Sunday 27 May 2012

Make Beer, Not War ...

Too good to hurry?
... was for some time the slogan in this blog's header, so I was really pleased to learn that trade between India and Pakistan, which is almost non-existent (1% of India's exports go to Pakistan and 1.7% of Pakistan's to India), is to be given a boost by a Pakistani brewery, Murree Brewery, which was founded in 1860 to slake the thirst of the soldiers and civil servants of the British Raj. Murree is preparing to export its beers to the growing beer market in India, a market which was firmly closed to them after the Partition in 1947. Moslems in Pakistan are not allowed to drink by law (well, not officially anyway), so Murree has relied on supplying the small non-Moslem population of Pakistan and on exports. Considering the troubled history between these two countries since 1947, greater trade can only help increase mutual understanding and trust, and I can't think of a much better way than over a beer.

The ruins of the original
Ghora Galli Brewery today
As well as exporting the beer into India, they're also planning to brew it under licence there, and Murree hopes to make inroads into the UK market with beer brewed in the Czech Republic. The beer will almost certainly be a lager-style offering, although it may gain credibility in the UK by being brewed under licence in the Czech Republic, the original home of pilsner beers. Murree have their advertising slogans lined up already: in the nineteenth-century they used to urge people to "Eat, drink and be Murree." Today they plan to encourage us to "Have a Murree with your curry." If I see it anywhere, I might even give it a try.

You can read the full story here.

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