Test local millet beer, known as choukachou, to quench your thirst after day of browsing through the markets. Ask the locals how this beer is brewed and test the local varieties. Millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains. It is mainly grown for food and fodder but can be used for brewing purposes and millets are best grown in difficult production environments such as those at risk of drought.
Chouks is widely consumed in northern Benin and the city of Parakou is an important centre for brewing. The beer is transported to southern Benin via the railway or road to the rest of the country who adore this local beer. Locals are very proud of this beer and offer samples at the markets for a small price so that tourists can experience Benin through all their senses, even though too much beer can affect these senses.
This has made it an important market town, with major industries in cotton and textiles, peanut oil manufacture and brewing. The town grew initially from revenue generated from passing merchants that took goods from the region across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to Europe. It also served as an important stop over in the distribution of goods around Africa and take this opportunity to sample the ware from the brewery.