In 2006, as bombs were falling on Beirut, investment banker Mazen Hajjar sat on his balcony reading Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery. It opens: “I woke up to the sounds of bombs exploding outside my hotel”. Hajjar took it as fate. He called his friends, and with no brewing experience, they set up shop in his kitchen. Such were the humble beginnings of Lebanon’s first and only microbrewery, 961 Beer. Want to check it out? Hajjir (whose story is so good he does TED talks) will be hosting a five-course brewer dinner at Rumi during the Food and Wine festival. Don’t miss it.