Palestinian Oktoberfest
Beer Brings Big Money
Despite a less favourable political and
economic environment, Europe has
defended its leading position as the
world’s largest beer producer,
according to an Ernst & Young report.

With a yearly production of 427
million hectolitres (hl), Europe
remained ahead of China (393 million
hl) and the US (234 million hl), stated
the report which was conducted in all
27 EU countries plus Norway,
Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey.

Germany remained Europe’s largest
beer producer (103 million
hectolitres), followed by the UK (49.5
million hl), Poland (36.9 million hl) and
Spain (33.4 million hl). Germany also
has by far the most breweries (1,330).

Over 2.5 million jobs in Europe can
be attributed to the beer producing
and selling sector, which brings
Europe’s economy in an additional
€59 billion in terms of value added
and national governments roughly
€57 billion in beer tax revenues
The fifth annual Palestinian Oktoberfest wasrecently held at
the mainly Christian town of Taybeh, West Bank. It is home to
the first and only Palestinian beer - Taybeh Beer which was
established in 1995,  The two-day beer festival celebrates the
town’s  famed beverage and markets other
local Palestinian products.

This year’s Oktoberfest boasted a diverse program featuring
Brazilian and Greek bands and traditional Japanese dancers.
Organizers expected more than 10,000 visitors, a new record.
But what truly marks this Oktoberfest is that this year’s is the
first to serve Taybeh beer’s new non-alcoholic line
which only  launched this year.

In the West Bank where Muslims form the majority,  having
Taybeh Halal could address a wider clientele for those banned
by religion from drinking alcohol. To encourage sales, Nadim
Canaan Khoury, the Christian owner of the Taybeh Brewery,
changed the trademark gold bottle labels to green, the colour
of Islam, for the non-alcoholic version.  

A Hamas official said Taybeh Halal is not welcome.
In a heated debate on the BBC Arabic TV channel, aired on
the opening night of the Taybeh Oktoberfest,  Hamas
legislator Mushir al-Masri called Palestinian Authority Economy
Minister Bassem Khoury’s government ”alcoholic” arguing that
brewing, even of non-alcoholic beer, was illegal.
Appeal Denied-  A Malaysian religious court appeals panel on Monday upheld a
caning sentence for a woman who was caught drinking beer at a resort. The ruling
means that Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 32-year-old mother of two, will become the
first woman to be caned under the country’s religious laws that apply only to
Muslims. She was caught by Islamic enforcement officers.Under the ruling by the
appeals panel in the state of Pahang, she will receive six strokes of the cane.
The country’s majority Malay-Muslims make up 55% of the country’s 27 million pop.
Beer Pong Money Saver-  Investing too much in replacement beer pong
balls? Refurbish your banged-up balls with this easy fix. Simply boil a pot of water and
place the balls into the boiling water for about 10 seconds to pop the dents out.

Police Crackdown?-  Police overseeing a car race in Australia have set a limit for
beer consumption by fans: One case a day.  That's 24 cans, or 96 cans if you hit the limit
for each day of the four-day race. About 180,000 fans are expected to attend the
Bathurst 1,000 V8 Supercar race. Police will be checking vehicles for excessive alcohol,
drugs and other prohibited items.  With about 30,000 race fans camping within the race
grounds, police say they hope the spectators will drink responsibly but still have fun.  
Ghost Serves Free Beer

A Hampshire pub landlady plans to call in an exorcist to get rid of a
ghost that keeps topping up drinkers' glasses. Janice McCormack, of
the Apsley House in Southsea, says the spectre is costing her a
fortune as he gives away her beer.

Ms McCormack, 60, said: "It happens when customers pop to the loo
or put their pint down for a second. When they look back there's an
extra inch of beer. It must come from my pumps."  Regulars have
nicknamed the phantom barman Reedy - after actor and legendary
boozer Oliver Reed.

Ms McCormack, who runs the pub with husband Patrick, said the
ghost started its antics nine months ago.  She said: "My regulars love
it but it is costing me. People are drinking less as their pints are being
filled up all the time. My stocktaking figures are all out.  We get more
customers through the door but it seems to be people expecting a
cheap, never-ending pint."

She now plans to hold a seance to ask the poltergeist to quit - and if
that fails she will seek an exorcist to get him out.  Regular John
Sanders, 27, said: "I will certainly miss old Reedy because he keeps me
topped up.  "If you drink in the Apsley you were always guaranteed a
hangover - and would always have money left in your pocket for a
kebab on the way home."

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Edited by Jim Attacap