge kitchen in the
afternoon. The Sherpas on a crew head there after seeing to more safe
and sane refreshments for the tourists.

It is best enjoyed, however, later in the evening after the other westerners
have crashed. The Nepalese trek crews love to stay up late in the kitchen,
singing and dancing and playing a drum, the national instrument, with a
little chang.

I haven't looked for recipes, because I prefer Our kind of beer better.
If I were to make chang, it would be as a novelty, or for refreshments for
the big slide show.

Back New Search

The posts that comprise the Homebrew Digest Searchable Archive remain the property of their authors.
This search system is copyright © 2008 Scott Alfter; all rights reserved.