Kanaan Khoury, the son of the brewery founder, checks the beer at the brewery in the village of Taybeh, which means 'it's delicious' in Arabic AFP

Even before the Gaza war broke out, the Taybeh brewery's pale ales and lagers had to carve a rocky path to make their way out of the occupied West Bank.

Now, 30 years after opening, the Palestinian territory's oldest microbrewery faces an array of obstacles -- from literal roadblocks to standards testing and bureaucratic hurdles from Israeli authorities.

"Business has gone down drastically," says Madees Khoury, 38, who took over the family business from her father Nadim, after he received the blessing of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to open a brewery in 1994.

Named after the village of Taybeh -- which also means "it's delicious" in Arabic -- the brewery has left its mark on the region's beer scene.

But behind Israel's security barrier, the brewhouse is facing higher hurdles as export restrictions bite, the Gaza war dampens demand and settler violence spikes.

"But we're still producing. We're still functioning. We still have our employees. We're still, you know, keeping busy," Khoury told AFP.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 but allows Palestinian exports -- in 2023 they reached $1.56 billion according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics -- though they are subject to checkpoints and approvals arriving at the last possible minute.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) remains under scrutiny for potential terror financing, hindering trade, and security measures have increased ever since the Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising, between 2000 and 2005.

The World Bank says exports from the territory -- which hosts three million Palestinians -- have fallen 20 percent since October 7.

Taybeh brewery, which crafts its pints from European and local ingredients, can produce thousands of bottles an hour, even boasting its own IPA, as well as non-alcoholic halal drops for its Muslim neighbours.

Yet while it sells in 17 countries, Khoury says sales have fallen around 80 percent since 2019, hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently the Gaza war sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack.

"A lot of people are out of jobs and don't have money. Workers in the Palestinian Authority are not getting paid. So buying beer is more like a luxury," Khoury said.

"People now save their money for the necessities. And people are not in the mood to go out and drink."

Israel's export restrictions have made life increasingly difficult for the solar-powered brewhouse and its team of 15.

"It takes three days (for a delivery) if everything moves smoothly, which it never does," Khoury said.

She describes Israeli bars and companies rejecting her beers, money lost due to deliveries delayed by Israeli paperwork and packing restrictions on Palestinian products reducing delivery volumes.

Khoury -- who was born in the United States but moved to the West Bank when she was nine -- said it is vital for Palestinian businesses to carry on contributing to the local economy.

"My family believes in order to build the state and the economy of Palestine, we have to invest in our own money, knowledge, experience, and kids' future," she said.

"I hope I show a different side of Palestine... that there are women entrepreneurs leading businesses, even in a man's world."

The West Bank business represents half of Taybeh's sales while 35 percent is sold in Israel.

Lior Gootriman, 50, has kept Taybeh on tap at his west Jerusalem bar for years, calling it a product that offers a message of co-existence after October 7.

"It's most important to keep it," he said, adding that he sells around five kegs of Taybeh every week.

"I want all the time... to show that everything is still normal. I don't have any enemy here around me."

But even though the beer is quenching the thirst of Israelis, raids and checkpoints still disrupt daily life for the brewery's workers.

Settlers, emboldened by Israel's far-right coalition, are also increasingly attacking locals.

"I've never felt unsafe moving around until these past maybe two years," Khoury said.

"They're just loose dogs of the Israeli government, and they're attacking left and right."

Palestinian officials say more than 550 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by the Israeli army or settlers since October 7, a territory where around 490,000 Israelis live in settlements considered illegal under international law.

The brewery hosts an annual Oktoberfest inspired by the German event to promote the village and the local economy.

But this year there won't be any festivities because of the Gaza war that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians.

The war broke out after Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel killed 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

But despite the challenges, Khoury says she will carry on raising a glass to the persistence of the family business and her people.

"It makes us stronger as Palestinians to go through these difficulties. So whatever the Israelis hit us with, we're used to it," she said.

"I'm not leaving. I'm sticking around. This is home."