Murree Brewery: Pakistan’s True Brew


This is an interesting time for Murree Brewery as it has won its first export licence. This is of course not without complication, as the license only allows exports to Non-Muslim countries, ruling out places like the United Arab Emirates. However, if all goes well, beer diplomacy in the shape of beer exports to neighbouring India is a much bigger prize.
In Eastern Europe the Czech žatec Brewery produces Murree Beer under licence, using its recipe, and plans are underway to expand the network of export into Western Europe.
Soon beer lovers will be able to enjoy Murree Beer, bringing back to life the slogan Have A Murree With Your Curry!’ that some in England may remember from the ‘90s.

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MURREE BEER GOING BEYOND BORDERS

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by come·con·ella

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As a little girl growing up in Pakistan, I thought doctor’s brandy was so named because it could only be obtained by prescription.  This naiveté can be explained by a combination of facts – a teetotaller uncle who would consume brandy for stubborn coughs, and Bhutto’s prohibition, which provoked the local population to use medical certificates to secure alcohol. So it was with much surprise that I recently discovered that doctor’s brandy is actually a French brandy, produced under licence by Murree Brewery in Pakistan..

(more…)

Published in: on 12/11/2012 at 1:37 pm  Comments (37)  
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Pak’s richest man says ‘silly’ barriers must go


“We have a special relationship with China. Why can’t we have a special relationship with India,” says Mansha, who chairs Pakistan’s largest business conglomerate. Mian Muhammad Mansha, the richest man in Pakistan wants to see energy pipelines across borders, buy software from India instead of paying ‘10 times more’ to European firms and launch his IPL-like cricket team with Indian players. The 1947-born Mian Mansha, who in 2010 became Pakistan’s first Forbes billionaire, told HT that for the first time there is political consensus in Islamabad and a ‘shift in the defence establishment’ to normalise trade ties with India.
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PAKISTAN’S LEADING TEXTILE GROUP WANT TO SELL ITS TXTILES IN EVERY MAJOR INDIAN CITY

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by Reshma Patil
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The richest man in Pakistan wants to see energy pipelines across borders, buy software from India instead of paying ‘10 times more’ to European firms and launch his IPL-like cricket team with Indian players. The 1947-born Mian Muhammad Mansha, who in 2010 became Pakistan’s first Forbes billionaire, told HT that for the first time there is political consensus in Islamabad and a ‘shift in the defence establishment’ to normalise trade ties with India.

“We have a special relationship with China. Why can’t we have a special relationship with India,” asked Mansha, who chairs Pakistan’s largest business conglomerate, the Nishat Group. (more…)

Loss of Opportunities in the Land of Opportunities


It’s a shame. We Pakistanis hide within our folds some of the brightest most talented engineers and skilled technicians we have. We once bought a 3.5 kW turbine for the Multan Electric Supply company and when the machinery was delivered we realized there was no overhead crane to help lift and install that specific machinery. Phone calls and consultations with engineering companies in Germany led us to believe that it would take us at least two years for the machinery to be bought and installed, and yet local mechanics and engineers from Multan made that happen in twenty eight days using local girders to hoist the turbine.

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“BHUTTO’S ROTI, KAPRA AUR MAKAAN RESULTED IN INDUSTRIAL BLOWBACK”

A SEASONED INDUSTRIALIST EXPLAINS THE CAUSE OF INDUSTRIAL/ECONOMIC DECLINE IN PAKISTAN

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by Sarah Eleazar

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At the time of independence Pakistan had something around two and a half textile mills; a small unit at Lahore and one in Faisalabad. We decided to shift production to Multan as Faisalabad would be too big for two textile mills.’ Thus began Mian Mughees A Sheikh’s personal account of the historical political and socioeconomic conditions prevalent in Pakistan’s nascent years when industries first began agglomerate in the predominantly agro based economy of Pakistan. (more…)

Pakistan overturns ban on booze . . . for export


Pakistan is known for a lot of bad things but it is time for us to be known for some good things too, like our beer,” says the owner of Pakistan’s oldest brewery in Rawalpindi, just next to the capital Islamabad. Under Pakistani law, drinking alcohol is illegal for Muslims – who make up 97 per cent of the country’s 173 million people – although no one has been lashed for drinking since the 1980s.

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PAKISTANI BEER BETTER THAN GERMAN, SCANDINAVIAN, BRITISH AND AMERICAN BEERS

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by news.com.au

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IT IS an Islamic republic where alcohol is forbidden to 97 per cent of the population and drinkers can face 80 lashes of the whip under holy law – but in a move set to anger religious conservatives, Pakistan is poised to become an exporter of beer.

 An official in the Ministry of Commerce in Islamabad told The Times that a ruling this month by its Economic Committee on Trade would allow Pakistan to export beer and spirits from next year.

 “India would be the largest market for our alcoholic products. It would be exported through non-Muslim enterprises to non-Muslim countries,” the official said.

