KINGSTON, MA – Beginning in January 2013, American beer lovers will experience Lebanese craft beer for the first time when 961 Beer, the Middle East’s only craft brewery, debuts in the United States. Founded in 2006 by Mazen Hajjar, the brewery began as an experiment among friends and has grown to produce 300,000 cases annually, including four “Regular” offerings and the first of what promises to be many “Brewmaster’s Select” offerings, their superior Lebanese Pale Ale.
“Beer is an important part of human civilization: we first emerged from our caves 10,000 years ago when we domesticated barley, not for bread, but for beer,” says Hajjar, who has worked as an investment banker and founded two airlines before devoting himself to brewing, largely inspired by Brooklyn Brewery’s Steve Hindy and his autobiography, Beer School. “And just as human civilization got its start in this part of the world, I’m proud now to produce exceptional craft beers here in Lebanon and share them with discerning drinkers around the world.”
961 Beer, named after the international dialing code for Lebanon, brands will include: Lager, a Helles-style lager that is crisp and flavorful and just won “Best Lager” at the 2012 Hong Kong International Beer Awards; Red Ale, densely malt-y and reddish in color with an intensely fruity and aromatic flavor; Porter, brewed with dark roasted malts and hopped with traditional English varieties; Witbier, an unfiltered beer that is light and sweet with natural sediment; andLebanese Pale Ale, based loosely on an English IPA with aromas inspired by the spice markets of the Middle East, brewed with 100% traditional Lebanese herbs and spices such as thyme, sumac, chamomile, sage, anise and mint.
961 Beer will first be available along much of the East Coast, in states including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C. Subsequent shipments will expand the brewery’s reach further before the end of the year.
961 Beer began as one of the world’s smallest microbreweries when Hajjar invited his friends to join him in brewing great beer in the country they love and call home. From 20-liter kettles on home stoves, the brewery has expanded to meet demand and now proudly brews nearly 300,000 cases annually. Focused on traditional techniques, quality ingredients and a deep love for their product, 961 Beer is one of the fastest growing and most exciting craft breweries in the world today. The brewery is located in the foothills of Mazraat Yachoua, overlooking Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. Beer lovers can follow 961 Beer on Facebook and Twitter.
961 Beers are imported in the United States by St. Killian, who has been successfully importing specialty beers from around the world since 1983. Inquiries should be directed to Lars Dahlhaus at St. Killian,Lars.Dahlhaus@stkillian.com.