Started after the Oslo Accords in the mid 1990s by the Khoury family, Taybeh Brewing Company began in the optimistic time when it looked like Palestinians and Israelis would soon find a solution to their ongoing conflict.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
While the hoped-for solution proved elusive, Taybeh beer has kept on brewing, carving out a market for itself even in quite challenging business circumstances.
Says Nadim Khoury, co- founder and master brewer at the Taybeh Brewing Company, “Well, I want to make something for my homeland, for Palestine. I'm a risk-taker, I'm an entrepreneur. I believe I just want to do something different than any others in Palestine.”
The beer is a proudly local product. Its name, "Taybeh," which means delicious in Arabic, is also the name of the brewing location. Crushed barley from the brewing process is given to local farmers who feed it to their livestock.
The brewery, which can produce 4,000 bottles per hour, plays a role in the local economy and Taybeh beer has made the village more well-known.
Since 2005, Taybeh has been holding an Oktoberfest each year, bringing scores of visitors from across the West Bank, Israel and abroad to this small, but welcoming locale.
“Taybeh beer became the famous number one product in Palestine," says Khoury. "Palestinians have lost their nationalistic feeling for so many years because we've been under the wars, under occupation, and now they are proudly serving Taybeh beer in bars and we create a good market in Palestine.”
Beyond its local role, Taybeh is also making a mark globally. The Japanese have developed a taste for the beer and it is also brewed under license in Germany.
Taybeh is produced with equipment that had to be imported from all around the world, but the beer retains a local flavor. Master brewer Nadim Khoury, an engineer by training, fixes all the machinery himself and his signature appears on every bottle of Taybeh.
According to co-owner Madees Khoury, “People all over the world don't know that Palestinians maybe drink beer or drink alcohol or produce high-quality products. Our beer made Taybeh famous and people now know the name Taybeh, know the beer, know the town. It's internationally recognized; it's sold internationally. It's a high quality product.”
From this village of 2,000 nestled in the West Bank, Taybeh beer has made a name for itself in the West Bank and in Israel, and has now set its sights on the American market.