Brewing in Pakistan

Murree Brewery, established in 1860 by British colonial rulers to supply beer to their troops, is desperately looking for business overseas to hedge against its uncertain domestic market. Prohibition was imposed in Pakistan in 1977, and non-Muslims and foreigners must obtain a government permit to purchase alcohol at designated retailers, which are mainly upscale hotels. – Text and photos by Reuters.

For more on the story click here

A guard at Pakistan
A guard at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, closes the main gate at the factory in Rawalpindi.
Murree Brewery products are displayed at the factory in Rawalpindi.
Murree Brewery products are displayed at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, transports empty bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, checks barrels at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, checks the quality of bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, lines up empty beer bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi.
Workers at Pakistan
Workers at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, line up empty beer bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, checks the quality of bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, checks the quality of bottles at the factory in Rawalpindi.
A worker at Pakistan
A worker at Pakistan's lone beer maker, Murree Brewery, prepares barley grains at the factory in Rawalpindi November 10, 2012.

Comments (34) (Closed)

Nov 17, 2012 11:28pm
You got that absolutely right. Good thinking.
Fahad Khan
Nov 22, 2012 10:08am
To be honest I don't like the beer brewed in Murree Brewery as it like more of a stout than a light crisp beer.
Nov 17, 2012 05:04am
alsohol is haram in Islam, and being Islamic country it should be closed. the owner can be compensated , workers can be accomodated in other industry; ofcourse it is everyone 's choice and prerogative, but in principle brewing alcohol should be banned, alcohol consumption should be banned because mahority still practice islam. Just like in ireland you cannot have abortion. etc.
Harbhajan Singh
Nov 16, 2012 05:23pm
I think Pakistan will gain enormously if it starts exporting beer to the Indian Punjab.
Nov 16, 2012 09:11pm
Shameful are many other things in the land of the Pure. Shameful is how we treat people, Shameful is how the political system works, Shameful are our laws, Shameful how we treat other religious groups in our country. This is an industry that allows people to earn a living. Lets Preserve, Promote and Protect it.
Nov 16, 2012 05:26pm
the one who sells it,brews it,delivers it,consumes it is a sinner and will be punished as any other sinner. Well one can say its another or one more of the many other shames and sins in our society.
Nov 17, 2012 12:47am
Alcohol is the way of life in western countries Even UAE and Qatar alcohol is legal and available in bars, otherwise these countries compete with develop nations . So why not Pakistan
Naresh Sharma
Nov 17, 2012 05:28am
saythetruth is a taliban.. who the hell are you to tell them whats is wrong and what is bad for them.. they are enough intelligent to understand what Islam means to them.... people like you never ever can see other people growing and happy.. Keep it up Pakistan,, you people will come over very soon from troubles....Taliban will never feed you and your family ...
Nov 17, 2012 05:18am
In a country with no jobs, and no prospect of a job, the brewery is providing a living for the workers and their families. The company does not advertise, it does not force any one to drink; under Pakistan law, it is allowed to produce its products for non Muslim citizens, foreign nationals and for export. Pakistan is a grave yard of ethics and morals; one of the most corrupt countries in the world where justice is sold, hudg is sold, women are sold, children are sold in to slavery, fake medicine is sold, adulterated food is sold, human life has neither meaning nor sanctity. Wake up from your mental slumber; where have you been living, is it planet Zog?
Nov 16, 2012 09:30pm
BeerHere2010 - #ADK (@BeerHere2010)
Nov 16, 2012 05:31pm
The 'truth' is, 'saythetruth', that us 'fish'* here in the United States WILL drink anything; as evidenced by the 98 million barrels of 'fizzy yellow (typically BMC 'factory') beer' consumed here last year. * "Americans will drink anything. They are like fish," Rehman said. And, since about a third of us don't buy into (any) 'sky gods', fundy jibber-jabber (either muslim or christian) about hell/hell fire/burning in hell; it's VERY easy for 100 million of us to ignore your (& our Baptist) 'REPENT or else' BS and MUCH easier to go w/ the admonition/reminder from our catholic-inclined Polish friends: "In heaven there is no beer. That's why we drink it here (Right Here!) When we're gone from here,. all our friends will be drinking all our beer!" btw, Muree Brewery is 'welcome' to 2nd site/move to N NY's #ADKs where the water is pure, soft & plentiful, the excise tax on beer was eliminated (up to 500K gal) and we are actively looking to help brewers BREW HERE! Na zdravi! ADKBREWCO (Rehman/Bhandara watch you LinkedIn 'mailbox' for a 'connect' request...seriously.
Najeeb Khalid
Nov 23, 2012 08:04pm
All societies with ban on alcohol have very high illiteracy and very high mortality rates, specially infant mortality and female mortality. May be there is a connection here.
Nov 19, 2012 03:09pm
Well, what is prohabited for Muslims, it bad and prohabited for Muslims or a Muslim country to have and and provide it to others even people of other faith.
Nov 17, 2012 06:19am
Murree beer, an excellent work of co- operation between the muslims and non muslims.Muslim nation makes it and the non muslims drink it.Murry beer promoting inter religion friendship.
Imran Qamar
Nov 17, 2012 03:04am
its shameful for you probably that u don't have courage to say this with you name so that one knows that whose saying this, a muslim hypocrite or a non muslim alcohlic.
Imran Qamar
Nov 17, 2012 03:02am
