Murree Brewery

Murree Brewery
Murree Brewery
Location National Park Road, Rawalpindi, PakistanPakistan
Owner(s) Mr. Isphanyar Bhandara (Chief Executive)
Year opened 1860
Active beers
Name Type
Murree beers
Murree Beer Beer
Murree's Classic Beer Beer
Murree's Millennium Beer
Lite Export Pils Beer
Stout Beer Beer
Liquors beers
Rarest Malt Whisky Liquor
Malt Whisky Classic Liquor
Vintage Whisky Liquor
Bolskaya Vodka Liquor
Gin beers
Silver Top Gin Gin
London Dry Gin dry gin
Citrus Gin Gin
Lemo' Lime Gin Gin
Non Alcoholic beers
Cindy NAB
Malt-79 Malt drink

Murree Brewery is the maker of Pakistan's beer brand[1], Murree Beer[2]. Its products are only legally available in Pakistan owing to a prohibition on the exportation of alcohol from Pakistan. The brewery has two manufacturing units located in Rawalpindi and Hattar (North-West Frontier Province).



The Murree Brewery Company Ltd. was established in 1860 to meet the beer requirements of British personnel at Ghora Gali near the resort place of Murree.[3]

In the 1880s the company established a further brewery in Rawalpindi and a distillery in Quetta.

Due to scarcity of water in Murree in the 1920s, brewing was mostly transferred to Rawalpindi but malting continued at Ghora Gali until the 1940s, when this property was sold. This brewery, built in the Gothic style of architecture, was burnt during the partition riots of 1947/48, while the brewery in Quetta was destroyed in the 1935 Balochistan earthquake.

In the 1960s oak casks were imported from North America, Australia and Spain and the underground cellars now hold over half a million litres of malt whisky for varying periods of maturation up to 12 years. Murree brewery produces a generally excellent world class single malt whisky.

New beer canning and modern bottle filling facility were installed in the 1990s, imported from Germany. In 2001, the brewery had been temporarily closed for producing too much polluting waste. Authorities slapped the environmental protection order on the Murree Brewery in Rawalpindi, Islamabad's twin city.[4]

Recent growth

In 1977 the Murree Brewery suffered a significant setback when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto imposed a total prohibition in Pakistan, to appease Islamic elements of the electorate. Subsequently the government of General Zia-ul-Haq amended this law, requiring anyone wishing to consume alcohol to present credentials demonstrating that they were non-Muslim. The small Christian, Hindu and Parsi communities were not large enough to support the enterprise, and production had to be scaled back.

However, gradual relaxation of the prohibition laws has allowed Murree to introduce variations of Murree beer, vodka, gin and whisky. Today, all Murree products are readily available in legal liquor shops that operate openly in Karachi in places like Zamzama and Defence. It is also available in the interior of Sindh. Although the consumption of alcohol in public is still nominally banned, it is becoming increasingly available in clubs and high-class restaurants. Murree Beer was initially being produced in Austria for European markets and was available in various Pakistani and Indian restaurants, an enterprise which has since ceased since 2004. The current CEO, Isphanyar Bhandara has announced plans to pursue co-brewing with Fosters, but this is still in development.

The Murree Brewery is one of the oldest public companies of the sub-continent. Its shares were traded on the Calcutta Stock Exchange as early as 1902, and is now the oldest continuing industrial enterprise of Pakistan and among the top 25 performing public companies by the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Murree's biggest competitor is the Quetta Distillery, and its products have to increasingly vie with smuggled brands from the West and India.[5]

Popular culture references

  • The brewery was photographed and filmed by Michael Palin on his tours of the Himalaya and is featured in his DVD and book, Himalaya (book)/Himalaya with Michael Palin, documentary 2004. Palin stated the products of the Murree Brewery saved his life while traveling around Pakistan, which has laws restricting the consumption of alcohol.


External links

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