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Local Egyptian Alcohol


Page update - Aug 13, 2023

What are the local alcoholic beverages in Egypt? Which ones are offered in All Inclusive hotels? Where to buy alcohol? What are the prices right now? Read the answers on this page.

Prices and other information on this page were updated in August 2023. Liquor in Egypt has gone up 10-20% in the last six months, because the EGP/USD rate has gone up. All the actual prices are below on this page.

If you're going to All Inclusive hotel

Then this page is just for you. In Egypt, it is local alcohol that is poured on the All Inclusive. The first part of the page will not be of much interest to you, but the second part is a must-read. We will talk in detail about the varieties of Egyptian beer, wine, and spirits in the second part.

An important point!

Egypt has different rules for imported and local alcohol.

Imported alcohol

Not for sale freely. Imported alcohol requires a special license, which in fact can only be obtained by expensive five-star hotels and Duty Free stores.

But when and who was stopped by bans and laws in Egypt? Nobody and never. Imported alcohol is sometimes sold in resort areas by common merchants. Here is a photo of one of the stores in Naama Bay in Sharm el-Sheikh. Imported alcohol is sold, but without price tags, which means the price will be double or triple. And the origin of these drinks can be questionable.

Imported alcohol can be brought with you, you can buy in Duty Free in airports, you can drink in the bars of expensive hotels. Read about import regulations, prices, rules in our detailed review "Alcohol in Egypt - prices and rules".

Imported alcohol is served in hotels only on Ultra AI. Regular All Inclusive hotels offer locally produced alcohol.

Locally produced alcohol

Sold relatively freely. Licenses to sell local alcohol are issued to local stores, bars, hotels of almost all categories.

However, there is an important nuance. Back under President Mubarak (until 2011), there were no problems with issuing licenses to stores. Then, under President Morsi (2012-13), no licenses were issued at all, because Morsi was an ardent Islamist.

After Morsi was overthrown in 2013 and Al-Sisi came to power, they started issuing licenses again, but with a severity. New hotels are given licenses easily. But new stores are not, with few exceptions.

As a result, in Egypt, alcohol is now sold mostly by those stores and bars that were licensed under Mubarak. The number of such stores is gradually decreasing, as new ones are not appearing, and the old ones are periodically closed.

Get ready for the fact that a store with local liquor will have to be found.

Where and how to look for a liquor store?

There aren't many liquor stores. But don't worry.

In most cases you don't have to look for a liquor store yourself. It is easier to get into a white or yellow (orange, white-blue) cab and tell the driver the phrase "liquor store" or "Drinkies shop". The driver will understand and bring you to a liquor store. But, he probably won't take you to the nearest one, but to a store farther away, to earn more money. Fortunately, the cab fares in Egypt are the lowest in the world, read about the fares in our review "Taxis in Egypt".

There are about a dozen liquor stores in Sharm El Sheikh now (August 2023). There are three in Dahab. One in Nuweiba. One in Taba, but that one is not specialized, but just a supermarket with beer on the shelves.

In Hurghada, there are a dozen stores with alcohol, including supermarkets with beer and no strong liquor. El Gouna has one liquor store. In Sahl Hasheesh has no alcoholic stores, but Hurghada is very close. Makadi Bay, Soma Bay, Safaga, and El Quseir have no stores, only bars. In Marsa Alam, there is one store.

In Cairo and Alexandria, there are dozens of liquor stores. No wonder as they are big cities.

"Drinkies" and "Al Ahram Beverages"

Now about a third of the specialty liquor stores in Egypt are owned by the Drinkies chain. It is the official partner of Al Ahram Beverages manufacturer.

The main advantage of shopping at Drinkies is safety. No counterfeit or contraband is sold there. You don't even have to go to the Drinkies store, but you can order delivery through the 19330 hotline or through the website. But to order, you will need a local SIM, we wrote about them in the review "Internet in Egypt".

