Pakistan’s only brewery doing surprisingly well

via www.guardian.co.uk

“A coffee?” asks chief executive Minoo Bhandara, reaching across his desk. “Or would you prefer a beer?”

Mr Bhandara can afford such audacity because he runs Murree Brewery, Pakistan’s lone beer factory in a country under prohibition. All this despite a phalanx of official restrictions. The explanation is simple, says Mr Bhandara: “Ninety-nine per cent of our customers are Muslim.”

Although an advertising ban means few Pakistanis are familiar with the company slogan, “eat, drink and be Murree”, millions are following its call. Officially, beer is hard to procure. There are about 66 licensed alcohol outlets across the country, which are unevenly distributed. Punjab province, with 70 million inhabitants, has just eight shops selling alcohol, while the sparsely populated Baluchistan region has 15…