I was surfing the Vice channel Munchies the other day and found this interesting article on the rise of craft brewers in the South Asian mountaineering mecca of Nepal. The Himalayan nation is only the 93rd largest country by area but still has eight of the world’s 10 tallest mountains, including the highest point on earth, Mount Everest (ever drink a beer on Everest?).
Unfortunately, last April, Nepal was hit with a 7.5 earthquake that killed 10,000 people and destroyed infrastructure, homes and many rich, religious temples of its Buddhist and Hindi history. Coincidentally, in its wake, the country has seen a rise in startup craft breweries. You see, also last year, Nepali Congress passed some laws that will make it easier for locals to start microbreweries. Munchies writer Steve Hindy visited Nepal recently and wrote about the experience.
It seems to me that the news of the craft beer revolution reaching Nepal is an indicator that the movement — inspired by America’s new breed of brewers — is clearly spreading to the far reaches of the world. Nepal’s first craft brewery is Sherpa Brewery, located in Chitwan, south of Katmandu near the Indian border, which opened in 2014.
According to the article, “people [are] lined up to get a license.” Hindy delves into the laws (tax breaks, land restrictions), while recounting his five-day trek through Nepal’s mountainous Annapurna Sanctuary. It’s definitely worth a read.
Naturally, we packed Sherpa Beer for our five-day trek through the Himalayas and quickly realized that five days was about all we could handle. We started in Nayapul, a village near Pokhara, and climbed about 500 feet before we had to rest. By day two, we headed to Ghorepani, a 4,000-foot vertical ascent that featured a staircase with 3,300 stone steps, where we witnessed breathtaking (literally) views of Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, Machapuchare, and Annapurna I and II. We stayed overnight at Tadapani and Ghandruk before returning to Nayapul on the fifth day. Our highest elevation was about 11,000 feet, and the beer was delicious.