 The change in law, which requires final approval by the Prime Minister, was welcomed today by Sabih-ur-Rehman, a retired army major who runs Murree Brewery, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is licensed to produce beer and spirits for consumption by foreigners and Pakistani minorities, including Christians and Hindus.

The owners of Murree Brewery say that demand for their beer is growing. Picture: AP

“The sky is the limit. If we get the permission we plan to distribute everywhere,” he said.

 Alcohol exports were banned by Pakistan in 1977 by the then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the father of Benazir Bhutto, in a move to favor Islamist groups.

 “Pakistan is known for a lot of bad things but it is time for us to be known for some good things too, like our beer,” Isphanyar Bhandara, whose family owns the brewery, said.

 Under Pakistani law, drinking alcohol is illegal for Muslims – who make up 97 per cent of the country’s 173 million people – although no one has been lashed for drinking since the 1980s.

Related Post:

Pakistan: Of Terrorism & Tipplers
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Published in: on 24/10/2011 at 7:50 pm  Comments (5)  
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Pakistan: Of Terrorism & Tipplers


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Pakistan, rightly or wrongly, is generally described as an “exporter” of terrorism. Now it is trying to export something different – its famous Murree Beer produced at the nearly 150-year-old Murree brewery, Pakistan’s sole producer of beer.
Making beer and whiskey in a Muslim country, where 97 per cent of the population is officially banned from enjoying its products, it has never been an easy business and amid the upsurge of militant violence of the last two years that has seen the Taliban attacking targets across the country, setting fire to girls’ schools and even banning the sale of videos and DVDs, common sense might suggest that the fortunes of this establishment, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year, might be on the wane.
Yet the opposite is happening: sales are booming – embarrassingly so. [Image above: The vintage photo of the brewery at the Murree hill station].
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AFTER  150 YEARS, BUSINESS IS BOOMING

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Note for WoP Readers: Though quite unfortunate, of late Pakistan, has earned a bad name as a country that has a number of nurseries to breed terrorism. It may not be the whole truth to brand Pakistan as country exporting terrorism, yet we cannot put all the blame on US, India or for that matter on any other country. Some splinter groups indeed are active in our land that have developed this as a creed, but by and large the spirit of Pakistani nation has always been and still is tolerance. The testimony to this spirit are some landmarks and symbols which still stand today—as much—alive, as much—dominating our urban canvas as they were before the birth of our Islamic Republic.

One such symbol is a statue that stands on the Mall, alongside the old Punjab University campus in Lahore. This statue stands as proudly as it used to during my student days and much beyond. I member whenever we crossed over the Mall to visit Tollinton Market where there was a small & cozy Milk Bar (which was famous for its milk shakes and if am not forgetting, was named Capri). On our way to the bar and back an impressive landmark of Lahore stood there as majestically as it stands today.

This landmark is the statue of Dr. Alfred Woolner, perhaps the only one at a public place in Lahore now.

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[Alfred Cooper Woolner May 1878 – January 7, 1936, was a noted Sanskrit scholar and professor as well as the Vice Chancellor of Punjab University, Lahore. He died in Lahore].

Interestingly, here in Lahore, the DHA [Defence Housing Authority] had erected a statue in that posh colony to venerate the soldiers of Pakistan. Since the fundamentalists took it as something of idolatry [“Butt prarasti”, as they call it], one night they vandalized that statue and now one does not find any semblance of this memorial. Yet despite the wave of extremism that has gripped this country like an evil storm (a manifest of which have been burning of schools and closing down the barber shops in the paradise like valley of Swat), the statue of Alfred stands there and nobody has even thought of desecrating this landmark.

Another landmark which stands testimony to our spirit of accommodation is the famous Murree Brewery in Rawalpindi. The enterprise is doing regular business, we are told by Andrew Buncombe, even though in Pakistan [being a Muslim country] liquors are completely banned.

And as columnist Swaaraj Chauhan notes, right or wrong, Pakistan is generally described as an “exporter” of terrorism but now it is trying to export something different – its famous Murree beer produced at the nearly 150-year-old Murree brewery. So beer not terrorism from Pakistan. We say Amen, Swaraaj Sahib…. [Nayyar]

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STILL BREWING IN A DRY LAND

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by Andrew Buncombe

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Pakistan, rightly or wrongly, is generally described as an “exporter” of terrorism. Now it is trying to export something different – its famous Murree beer produced at the nearly 150-year-old Murree brewery, Pakistan’s sole producer of beer.

“Understandably, making beer and whiskey in a Muslim country, where 97 per cent of the population is officially banned from enjoying its products, has never been an easy business,” reports The Independent.

“And amid the upsurge of militant violence of the last two years that has seen the Taliban attacking targets across the country, setting fire to girls’ schools and even banning the sale of videos and DVDs, common sense might suggest that the fortunes of this establishment, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year, might be on the wane. Yet the opposite is happening: sales are booming – embarrassingly so. (more…)

Published in: on 06/11/2009 at 11:20 pm  Comments (6)  
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