A Muslim government allowing brewing and getting paid in terms of tax for brewing could never justify this. Islam prohibits brewing and supporting vine business in every aspect as do other holy religions. even drinking alcoholic drinks is prohibited in Christianity and Judaism. I feel sorry for those who have heartaches who have to do alot of struggle to get to a bottle of Champagne or Vodka or Whiskey. I wish there would be some one who legislate and kick these murree breweries and all other of their clan out of our country. inshALLAH.
Najeeb Khalid
Nov 23, 2012 08:09pm
Can you cite the relevant sura from the Quran or the hadith. I have never found A clear prohibition. Many societies go through anti-alcohol phases, it is cultural perhaps.
Nov 17, 2012 01:16am
its not any one business to tell other how to live thier lives. If some one wants to be the front seat let them b. Stop judging people based on your believes. That is what Islam teach us.
Abdullah Hussain
Nov 21, 2012 04:02pm
Pakistan flag should be immediately be removed from the gate of this vice producing factory. Ahmed from Australia may not have any problem with alcoholic drink but 99% of the peoples in Pakistan have problem with it. There is no good reason to have this factory. It should be permanently shut.
Faisal Afridi
Nov 16, 2012 07:18pm
Saythetruth, Rather have a pre 1976 Pakistan with readily available alcohol then mullahs destroyiing our lives. Get out of your narrow mindset. Lets make Pakistan the Quaid Pakistan.
Nov 16, 2012 08:11pm
LOL you do know Pakistan's Islam is based on Hanafi law school right? In Hanafi, drinking small amounts of alcohol isn't really prohibited, but rather it's generally not advised. However if a person chooses to do so, why not? Muslims in Pakistan have always enjoyed alcohol, we simply like to deny it more now than back then for some very strange reason.
Nov 16, 2012 12:35pm
Shameful l and pathetic no matter how you twist and turn anybody who promotes, deals and consume Khamar (alcohol) will get a front row seat in the hell fire. Quran is very clear about it and Sabih ur Rehman should repent before it too late.
Nov 16, 2012 06:49pm
Why is it shamefull? you dont have to drink if you dont want too. This is a piece of history, should be preserved, promoted and protected.
Tahir Mehmood
Nov 22, 2012 02:45pm
, Things have been changed in modern era , Sentiments based on humans approach and legacy ! The society where Liquor is not prohibited are struggling to keep safe their generation form Alcoholic because they realized that Liquor is harmful to human body and medically its proved. Their Society suffered as whole and addicted suffered their lives. Family life values and measures demolished and disturbed due to alcoholic. They are trying to keep away their young generation but penetration of Liquor so badly spread in society seems impossible! God is merciful and kind to his creation. God gives us awareness in Quran and all holy books about Alcoholic. Now, either we become true believer or just ignore the commandment of God, who is the sole creator of this world and hereafter. In the Judgment day all things will get clear and final result would brought in front of every individual. No one would be able to refused or reject same as we cannot escape from death in this life. Tahir Mehmood. Australia.
Nov 16, 2012 05:11pm
Murree beer is one of our very few exports...we need to save the brewery. BUY MORE MURREE BEER/MALT/LEMONADE!
Nov 17, 2012 12:03pm
yes, that's what's wrong in got that righ
Nov 16, 2012 03:36pm
Consumption of Alcohol is not prohibited in Islam. Secondly who are you to tell people to repent, why not go and repent for your sins and leave the others to their own. No body gave you the right to interfere in the lives of others and the choices they make.
Nov 17, 2012 12:36pm
Alcohol is Harm in Islam basic Islam 101. Who am I to tell people to repent, it is the duty of every Muslim to show guidance to the other.My job is to preach and I will do my job what you do with my advice is your choice you can accept the message of Islam and repent if not this is between you and Allah. Keep in mind Quran is very clear about Alcohol an it Harm don't try to twist the truth. For you I will l leave just one reference maybe you will get guidance (Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God, and from prayer: Will ye not then refrain? (Al-Maeda; 5:91) May Allah guide you all.
Ahmad - Aus
Nov 20, 2012 12:46pm
Murry Brewers produce best beer, we are hipocrates... religion comes in when it comes to alcohols, half the country drinking anyway, rulers drinking imported and public going for local liquor which is better than imported to be honest. liquor should be allowed in big cities like Khi, Lhe, ISB, Peshawar & Quetta, look at the queues on Khi liquor stores, lets make it legal and govt take the taxes instead of police making under hand. Pak rulers are not loyal to country, i don't think Pakistani Muslims are any better Muslims than Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE etc. all sell liquor open, you want to drink you go or just stay away. I love murree brewers beer............
Nov 17, 2012 12:56pm
Before you go too deep into this for your information Alcohol is # 1 cause of death in automobile related accident in the USA and rest of the world. If Alcohol was weapon it has cause more death than1st and 2nd world war combine. Wake up my Muslim brothers and don't get fooled by Shitan.
Nov 17, 2012 12:40pm
You don't know nothing about Quaid Pakistan. Call yourself a Muslim and promote Alcohol this is a contradiction. Don't fool yourself Quaid Pakistan was based on Islam otherwise there was no need for Pakistan.
Imtiaz Faruqui
Nov 18, 2012 01:39am
There is nothing Islamic practiced in Pakistan, let Beer be on sale too openly like like RISHVAT is accepted openly.
Nov 17, 2012 12:42pm
My message is for Muslims you do what you want as a Indian Hindu my message is for Muslims.
Nov 17, 2012 11:35pm
Adults should be allowed to make rational decisions about consuming alcohol. It's ridiculous that the government BANS a beverage for it's citizens. As for Muslims, you guys are just too self-righteous and judgmental!