Toast to the Holy Land

Toast to the Holy Land

The Bible doesn’t say if Abraham stopped for a cold one, but the modern-day Abraham Path passes through the Christian Palestinian village of Taybeh, famous for its brewery. The town’s name means “delicious” in Arabic, according to 51-year-old Nadim Khoury, who founded the brewery in August 1995, shortly after the Oslo Accords brought temporary peace between Israel and Palestine. He said the brewery “contributes to the economy and we believe this is how we can build Palestine.” Beer ingredients are imported, from Belgian malt, Bavarian and Czech hops, to French caps and Israeli bottles, though barrier walls can be “a headache.”

Taybeh brews several beers, like original Golden beer, which Nadim calls, “not bitter, not sweet, well balanced,” for desert weather; Dark beer originally for winter, but now year round; and non-alcoholic, ideal for Muslims. The beers work with local cuisine. Nadim recommends Golden with Musakhan, a Palestinian chicken dish, and Dark with Mansaf, a Jordanian meat dish, or with lamb. Taybeh is available in Europe, and Nadim plans importing to the United States. The brewery also hosts an Oktoberfest, where 15,000 Israelis and Palestinians drink to peace.

The brewery is co-managed by David Khoury, Nadim’s brother, and Taybeh’s mayor. Nadim’s 24-year-old daughter, Madees, is being groomed to take over. “She’s the first lady brewer of Palestine,” Nadim says. For more on Taybeh Brewery and Oktoberfest, click here.

Published on November 11, 2010

The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories