Meet the first female Palestinian brewer, Madees Khoury, who heads the internationally-acclaimed Taybeh brewery in the small Christian village of Taybeh in the West Bank. Beer-making has been a legacy in her family. Since she was 9 years old, Khoury has been surrounded by giant vats and the smell of fermentation. Her father and uncle built the business as she went to college in Boston.
Upon her return in 2007, the craft of beer-making seeped into her soul and now she’s at the helm. Running this type of business in a male-dominated, Arab country that’s also occupied and under Israel’s military rule hasn’t been easy. Plus, there are ‘water shortages, no borders, and transportation is difficult,’ she adds.
With only nine Christian towns and villages on the West Bank, the Khourys have to sell their beer overseas, given that alcohol consumption is prohibited in Islam. Yet, the brand has been embraced globally – from Japan to the US with a production of around 1.8 million bottles annually and a successful authentic Palestinian Octoberfest that draws 16,000 attendees!