craft brewers edge their way
Last Updated : GMT 10:40:21
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Into Lebanon market

Craft brewers edge their way

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Craft brewers edge their way

I found that many people who came, they know what (it) means, different kind of beers
Batroun - Arab Today

For decades, beer in Lebanon has meant just one thing: the ubiquitous local pilsner, Almaza. But now a crop of local microbrews is making headway in the home market.

On the shore of the seaside town of Batroun, 34-year-old Jamil Haddad presides over the Colonel brewery, now just over three years old and, he says, expanding fast.

"Every year I'm growing like crazy," he told AFP, as workers put the finishing touches to a stage in the brewery's garden for its annual festival.

This year alone, thanks in part to his new beach bar a few hundred metres (yards) from the brewery, business is up 45 percent, he said.

"When I opened in 2014, I was afraid. Are people going to be okay with this concept? It's new, it's not traditional, it's different," Haddad said.

Initially he set his sights low, producing just a single lager, aiming for a product that would be accessible for beer drinkers used to the crisp but one-note taste of Almaza (diamond in Arabic).

"Then I was surprised... I found that many people who came, they know what (it) means, different kind of beers," he said.

"The other people who don't know, they were very open to understanding it."

Microbreweries, small and often experimental producers focusing on flavour and quality, have been booming across the world, with the sector particularly frothy in the United States and Britain.

In the Muslim-majority Middle East however, alcohol is shunned by many for religious reasons, leaving smaller markets that are often dominated by a single standard beer.

- Expanding local market -

Lebanon stands apart from many of its neighbours, with relatively relaxed social mores and a large Christian population, meaning its market for booze is larger.

With four million citizens overall, beer consumption was at 29 million litres a year in 2016, according to Lebanon's Blom Bank, with Almaza accounting for three-quarters of the market.

But if the drinkers are there, local producers face a raft of challenges, most of them born of the fact that ingredients including hops are not available domestically and must be imported.

Even bottles are brought in from abroad because Lebanon has no local glass industry, putting producers at the mercy of lengthy shipping times and high import fees.

Most Lebanese beer afficionados acknowledge that year zero for the country's craft brew sector was 2006, when the founders of 961 Beer got started even as a devastating war between the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and neighbouring Israel was under way.

It was a challenging start for the company, which is named for the Lebanese dialling country code, but despite some rocky years, it now produces for the international market as well as local customers.

"We're the only microbrewery in the region that exports," said Iyad Rasbey, 961's chief commercial officer, manning a mobile stand offering several of the brewery's products at a beer festival in Beirut.

"We export around six to seven containers a month to Europe, Brazil and the United States. That doesn't include the Far East and Middle East region," he told AFP, proffering a plastic cup emblazoned with the company logo and filled with its signature red ale.

In 2016, 961 accounted for five percent of Lebanon's beer market, according to Blom Bank, but the company now focuses predominantly on exports, which make up 85 percent of its sales, Rasbey said.

"We're working on that, we want to expand locally as well," he said.

"We believe the local market is picking up and expanding in terms of craft beer. Locally, people have started understanding the meaning of craft beer."

- 'New, interesting, challenging' -

Someone who is counting on that is Omar Bekdache, a 961 alumni and now owner of Brew Inc, a brewpub in the trendy Badaro neighbourhood of Beirut.

The pub offers a rotating selection of craft beers, ranging from a ginger-spiked Weizen, or wheat beer, to a coffee-coloured, dark malt porter, which are brewed on site in silver tanks that make up part of the decor.

"It's a market that's growing really fast," said Bekdache, 41.

"You have a lot of people who are home brewing actually... people are actually looking to try new beers, new styles of beer, new flavours, everything."

Hisham Shaar, 28, drinking on Brew Inc's patio, said he was at the pub twice a week, and became a microbrew fan four years ago after trying 961's red ale.

"It's new, it's interesting, it's challenging," he said, of the handful of newer offerings on the beer scene.

"People who used to stick to Almaza were bored with it. People have welcomed these new microbreweries."

Back in Batroun, Haddad has high hopes for the local market, and dreams that one day he will be able to brew with locally grown hops.

"For sure, we still have room for at least 10 to 15 other microbreweries," he said.

"I see a growth in the coming five, 10 years, big time."

Source:AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

craft brewers edge their way craft brewers edge their way

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

craft brewers edge their way craft brewers edge their way

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017

GMT 10:35 2018 Monday ,22 January

Skincare PR Performance Full Year 2017
Arab Today, arab today New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way

GMT 02:36 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

New hunt for flight MH370 gets under way
Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today France sanctions businesses linked

GMT 01:58 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

France sanctions businesses linked
Arab Today, arab today Turkey detains dozens more

GMT 02:09 2018 Wednesday ,24 January

Turkey detains dozens more
Arab Today, arab today The Rake announces editorial updates

GMT 12:19 2018 Tuesday ,16 January

The Rake announces editorial updates
Arab Today, arab today Europe brings on charm and blue skies

GMT 06:12 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Europe brings on charm and blue skies
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles
Arab Today, arab today Puigdemont candidate for Catalan president

GMT 05:31 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Puigdemont candidate for Catalan president
Arab Today, arab today Amazon to open first cashierless shop

GMT 05:52 2018 Tuesday ,23 January

Amazon to open first cashierless shop

GMT 07:22 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Zimbabwe's next leader heads home after Mugabe exit

GMT 07:23 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Zimbabwe's next leader heads home after Mugabe exit

GMT 16:25 2016 Thursday ,22 December

Italian bank Monte Paschi edges closer to state bailout

GMT 06:03 2014 Wednesday ,09 April

Please .. Let Gaza breathe!

GMT 09:12 2017 Friday ,17 November

Gleam Futures represents Grace Beverley

GMT 04:18 2017 Sunday ,26 November

Bella magazine appoints celebrity writer

GMT 06:00 2017 Sunday ,29 October

Childrenswear brand Once appoints Dyelog

GMT 16:33 2014 Thursday ,13 November

Al-Ehtimam Bil Aakhareen

GMT 03:34 2017 Sunday ,05 November

Needle & Thread relocates press office

GMT 15:56 2017 Monday ,18 December

EVE LOM to launch Radiance Face Oil

GMT 16:08 2017 Tuesday ,24 October

Glamour fashion editor goes freelance

GMT 10:26 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Charlotte Connoley announces blog launch

GMT 04:30 2017 Sunday ,22 October

Miista appoints IPR London

GMT 01:41 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Moroccan video sparks debate on sexual harassment

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Blogger seeks male beauty boxes for Christmas Gift

GMT 14:56 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Ryanair says formally recognises pilots' union

GMT 15:12 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Christmas Gift Guide - My Girls On Tour

GMT 16:03 2017 Thursday ,21 December

US hits Myanmar general in new global rights sanctions

GMT 14:36 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Sixteen dead in sauna fire in S. Korea

GMT 01:19 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Da Vinci painting sells for $450mn in NY
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday