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It's an unverifiable and dubious fact, but the passion with which Haddad says it makes all of that irrelevant. For him, Batroun is about to become the epicenter of an invigorated beer culture and the birthplace of the country's soon-to-be newest brew: Colonel. Pinning it all together is Colonel beer (pronounced the French way, co-lo-nel). Coming to a supermarket near you this summer, Colonel is the product of more than a decade of brewing experience, countless trips to Europe, a handful of courses at foreign microbreweries and a portable home-brewing kit brought back from London. Trying to make beer and hold down a travel-intensive marketing role at shoe brand Adidas proved too much, and last June he decided to quit his job, pack up, leave Beirut and move back in with his parents in Batroun, a laid-back coastal town that boasts the closest thing to a hippie vibe in Lebanon. The plan was to brew a bit of beer in his garage and have more time to windsurf, but it quickly turned into something bigger. People will be able to tour the brewery – which will be visible from the restaurant and bar – learn about how the beer is made and then enjoy local Batroun food such as kibbeh samak and octopus along with a freshly poured glass of the brown stuff.
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