“We’re very proud of the fact that we’re working in Pakistan,” he says with a smile. “But you must remember, this brand – Murree Brewery – is much older than it’s host.”
A brewery that the British established in 1860 to ensure their soldiers were never without their favorite drink is now an unlikely institution in Pakistan, where Muslims are prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol. Legally, the company’s only potential market is limited to Pakistan’s non-Muslims – just three percent of the 180 million population.
And even for them, the actual process of legally buying alcohol is involved and tedious, with business conducted out of sight of the general public. The country’s Christians, Hindus, and Zorastrians can obtain an alcohol license from the government. That license comes with a monthly quota. To buy a case of beer, or a bottle of vodka, they must stand in line at distribution points hidden behind hotels or other establishments, license in hand to prove they are not Muslim.