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Halal “Bavaria” in Malaysia

Correct us in the comments if we’re wrong, but in the Quran, the warning is to not drink ‘khamr’. Khamr means any kind of drink or drug that causes intoxication, so that leaves out small amounts of alcohol found in many foods and drinks that we eat every day, such as grapes and tapai.

Then this Malaysian businessman found a way to work around this law by producing non-alcoholic beer, Bavaria 0.0%! It’s essentially a malt beverage, just like Milo and Horlicks. Unfortunately, the businessman Ruzi Shuib hasn’t gotten the Jakim stamp of approval for his beer, and as long as they won’t sign off on it, it’s gonna be a challenge to break into the market, as one KL restaurateur put it, customers were put off by the bottle which looked like a regular beer bottle.

If it’s just another Milo or Horlicks tho, what’s the problem? Actually sources were saying some of these so-called halal beer might not be halal coz when they tested Istak (an Iranian brand), it was found to contain 0.5% alcohol. The approved level in Malaysia is 0.01%. But like that, tapai contains 5% wor, yet we still see shops selling.

On top of that, Jakim refuses to certify any product with ‘beer’ in the name…even if it has no alcohol. That’s why A&W renamed its root beer, A&W Sarsaparilla, in 2009 to get its cert. At the same time, other non-alcoholic beers, Barbican from Saudi Arabia and Istak from Iran are also NOT Jakim approved. However, Barbican is no problemo in the eyes of the National Fatwa Council.

Wall Street Journal reported Euromonitor analyst Amin Alkhatib’s predictions that non-alcoholic beer sales in the country will grow from 3 million litres in 2013 to 3.6 million litres by 2016. Yet, we are still faaaaaar behind the Middle East where 1.43 BILLION litres of beer was sold in 2013.

29 Feb. 2016

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