The beer I had to order right away was Castel. Twenty years ago when I was in the Peace Corps in the West African country of Mali, the only bottled beer produced there was sold under the Castel label. Castel is a French company that licenses their brand and perhaps their recipes to breweries in developing countries. We drank the Castel in Mali only out of necessity: we called it "Casse-Tête", which actually means "jigsaw puzzle" in French, but the literal translation of "head-breaker" described the quality pretty aptly. If you were lucky enough to get it in a 66 cl brown bottle, it might be a little better than the more common green bottles, and the rumor was that it contained formaldehyde as a preservative, though I doubt that was true.
The Ethiopian Castel was better than my recollection of what I experienced decades ago, though it was still not very good. Seemed lighter than I recall. It gets a C on Beer Advocate, though of the five reviewers, the only B- is from a guy who thought it would make a "tastey (sic) binge beer".
A little more recent nostalgia hit me when I noticed "Jamaican Stout" was also on the E'Njoni menu. "Oh, you have Dragon Stout?" I asked. "No, it's just called Jamaican Stout." Turns out to be from Big City Brewing in Kingston. Last year when we were in Jamaica, I never saw anything local except Red Stripe, Dragon Stout, and locally-brewed Guinness, so I was surprised to see it here in Portland. It was a too-sweet stout along the lines of Dragon Stout, though it was a little better than Dragon: not as sweet, with a little fuller flavor. The Beer Advocates give it a B. It was the best beer we had at E'Njoni.
They also have Tusker from Kenya -- I remember having that as an occasional novelty years ago in Austin. If you can't go for the imports, they do have Mirror Pond and Widmer Hef, or you could get a refreshing glass of water. Here's the full list of off-the-beaten track beers at E'Njoni (from Ethiopia unless otherwise noted):
- Hakim Stout
- St. George
- Jamaican Stout (Jamaica)
- Tusker (Kenya)
- Alhambra Negra (Spain)