Mid East nightlife; no cable news.
| So, your latest business trip takes you
to – gasp – the Middle East, of all places. However,
your particular destination is Jordan, and here you see a vast
contrast to what neighboring areas like Iraq, the West Bank,
and Israel are suffering from. While it isn’t quite Beirut,
Jordan’s capital city (Amman) has been bustling with life
lately, and there are some nice places to go and spend the evening.
Connected to the lavish Le Meridien hotel near Amman’s
business and shopping district of Shmeisani, the Brews is a
genuine local brew pub, the first of its kind in Jordan with
a very different offering.
I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I have to say the Brews
is very impressive. The entire place feels authentic, from the
elegant woodwork all over the bar to the special beer barrel
tables to the rear booths created using inner sections from
fermentation tanks. The pub brews its own fresh beer, and the
staff is really courteous from the door to the restrooms (yeah,
sparkling clean with a doting attendant, how about that!).
The atmosphere is generally very laid back, and the layout of
the Brews is nice for all moods. You can relax and dine in the
areas near the entrance and at the back, socialize over drinks
with friends at the semi-circular bar, or get down and dance
in the middle to a DJ or band complete with a screen, projector,
and dancefloor cam. Even the stage and the DJ booth are made
from the same fermentation tank metal! While I lamented the
lack of certain liquors (usually because they are hard to import),
the drinks were good and the bar itself was especially clean.
Prices were also quite reasonable compared to the US. I’m
glad there’s a spot where you can eat, enjoy local and
imported beer, have a good cocktail, and party till the wee
hours of the morning all at once!
As a Jordanian who has been overseas for six years, I didn’t
know what to expect after returning home. I walked into the
Brews and felt like I had been transported. It’s really
classy and has a great theme. I like the idea of the brewery
“look” all around the bar. While they are not masters
at brewing, I tried some of the beer they made there and thought
it wasn’t bad for the first brew pub in the country.
There was also a DJ who played a huge variety of tunes. He started
off with some great lounge music, and gradually moved it up
to house and various flavors of Arabic dancing music. By midnight,
the party was in full swing and we were having fun. A popular
form of music here is called “Arabic house” and
it uses a combination of tribal house beats and traditional
Arabic melodies. It’s still evolving so its quality varies
from “not-bad” to “so-so.”
Hip-hop and R&B came in after a birthday dedication, and
then things got more progressive and tribal. The diversity of
the crowd was great: I found a surprising number of people from
Europe, North America, and the Far East here. Their receptiveness
for so many types of music made for a pleasant evening. Other
nights have karaoke, bands, and drink specials, and there is
no cover although reservations are required for tables. Overall,
the Brews deserves repeated visits and has strong potential.