BEIRUT: The Beirut International Beer Event returned for its third edition at the Beirut Hippodrome for three days from July 4 to July 6.
The event was launched two years ago in an effort to promote local Lebanese beers and Lebanese beer culture. The latest edition of the event stood to be its biggest event to date.
Fadel Moubarak, one of the event’s organizers, told Annahar that “each year we have a bigger selection of beer, each year the event has a bigger marketing budget where we can spread the event in the country more, each year it definitely grows.”
This year the event hosted a number of different beer brands, including 20 brands of Belgian beer as well as an array of local beers like Almaza, Baladi Beer, and Elmir.
The event was open to people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, and was pet-friendly. The open-air venue was crowded with families, groups of friends, and amateur beer connoisseurs who sat at park benches in the open air leaning against bar-tops.
While the guest of honor was Belgium, a result of a collaboration between the event and the Belgian Embassy, there was a key focus on local beers with a goal to showcase local talent. With this in mind, the organizers of the event had tried to keep tickets cheap in hopes of making the event accessible.
“Something very important that we do in order to encourage the local industry of beer in Lebanon is that we offer the tickets for 10 dollars including one free local beer so that we can force people to try our local beer,” Moubarak said.
One of the local beers represented at the event was Elmir, a growing craft beer based and brewed in Lebanon. Guilene Lallous, quality controller at Elmir, told Annahar that Elmir participated in the event because: “we are a craft beer, a micro-brewery, and we want to be a part of the beer culture in Lebanon, and because we are good enough to participate.”
The event was not limited to beer drinking and tasting. Various food stands and trucks serving foods such as pizza, Belgian chips and Belgian waffles lined the perimeter, and over the three days there were a number of live music acts and other performances, such as stand-up comedy.
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