You won't find Taybeh beer at Trader Joe's. Two strikes and it's out: It ships without preservatives and with a label reading "Made in Palestine." Israeli checkpoints make it hard (but not impossible) for the brewery to get its beer into Jerusalem. It's controversial on the home front as well, according to the Times:
Subtle Muslim-Christian tensions were apparent Saturday during the festival's opening ceremony. The mayor spoke of the need for a "moderate Palestine." Later, the regional governor, a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf, invited Oktoberfest attendees to enjoy the locally made products, such as olive oil and spices. But she couldn't bring herself to mention the beer.If you visit the brewery, as I did during pilgrimages in 2007 and 2009, you get a tour and free samples. That's my elder daughter, Valerie (left), on last year's trip with Madees Khoury, daughter of one of the brewery's co-founders. The Khourys make a non-alcoholic beer (with a label in Hamas green) for abstemious Muslims. Maybe they should send a few cases to help loosen up the Israeli and Palestinian peace delegations. As for us St. John's pilgrims, keep some in the fridge for us, because, in January, Taybeh, here we come.