In 2021, Drinkies made their own app for iOS and Android. Through this app, you can order with delivery to the hotel. The app is called "Drinkies Store Al Ahram Beverages".

There is one Drinkies store in Hurghada and three in Sharm El Sheikh. Drinkies stores only accept Egyptian pounds, when ordering with delivery or online! Read our review "Where and how to exchange money in Egypt".

Al Ahram Beverages (ABC) is the largest local Egyptian producer of alcoholic beverages. Al Ahram Beverages is now owned by the Heineken Group Corporation and owns five large plants throughout Egypt.

It is believed (no exact figures are available) that Al Ahram Beverages produces about 80% of all alcohol in Egypt. Most All Inclusive hotels serve Al Ahram Beverages. In the rest of this review, we will mainly describe their products.

Alcohol prices in Egypt

Once upon a time (before 2014), alcohol in Egypt cost "pennies". But in 2014, Egypt doubled the alcohol taxes. Egyptian liquor became 1.5-2 times more expensive.

Then in 2016, there was a "collapse of the Egyptian pound", when the pound/dollar exchange rate rose from 8 to 18 pounds per dollar. And alcohol naturally rose in price, although not sharply, but gradually. Now the rate is 30:1, and the prices continue to rise.

As a result, by now (August 2023) the prices of alcohol in Egypt are higher than in some European countries. Beer is very expensive. In Egypt, the price for beer is 1.5 times more expensive than in Germany or Czech Republic. Now beer is not cheaper than 30 pounds for 0.5 liters bottle (can) in Egypt. See our review "Money in Egypt" for the current exchange rates.

Why is beer in the stores expensive? Because Egypt has very high beer taxes. The tax on beer is 200%, the tax on wine and spirits is 150%. Why does Egyptian law dislike beer so much? It's hard to say.

By the way, it's very funny to read some sites on the Internet that talk about beer for 5, 8 or 10 Egyptian pounds. Those prices haven't existed for a long time! Only read sites with up-to-date information, like our site.




Beer




Stella

The most consumed beer in Egypt. It is brewed in Al Ahram breweries. Most AI hotels offer Stella as the main (and sometimes only) beer. The name in Latin translates as "star". Don't confuse Egyptian Stella and Belgian Stella Artois, as these are two completely different beers.

There used to be many types of Stella, but now there is only one type, which is called "Stella". Its alcohol content is 4.5%, while the density is 10.5%.

The price in stores is between 30 and 40 Egyptian pounds per bottle (can) of 0.5 liters.




Sakara Gold and Weizen

The second most popular beer brand in Egypt, named after the village and necropolis of Saqqara south of Cairo. The pyramid of Djoser (the very first large Egyptian pyramid) is in the center of Saqqara. Sakara beer is also brewed at Al Ahram breweries.

Sakara Gold is light, with an alcohol content of 4%. Sakara Weizen - lager, 5% alcohol. Sakara beer is less common in All Inclusive hotels, which is a pity because it tastes even better than Stella beer.

The prices: Gold - 40-45 pounds, Weizen - 45-50 pounds for a bottle (can) of 0.5 liters.




Sakara El-King

Sakara El-King is fortified, with 10% or 15% alcohol. Beer with 15% alcohol only appeared a couple of years ago. Compared to that, many European and American strong beers are not so strong.

Of course, the high ethanol content in the drink could not affect its taste and not for the better. This variety is "for the lovers". Although... One could also say "for the professional." We hope the joke was a success.

The price of Sakara El-King is 45-50 pounds per bottle (can) of 0.5 liters.




Luxor

This beer is produced by EIBCO (Egyptian International Beverages Company). The stylization is good. The can depicts sphinxes from the alley between the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple. Many tourists like the taste, but some don't.

Now they produce three varieties: Classic (4.5% alcohol), Weizen (5% alcohol) and XXX (10% alcohol). The price is 30-45 pounds per bottle (can) of 0.5 liter.




