The worlds best known and largest Beer festival , the „Münch’ner Oktoberfest“ took place on the „Theresienwiese“ right in the middle of Munich, the capital of the German state of Bavaria. This year the price for the famous „Mass“ (1 Liter measure), which started in 1971 at GM 2,50 to 2,95 ( i.e. € 1,15 to 1,28 ) reached an all-time-high with € 10,00 to 10,40.
What Bavarians call „the Wies’n“ (meadow) was established in 1810 for a different purpose. On the eve of the marriage of HRH Prince Royale Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen a horserace was organized. Princess Therese was the godmother of the property, the Theresienwiese. A year later the association of agronomists in Bavaria took over the organization for this annual event, till it was handed over to the City of Munich. The event developed very quickly into a true public festival. 1881 the first ever restaurant for grilled chicken was opened. Common electrification became the booster for a big change: the small pubs were enlarged to huge tents, the festival was open during the whole evening. Increasingly carneys appeared on the scene.
Nowadays good luck is needed to snatch a table in one of the high society it-tents. Dressed up with the traditional costumes, tailored by fancy designers, real and self proclaimed celebrities stroll around, see and be seen, that’s the reason to come. Those who do not like the loud and beery atmosphere will find other places, a tasteful winery, quiet and with good food.
One might discuss, if high temperatures above 30° C and humidity around 70% are the genuine climate to enjoy the „Oktoberfest” too.
On September 30th and October 1st thousands of guests from all over the country enjoyed the hilarious vibes which marked the Oktoberfest, organized by Paulaner Bräu in Herzliya.
On October 14th and 15th Paulaner will also host the Oktoberfest in Tel Aviv-Jaffo. The event will take place in of the most trendy locations, the new Railway station, which is, in fact a very old one.
One particular Oktoberfest in 2015 took place on September 19th and 20th. What made it very special was the location. Taybeh is a little town next to Ramallah, a nearly 100% Christian community of 2.100 inhabitants.
There Canaan David Khoury established a micro brewery, till today the only one in Judea and Samaria. He returned from the USA to his birthplace together with his sons, David and Nadim Khoury, after the Oslo contracts had been signed. Not only the Khoury family, but many other Palestinian Arabs have been influenced positively by those contracts, promising hope for peace with Israel and hope to build the State of Palestine alongside Israel.
Beer, brewed here is strictly according to the German purity law for beer. Only yeast, malt, hops and water are permitted. This law dates from the original laws of Bavaria in 1516. Today the hops are bought in Bavaria, the malt is a Belgian product, the yeast origins from the USA. As the local water sources are extremely clean and conform to the high standards of brewing, they can be used without any additional treatment. The brewing copper kettle has been handcrafted in Canada and the computerized control device was bought in Japan. The brewery offers four tastes: Gold (5% alc.), Dark (6.0%), Amber (5.5%) and Light (3,5%). Since 2008 there is also a nonalcoholic malt beer. The regional specialty „White“ (3.8%) comes with coriander and zests of oranges. This beer should be served chilled together with an orange slice.
The production is 600.000 liter per year. 50% are delivered to regional consumers, 40% are exported to Israel and 10% are sold on the global market, where regular customers are Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Italy. Great Britain and the USA will follow by the end of this year. Thanks to a Kashrut, given by a regional Rabbi, the beer is marketable in Israel without any problem.
The next generation of the Khoury family is ready to take over the lifework from father, uncles and grandfather: Madee, 24, graduate of a brewery college in Boston is the only female master brewer in the Near & Middle East. Madee would be most happy if more people would come back from exile. Presently more Taybeh born people live abroad than at home. „Taybeh beer reflects our struggle, our resistance to the occupation — just to make beer and make people happy.“ In Ramallah one can read on a huge advertising banner: „Drink Palestinian — Taste the Revolution“.
Not everyone was happy with the repatriates who started up a brewery in the midst of an Islamic, alcohol banning society. The entrepreneurs faced attacks; a delivery van was set on fire, one oft he brothers was shot at, stones were thrown at buildings or against people and buildings were torched. David, today the major oft the little town, will not give in. After many peaceful and quite years in Boston he came back to his hometown, to do something for Palestine, to renew and modernize the town. That’s the reason they came back, that’s the dream which hopefully comes true. The reason for the most recent attack was a love story between Romeo (a Christian) and Juliette (a Muslima), living in a village nearby. Their parents did not accept a happy end. The attack was their beacon of protest. Silly enough! Romeo and Juliette (their aka names) got married nevertheless and are happy.
Forget the Rest … Buy the Best! Cheers!
© esther scheiner, Israel