Recently, I met a man, a passionate citizen who sold everything he owned to build his dream. He had a vision, a dream of producing his own beer, in his own shop, as he had been taught to do. A local of Batroun, Jamil spent a lifetime building his dream.
We’ve all heard about Colonel, it’s even been on CNN, is it because it's new or because it's special? I tasted Colonel beer last month and it left me in awe, a beer that radiates passion, know how, love and dedication. Today, going up all the way to Batroun from Beirut, I came to meet the man behind this festival of flavor.
Jamil is an adventurer at heart. Growing up, he spent time windsurfing at Batroun’s famous spot, known as “Colonel.” That very spot inspired the name of Jamil’s new endeavor, the Colonel Project, a microbrewery that produces an extremely high quality craft beer, in the heart of Batroun.
But how did it all start? Beer has long been one of Batroun’s favorite drinks and that culture nurtured Jamil’s own passion for beer and motivated him to take up home brewing. After pursuing knowledge, attending several workshops in the UK, and touring different breweries and beer festivals in Europe, Jamil finally understood the craft. Colonel beer will make its much-anticipated debut in the summer of 2014, when The Colonel Project will present a unique concept to the market; it will consist of Colonel Microbrewery, Colonel Brewpub and Restaurant, and Colonel Bed and Breakfast.
Built to international standards, the microbrewery produces craft lager beer which will be distributed in Lebanon. The brewing process is visible from the pub through a glass wall and tours explaining the beer-making process to visitors take place. Its eco-friendly structure is fascinating to see; it uses natural lighting and is made up of an interesting combination of eco-boards, recycled wood pallets, vertical gardens and a green roof.
Jamil introduced me to the lager, the light, the red and black versions of his creation. Only the lager will be sold in bottles, while the others can only be bought at Colonel pub in Batroun. The beer’s flavor is exquisite… Rich aromas, beautiful textures, a strong body with a smoky aftertaste and a little enjoyable bitterness. My favorite is the Red Irish, with 5.2% alcohol.
Planning a trip to the northern part of Lebanon, Jamil is a man to meet.