The Brewer Rewriting The Story of Beer In Iran

The Sporkful

Mar 20 2023 • 33 mins

Zahra Tabatabai’s parents grew up in an Iran that would be unrecognizable today. “The pictures I see of my family in Iran in the sixties and seventies, they're in bikinis at the beach, drinking beer,” she says. Now, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women are legally required to wear hijabs and alcohol is banned. A few years ago, Zahra became interested in the long history of beer brewing in Iran — a tradition that included her own grandfather. She began brewing her own beer, experimenting with traditional Iranian ingredients like sumac, black lime, and barberries. Now she’s using her company, Back Home Beer, to change the narrative about Iranian people and culture. And one day, she hopes to bring her beer to Iran without fear. Nowruz Mobarak!

The Sporkful production team includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O'Hara, Nora Ritchie, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O'Connell.

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