Ireland Craft Beers


Independent Irish Brewers & Distillers Take Over Beirut

Posted By Shane McCarthy on March 21, 2018

June 19th 2017 marked a very special date in the Ireland Craft Beverages calendar. No, it is not when they celebrate St Patrick’s in Beirut, this was the very first time we received a curious enquiry into our inbox with the title ‘Partnership’ - an email that would lay down the detail to the beginning of a fantastic and growing partnership between Ireland and Lebanon.

Fast-forward 9 months later and two successful beverage consignments into the market, we were now on a plane alongside several of our independent suppliers into Beirut airport to celebrate what has to be rated as one of Ireland Craft Beverages most amazing St Patrick’s experiences to date.

Landing into Beirut International Airport Thursday evening, we were greeted by our driver and new friend, Pierre. Over the next three days we would be chauffeured to a variety of events throughout the Beirut and Byblos regions of Lebanon.

The initial building blocks for the St Patrick’s itinerary was a working collaboration between the Ireland Craft Beverages Team and Fattal Group, represented by Botella's GM, Paul Choeiry [Botella being the dedicated foreign wine and craft liquids arm of Fattal Group] - The initiation brought together a symphony of ideas from the beginning of the year to put something special together, encompassing a new and modern St Patrick’s day experience for all attendees in Lebanon.

Rolling back to the cliché ‘Build it and they will come’ – we soon received uptake from a number of our suppliers who were just as excited to get on board and showcase their products within this new market.

Words would probably be difficult to put behind such a memorable and amazing experience, and as pictures speak a lot louder than words, it is only fair to caption some of our journey in bringing a taste of Independent Ireland to Lebanon;

Famous for their cuisine, our initial night was spent at the BackRoom Beruit (Spinach and Artichoke dip) – Irish Craft beveages on Draft and beautifully stacked spirits behind an amazing new bar tucked away in Beirut City Center

Our Second Day was a tour with all suppliers at Fattal Group HQ, Heritage Room & chilled warehouse operation. Greeted by the wonderful Chairman of Fattal Group, Hubert Fattal to walk us through the history of the company (120+ years old)

Interesting facts, Beirut does not have 24/7 electricity therefore most businesses such as Fattal Group generate their own to maintain a smooth operation at all times.

Fattal has actively been in business 120 years and survived through all wars within the regions. Many see Beirut as the marketing mecca for the MEA region to showcase and advertise their global brands all across the region @groupfattal An amazing company with an amazing vision. Very proud to partner and be present over St Patrick’s weekend…

Quick Trip from Fattal HQ to BackRoom Beirut to set-up stations for our trade event, telling the story behind each brand to Clients in the Beirut region. The event was also attended by the UK Ambassador & Irish Consulate. The evening was followed on by traditional Irish music band organised by Fattal Group to play during all the Irish events over the weekend. Another evening of great food & drinks set-up inside and outside BackRoom’s facility.

Suppliers who attended;

Antony serenading the locals before we headed in to watch Ireland win the Third Grand Slam in it's rugby history on St Patrick’s Day @ Eddie's Yard, Byblos.

Liam getting involved at the sing song @ BackRoom Beirut

Four piece Irish Band lining up @ Edde's Yard – soon to be accompanied with Betha’s Revenge Duo and Louise from J.J Corry Whiskey.

Closing out final trad music proceedings in the Sun by the sea at the amazing @ Kalani Beach Resort.

Eight Degrees Brewing Sunburnt Red @ Kalani Beach Resort

Finishing off our final night at Paul’s good friend Sami’s house & balcony in the mountains.

Here’s to staying curious & continuing to build on an amazing partnership from Belfast to Beirut!