Lebanon’s first and only craft beer, 961 Beer, will make its Philadelphia debut Feb. 7, at Garrett Hill Ale House (157 Garrett Ave., Bryn Mawr) starting at 6 p.m.
Mazen Hajjar, 961's founder, will be at the pay-as-you-go event to meet, drink and answer questions with attendees.
Named after the international dialing code for Lebanon, the brand includes four regulars: Red Ale, Porter, Witbeir, and Lager, the winner of “Best Lager” in the 2012 Hong Kong International Beer Awards.
The Lebanese Pale Ale, based loosely on an English IPA with aromas inspired by the spice markets of the Middle East, is an additional “Brewmaster’s Select” offering.
What began as an experimental microbrewery with friends has since grown to produce 300,000 cases annually. 961 Beer, founded in 2006, is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the world today.
“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, a former investment banker and founder of two airlines. “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.”
The brewery is located in the foothills of Mazraat Yachoua, overlooking Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea.