craft brewers edge their way
Last Updated : GMT 18:07:55
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 Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today PNG police start removing refugees

GMT 03:00 2017 Friday ,24 November

PNG police start removing refugees
Arab Today, arab today Sophian Yussef reveals suitable decoration

GMT 02:56 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Sophian Yussef reveals suitable decoration
Arab Today, arab today Syria congress to go ahead

GMT 02:24 2017 Friday ,24 November

Syria congress to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today IS media offline for a day

GMT 02:10 2017 Friday ,24 November

IS media offline for a day
Arab Today, arab today Rahma create winter clothes in innovative way

GMT 20:28 2017 Tuesday ,07 November

Rahma create winter clothes in innovative way
Arab Today, arab today Air China suspends flights to North Korea

GMT 10:39 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Air China suspends flights to North Korea
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

GMT 06:23 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Syria opposition meets in Riyadh
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian journalist happy of her career

GMT 17:37 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Jordanian journalist happy of her career
Arab Today, arab today Human form of 'mad cow' disease

GMT 00:11 2017 Friday ,24 November

Human form of 'mad cow' disease
Arab Today, arab today British woman jailed in Iran to appear

GMT 03:19 2017 Friday ,24 November

British woman jailed in Iran to appear
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mitsubishi Materials units falsified product

GMT 03:24 2017 Friday ,24 November

Mitsubishi Materials units falsified product
Arab Today, arab today 'Robo-taxis' hold promise, and perils

GMT 08:07 2017 Thursday ,23 November

'Robo-taxis' hold promise, and perils
Arab Today, arab today Solaf happy for participating in “Hotline”

GMT 07:56 2017 Wednesday ,22 November

Solaf happy for participating in “Hotline”
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 08:03 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Abeer Sabry reveals reason of “The Flood” success

GMT 07:56 2017 Monday ,20 November

Singer Jahda Wahba has unlimited ambitions

GMT 08:03 2017 Thursday ,23 November

Srebrenica women cry tears of joy

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 13:40 2017 Monday ,13 November

Pollution spikes in Delhi amid warnings

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 09:12 2017 Thursday ,23 November

4 in 10 cancers due to modifiable risk

GMT 10:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 November

Cigar-shaped asteroid came

GMT 10:47 2017 Wednesday ,22 November

The Big Apple bike boom

GMT 09:45 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Visit Jamaica for more than just sun

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
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