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Yep, you heard me right.

For two days (this year October 3-4), Taybeh is host to Palestine’s Oktoberfest — a celebration of Palestinian music, culture, and…well, beer. Taybeh is a Christian village in the West Bank, 35 kms north of Jerusalem and home to the now international Taybeh Brewery.

Wha…who…how?

The Taybeh Brewery was founded in 1994 by Nadim Khoury, who first began brewing his own suds in the late ’70s while studying at Boston’s Hellenic College. Besides the region’s Jewish-Arab conflict, Mr. Khoury also had to contend with the fact that 95% of his potential customers were Muslim, a faith that prohibits alcohol consumption.

Obviously, the quality speaks for itself. Today, Taybeh beer is brewed under license in Germany (it conforms to the purity law 1516) for the European market. In Japan, the brew has a loyal following and you can even find it in Jerusalem on tap at some bars.

Fifth edition

This year’s Okotoberfest is the fifth annual event and one that brings together Israelis and Palestinians as well as international tourists. Tens of thousands partake in the festival, where you can eat local foods and buy products like olive oil, honey, and cakes as well as crafts made by local artisans.

If you’re in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv at the time, you can organize a tour to Taybeh for both days of the festival. Complimentary tours of the brewery are also given. Call ahead if you’re in a large group (02-289-8868).

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

For some reading on this conflicted region, check out Waging Peace: Israeli Mother and Palestinian Soldier Unite and Bullets and Backpackers: Political Tourism Hits the West Bank.

If you’re more keen on the traditional Oktoberfest in Munich, make sure you read A First Timer’s Guide to Oktoberfest.

About The Author

Carlo Alcos

Carlo is the Dean of Education at MatadorU and a Managing Editor at Matador. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. He lives in Nelson, British Columbia.

  • Kathy

    How about that? Making the world a better place through beer. You couldn’t make this stuff up 8-).

  • http://www.collazoprojects.com Julie

    This is just fantastic. Definitely has to go on the things to do before I die list.

  • http://www.tvrotsyourmindgrapes.com/ Marissa

    That is cool on so many levels.

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/vagabonderz Carlo Alcos

    I was pretty surprised to hear about this when I first read it.

  • http://travellerwithin.blogspot.com Mo-ha-med

    And it’s quite an amazing fest, too! I was in Palestine last year, amazing place.
    Have a Taybeh, people!! :)

  • samiramis kutlo

    some friends are asking if there any accomodation for the two days please let us know, and they would like to ask if there it’s only non-alcoholic beer or both

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