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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Politics and Beer, International Edition

I have long maintained that beer and politics don't mix. (Politics needing beer--that's another matter.) In front of the cask, we are all members of a more ancient tribe than can be expressed by blue and red. Beer transcends politics and has the capacity to bring people together. This is loose talk compared to the barriers Israeli and Palestinian beer fans must overcome. But look:

Professionals devoted to hops and malt instead of vitriol and weapons, on the other hand, seem to have a knack for bridging gaps that political leaders may find insurmountable. A perfect example is an article in The Jerusalem Post of December 11, 2008, which — barely three weeks before the outbreak of yet another round of war — quotes an Israeli talking about “the divine Palestinian brew Taybeh.” The man quoted as calling the Palestinian brew “divine” is Gad Divri, a brewer and the General Manager of Beer-D, a Tel-Aviv brewing supply company. Taybeh is made by Nadim Khoury, the owner-brewer of the Taybeh Brewing Company. Taybeh is the only brewery in Palestine. It is situated in the small village of Taybeh outside the Palestinian West Bank capital of Ramallah. Fittingly, Taybeh means “delicious” in Arabic.

Nadim obviously reciprocates the esteem accorded him by his Israeli colleague, as was evident at the 10th annual post-BRAU-Beviale Bavarian Party at the Weyermann Malting Company, on November 15, 2008. What the diplomats and the generals have not been able to accomplish in decades, happened over pints of Barley Wine, Rauchbier, English Bitter and Pumpkin Ale — all made in the Weyermann Pilot Brewery in Bamberg: A Palestinian and an Israeli brewer sitting peacefully side by side, smiling, exchanging ideas, and enjoying each other’s company!

A nice story amid very grim news. Prost!

1 comment:

  1. Jeff,

    History would say that the American Revolution was started in Colonial Beer Taverns with arguments for independence discussed over beer.

    I guess it's a Catch 22... If the founding fathers didn't mix beer with politics we'd be speaking the Queens English and drinking pints of Bass and Youngs for $9 a pint! Maybe ever in Cheater pints! :-O

    OTOH, beer and politics probably had a role in starting the Revolutionary war... eh!