October 6 & 7, 2012, Taybeh, Israel
Come to visit Oktoberfest, a fun-filled, two day festival, featuring the only micro-brewed beer in the Middle East, a variety of local handmade crafts for sale, music, culture and Christ.
The village of Taybeh had been previously called Ofra in times of Christ, with 11 mentions in the Old Testament. It was a city in the tribal lot of Manaessh, and was home to Gideon and his son Abimelech. It was later known as the town of Ephriam, and was mentioned in the Gospel of John 11:54: ‘Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephriam…’ It is the only all-Christian city town in the West Bank.
This is the eighth Oktoberfest up to date since the original beer festival in October 2005, which tries to recreate the spirit of German Oktoberfest, and is organized yearly by the mayor of Taybeh’s wife, Dr. Maria C. Khoury. The Khoury family are also the owners of the Taybeh Brewing Company, the town’s brewery and one of the only breweries in the Middle East.
Last year, the Oktoberfest featured complimentary tours of the Taybeh Brewing Company, which features five different types of beers in its production line: golden, light, amber, dark and the non-alcoholic blend. The non-alcoholic beer is intended mostly for consumption by the local Muslim population, who are not allowed to drink alcohol, according to their religious beliefs. The beer company was founded in 1994 by the Khoury family and sells nearly 30% of its products to Israel. It is highly regarded as a beer of top-quality, with raves from such well-known industry figures as Mr. Collin Allport, a former Heineken consultant for over 35 years, who stated that Taybeh Beer is, ‘a first class beer by any standards.’
The Oktoberfest also features various dance groups, sells local crafts and handmade goods, Folkloric music, gypsy music, hip hop and is an inside glimpse into the music, culture and life in this village. There are beer contests and also guided tours of the Old Village of Taybeh, featuring a visit to the ruins of St. Georges Church. There is also a 3 hour walk which starts at the Taybeh Brewery and ends at the festival grounds. The walk goes allows visitors to walk around the city and view the village’s olive groves in an organized fashion.
The Oktoberfest is highly international, with visitors coming from such locations as Austria, Germany, Brazil, the US and Britain, among others. Thousands of people come to this two-day beer festival every year, in order to taste the beer and experience the local flavor.
In addition to the festival, Taybeh also features various other points of religious interest, such as:
- Byzantine Ruins of St. George’s Church (Greek Orthodox)
- Greek Orthodox Church
- Greek Catholic Church
- Latin Church of the Redeemer
For a unique visitor’s experience, why not try visiting Oktoberfest?