Behind every passionate story, there is a protagonist who’s the avid champion of its idea. Born and raised in Batroun, Jamil Haddad is a sun kissed 32 year old adventurer at heart. He started brewing beer at home at the age of 22, mixing, trying different tastes and flavors, and inviting his friends over for tasting. When he decided to follow his passion, he travelled over four years around Europe and stayed in London learning the ropes of brewing. In the summer of 2013 he quit his job to focus on founding the brewery and a year later, in June, he started to sell the first bottles of Colonel. Everything about Colonel beer has been thought of, the man dressed in army clothes wearing a pirate hat on the bottle is an ode to the stretch of land where he surfs with his friends, which is located next to Colonel Bitar’s chalet by the sea in Batroun.
Colonel Beer Brewery sits in the shadow of an unfinished aquarium on the shores of Batroun. If you listen carefully you can hear the waves breaking on the shore. The eco-themed brewery is a complex constructed nearly entirely from recycled materials, including 15,000 wood pallets and Eco-Board, a special material comprised of 2 million recycled plastic bags makes up its black roof. The doors of the brewery are all old doors that have been lovingly collected over the last 10 years.
The art of making beer is one of the most ancient endeavors of man. Any beer is made up of four ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast. Jamil produces craft beer that is all taste and heart. Where wine is grown, beer is created. The beauty of brewing is that it’s a natural process, enhanced by craftsmanship to create the perfect beverage. Beer is alive. The element of live yeast makes it so interesting. It spans generational, economic, and cultural constructs. Those who enjoy beer come from all walks of life. It is a true commonality in a world of differences. Beer brings people together. It provides that little bit of a reason needed to hang out with those we love. That’s why Jamil says, “It’s not just about beer, I am brewing a culture.”
Brewing is an art as well as a science, it’s a science that you can taste. The science is what allows everyone to become the artist. In the heart of Batroun lives a young blond scientist who carries his village in his heart and lives the life of a sea wanderer. Never underestimate how much assistance, how much satisfaction, how much soul and transcendence there might be in a well-made cold bottle of beer.
Sitting on their terrace over looking their microbrewery, I await for the one curve I adore that of a cold beer crashing into the bottom of an empty, chilled glass. It’s a sweet nectar of all flavors and colors. My palate awaits the ravishing complexity; that is simply beer. And as the long river of malt pours, it fills Joy in my mind and tongue sharing with everyone that moment forgotten by time, in that peaceful setting. As Ben Franklin stated wittily and succinctly, “Beer is the proof God meant man to be happy.”
Because of dreamers who build their dreams with courage and love, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton