In the Old City of Jerusalem, just steps away from Damascus Gate, on Al Wa’ad Street, which is the border road between the Moslem Quarter and the Christian Quarter, on the Christian side of the road there is a little café bar that serves a light lunch but clearly prefers to cater to European tourists interested in enjoying one of the local beers. In the interest of fairness, co-existence and plain old-fashioned good business practices the café bar gives equal billing to Maccabee Beer, an Israeli brand and to Taybeh Beer, a Palestinian brand.
Maccabee Beer is a 4.9% ABV pale lager (pilsner) created by brew master Menachem Berliner and introduced in Israel in 1968. Maccabee Beer is owned by Tempo Beer Industries. Today, it is distributed throughout Israel, as well as marketed in both Europe and the United States.
Taybeh Beer comes in four varieties: Golden, Light, Amber and Dark. In 2007 it launched a new non-alcoholic beer specifically for the local Palestinian Muslim market. Taybeh was created by brew master Nadim Khoury who is a also one of the founders of the beer company. The Christian-Palestinian brewery was set up in the city of Taybeh after the signing of the Oslo Accords in the mid-1990s. Taybeh is the only all-Christian village/town in the Palestinian Authority.
In case you find yourself at the café bar here’s how to order a beer:
Arabic: “Wa-ha’ad bee-ra Taybeh, mean fadleek!” or “Wa-had bee-ra Maccabee, mean fadleek!”
Hebrew: “Bee-ra Taybeh e-had, b’ba’kasha!” or “Bee-ra Maccabee e-had, b’ba’kasha!”
The photograph for this blog post is by Isa David-Ben-Rafael and is owned by IsraeLightly