Palestinian beer 'safe' in several ways

“Drink Palestinian, Taste the Revolution.”

That's the marketing theme for a new beer being produced in the Middle East's violence-plagued West Bank. The Taybeh Brewery, founded in 1994, plans to release this summer an Islam-compliant/kosher, non-alcoholic beer.

It is the brainchild of Arab brothers David and Nadim Khoury, intended to satisfy consumer demand under a stricter Islamic society expected with the ascendance to national rule of the Hamas party.

“There are opportunities, and, if you’re smart, you take them,” brewmaster Nadim Khoury told The Jewish Week. “It’s a good thing to do with the new government. We will sell alcoholic beer side by side with non-alcoholic.”

He described the new product as a “diversification” of Taybeh’s existing product line of three different beers, the only micro-brewed lagers in the region.

The beer takes its name from the Christian village that is home to the Khourys' microbrewery, set in an area of terraced farming slopes and olive trees. It doesn't hurt that in Arabic, Taybeh means “delicious.”

Taybeh sales have fallen about 80% since 2000 because of the dropoff in tourism to Israel and the Palestinian territories, and military crackdowns have hampered beer shipments to retailers.

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