Taybe beer in three varieties - Dark, Amber, Golden. Biosketch, Wikimedia Commons

Day 6: Something good is brewing in Taybeh

  • May 18, 2014

The last fully and completely Christian village in the Middle East is home of the only beer manufactured in the Palestinian Territories. Taybeh beer is named after the town of 1,300 Palestinian Christians within sight of the Dead Sea.

While the Golden Lager is Taybeh's biggest seller, the dark beer is particularly satisfying and surprisingly light tasting. Taybeh Brewing Company also makes Amber, Light and a new Belgian-style wheat beer called White.

The beer's slogan is "Taste the Revolution."

But you can't taste the revolution in Canada. The micro-brew founders and owners, David and Nadim Khoury, have had some talks with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario but they haven't heard back from the world's largest alcohol buyer in a while. Taybeh has a co-brewing agreement with a company in Germany, which gets around some of the many difficulties of exporting anything out of Palestine, but they can't reach any such agreement with a Canadian company because of Ottawa's reluctance to recognize Palestine.

It seems our government doesn't want us to taste the revolution.

It's not as if Taybeh's quality beers are going to take any noticeable market share from Molson's. The little beer company can only make beer on the days when the Israelis allow Taybeh access to its spring water. While the Israeli settlements on three sides of Taybeh have access to the water seven days a week, the village of Taybeh only gets the water two days per week.

The fresh spring water is, of course, the key ingredient in Taybeh beer.

The Khoury brothers returned from the United States after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. The Taybeh Brewing Company was in business as of 1994. What began as Nadim's home brewing hobby when the Khourys were students in Boston became an act of faith, a vote of confidence in the two-state solution to the almost eternal conflict between Israel and Palestine.

As more and more Palestinians turn their back on the two-state solution, despairing of any end to the conflict that has defined their lives, it's too bad Canadians can't taste the revolution. It tastes pretty good.

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