Heineken

The beer is locally produced, brewed under license from Heineken of the Netherlands at Al Ahram breweries. However, it is difficult to talk about licenses given the fact that Al Ahram is now owned by Heineken.

There is only one variety of Egyptian Heineken - 5% alcohol, 11.5% density.

The price is about 45 pounds per bottle (can) of 0.5 liter.




Meister

The third popular Egyptian brand and also from Al Ahram. This beer pretends to be European, but has nothing to do with Europe.

The usual variety is called "Meister" - strength 5.2%, density 12%. There is also Meister Max, fortified and with an alcohol content of 8%.

The prices: for regular Meister - 40-45 pounds, for Meister Max - 45-50 pounds.




Desperados

This is a very interesting Egyptian beer drink. In 2008 the Egyptians began to make their tequila from the fruit of the agave cactus. Egyptian tequila has not gained much popularity.

But beer with Egyptian tequila was very successful. We recommend you try it. It is a pity that the hotels do not serve drink Desperados on All Inclusive. You have to go to a store.

The price is 35-40 pounds for a bottle (can) of 0.33 liters.




Strong drinks




Auld Stag

The most popular Egyptian whiskey, produced by Al Ahram since 2004. You see a deer and the European name of the brand on the label, but this whiskey has nothing to do with Europe. But it tastes quite good, though it obviously falls short of the European samples.

The price is 200-250 pounds per 0.75 liter.




Blue40 and Black50

This is one of Al Ahram's latest innovations with Heineken. The Blue40 and Black50 brands were launched in 2015. This is a premium vodka, although many tourists refuse to classify it as premium. Still, it's not bad vodka.

The alcohol content is 40% and 50%. The prices are around 350 pounds for Blue40 and around 450 pounds for Black50.




Devlin

It is a single malt whiskey, and Devlin is considered to be the best Egyptian whiskey. And of course the most expensive. Moreover, it is expensive even by European standards! Genuine Scotch or American whiskey is cheaper!

The price is 600-700 pounds for a bottle of 0.75 liters.




Cubana Rum

It would seem! Egypt must become one of the world leaders in the production of rum, because the Egyptians grow a lot of sugar cane. But no. Cubana Rum is the only relatively popular brand.

Cubana Rum is only sold white (filtered). The price is about 300 pounds for 0.75 liters.




Malvado

This is an Egyptian tequila. It is produced both white (silver) and golden. Since 2008 it has been made from imported cacti. Egyptian tequila is clearly cheaper than Mexican tequila, but the taste clearly suffers.

The price is 180-200 pounds for a 0.75 liter bottle. The price of golden and silver is the same.




Zibiba

This is aniseed vodka, a counterpart of Greek ouzo, Turkish raki, or Italian grappa. Now it is the cheapest strong liquor in Egypt (legally produced or imported). The taste deserves a "drinkable" rating.

The price is 60-80 pounds for 0.5 liters. The strength is 42%.




Whiskey, rum, gin, vodka Bolanachi

And it is these drinks most hotels serve tourists on All Inclusive.

The company Al Ahram produces a large line of inexpensive drinks under the brand name "Bolanachi".

The drinks are: Oxford gin, Marenos ouzo, Aloha rum, Volga vodka, Sombrero tequila, Normandy and 1884 brandies, Highlands Black and Highlands Red whisky.

The prices are around 90 pounds for 0.75 liter. All these drinks are "drinkable" but don't expect a good taste.




Brand Pharaoh's

This is a very special brand from Al Ahram. Pharaoh's drinks are supplied only to All Inclusive hotels. These drinks are poured in plastic bottles. Have you ever seen whisky or brandy in a plastic bottle? In Egypt, it is a reality.

In terms of quality and taste, Pharaoh's drinks are worse than Bolanachi. It's safe to drink, but don't expect a magnificent flavor. As the bottles look like, see the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge.




