Jordan | Carakale Brewery Tour


Carakale-Brewery-Tour-8My love of CLO trips and love of brewery tours combined for a CLO trip to tour Carakale, Jordan’s first microbrewery. Carakale was founded in 2009 by Yazan Karadsheh, a Jordanian brewmaster who cut his teeth at the University of California, Davis Master Brewers Program (yes, this is a thing) and working the microbrew scene in Boulder, Colorado.Carakale-Brewery-Tour-11John, our tour guide.Yazan was inspired to start Jordan’s first microbrewery when, legend has it, he was walking around a Barnes & Noble and a copy of “Beers of the World” literally fell on his head — and he was dismayed to discover that Jordan wasn’t even listed. Yes, Jordan is a Muslim country and yes, consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Islam. But beer and liquor are sold and consumed, despite exorbitant taxes.Carakale-Brewery-Tour-6Carakale, which is named after the caracal, a lynx-like wild cat that lives in Jordan, faced an uphill battle getting started. There was a lot of red tape and bureaucracy in the permitting and licensing process. Some Muslim contractors quit in the middle of the process — including the guy who was responsible for laying tile, which is why, John explained, half the brewery floor is covered in one kind of tile and the other half in another.Carakale-Brewery-Tour-2Founded and subsidized with a huge investment from Yazan’s parents, Carakale is still not quite able to stand on its own. The brewmaster’s vision isn’t to grow the brewery until it’s large enough to compete with international competitors (Amstel and Heineken chief among them). Yazan has no interest in entering the export market. His vision for Carakale is simple: to create a culture of beer in Jordan. This reminded me of El Salvador’s Cadejo Brewing Company: Cadejo is about creating pride in something local.Carakale-Brewery-Tour-1View from the tasting room terrace.The brewery, located in Fuheis, about 25 minutes outside of Amman, boasts a large tasting room and terrace with beautiful sweeping views of the Jordanian countryside. It was a nice place to watch the sunset. And oh yeah — Carakale brews a good beer.What’s your favorite brewery?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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