Palestinian Oktoberfest

The Taybeh Oktoberfest celebration is a singular event: the only Christian village in the West Bank, home to the only brewery in the Palestine, celebrating the only Oktoberfest in the region. After being cancelled in 2014 following that summer's war in Gaza, Taybeh's Oktoberfest was back in full force in 2015. Thousands of locals, foreigners and Israeli Arabs descended on this village of 1500, located a thirty minute drive from Ramallah.

Tabyeh Brewing Company, which was opened in the village by Khoury family in 1996, was the first microbrewery in the Middle East, predating the first Israeli microbrewery by 10 years. The Khourys recently expanded their production to include wine, some of which was also available at the festival.

Like any Oktoberfest celebration, some drunkenness was expected, but the family-friendly atmosphere without excess reminded visitors that they were not in Bavaria but in Palestine. While Taybeh is only 40 kilometers from Jerusalem, where tensions have been rising in recent months, Oktoberfest presents a good opportunity to have a glass of beer and forget about the conflict, at least for now.