Wine




Omar Khayyam

The name subtly hints that while drinking this wine philosophical thoughts should come to mind like Omar Khayyam. The taste is quite bearable, with a wine like this you can philosophize a bit.

Omar Khayyam wine is very popular primarily because of its low price. And in terms of value for money it is definitely one of the best in Egypt. The price is 160-180 pounds for a bottle of 0.75 liters.




Shahrazade

This wine is made from Egyptian grapes from three plantations in the Nile Delta. Shahrazade is famous for its long and rich aftertaste, rich bouquet.

It is produced by "Kouroum of the Nile" company. They have a branded bar and store in Sharm El Sheikh in SOHO Square Mall.

The price is 150-200 pounds per bottle of 0.75 liter.




Obelisk

It is considered one of the best wines in Egypt. Obelisk wine comes in red, white, and rose. The white variety is considered the best, the pink the most unsuccessful, the red medium.

Obelisk wine can be found in almost any liquor store. It is also often served to tourists on All Inclusive.

The price is 170-200 pounds for a bottle of 0.75 liter.




Wine in Egypt is a big lottery. There are very tasty wines that could compete with European wines. But more often the wine is of rather middle quality and taste.

In addition, the wine industry in Egypt is now actively developing, and the Egyptians are constantly experimenting. Wines from different years can be very different. Try it and buy it if you like it.

Wine in All Inclusive hotels is also a lottery, but the chances of winning are even less than in the store. Hotels often try to supply the wine that stores and restaurants didn't take for sale. At All Inclusive we recommend to try all wines in small doses and then decide if you are ready to consume any of them actively.

Egyptian national drinks

Unfortunately, Egypt does not have its own national alcoholic beverages. You will now be indignant: "It is an Arab country, how can it have its own alcoholic beverage?" In fact, Islamic countries have their own alcoholic beverages. Tunisia has boukha (vodka made from figs). Turkey has raki (aniseed vodka) and excellent pomegranate wine. But there is nothing like that in Egypt.

In theory, though, Egyptians have some right to consider beer their national drink. The right to be considered the inventor of beer is contested by ancient Egypt and ancient Assyria.

Modern Egyptians have a small relationship to the ancients. Culturally, they have long been Arabized, although from a genetic point of view, they have not become fully Arab, about which we talked about in the review "The Population of Egypt".

Important and useful to know

- If you decide to bring any alcohol from Egypt, be aware of the restrictions. Read our review "What you can and not take out of Egypt";

- We remind you that drinking and being drunk in public places (not in the hotel) according to Egyptian laws is punishable. Read our review "What not to do in Egypt".

Have a great holiday, and read our useful and interesting pages about Egypt (see the list of the pages below).

TIPS FOR TOURISTS

What Don't Do in Egypt

Cheats of Tourists in Egypt

What to Take to Egypt

Sharks in Egypt

To Egypt With Kids

How NOT to Get Poisoned in Egypt

National Holidays in Egypt

Weather in Egypt by Month

MONEY AND EXPENSES

What Money in Egypt

Money Exchange in Egypt

How Much Money to Take to Egypt

TRANSPORT

Taxi in Egypt

Cairo Metro

From Hurghada to Cairo

From Sharm to Cairo

From Hurghada to Luxor

From Cairo to Ain Sokhna

Intercity Buses - Guide

GIFTS, SOUVENIRS, CUSTOMS LAW

What to Bring from Egypt

What You Can & Not Bring in Egypt

What You Can & Not Take out of Egypt

ABOUT EGYPT

What Language is Spoken in Egypt

Who Are the Modern Egyptians

Friday & Weekends in Egypt

Ramadan in Egypt

TELECOM

Internet in Egypt Cheaply

RESORT REGIONS

Sharm El Sheikh

Naama Bay

Hurghada

Ain Sokhna

Mediterranean Rivera

BAD HABITS

Alcohol in Egypt - Prices & Rules

Local Egyptian Alcohol

Cigarettes & Smoking in Egypt

Vape and iQos in Egypt

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