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Food And Wine
YONI COHEN \
Ask the Barman: Dancing all the way to the brewery
Dancing Camel Brewery 370.
Israel may be famous for a lot of things, but homemade beer is not one them. That’s where The Dancing Camel Brewery comes in. Established over six years ago, it became the first microbrewery in Tel Aviv and Israel and later opened a pub on site serving all of their beers on tap.What makes Dancing Camel different from many other Tel Aviv bars is the personal touch and homely atmosphere that has been created by the intimate nature of the business. Beermaster David Cohen, who hails from the US, is passionate about his beers and was set on bringing over his knowledge of beers to Israel after making aliya.Based on the success of the original brewery in the center of Tel Aviv just off Hamasger Street, the company recently opened a new pub in Florentin, which offers all of their homemade beers as well as guest beers from other local microbreweries.As with most Florentin bars, Dancing Camel is small and intimate. The wood furniture adds a homely vibe to the otherwise quite empty space which is nestled in with other neighborhood bars. Cohen's top bartender and all-round beer expert Morgan Winter puts customers at ease and insists on treating each person that walks through the door as if they were at her home. Her knowledge of the house beers is remarkable and she’s happy to explain the beers in detail with every customer.Morgan takes her job seriously and looks forward to going to work each day to put a smile on people’s faces. Even the late hours don’t faze her and she describes herself as a creature of the night who operates best in the early hours of the morning. When she's not making sure the locals are stocked up on beer, Morgan can be found hip hop dancing or keeping up to date with what’s new on the music scene. How did you get into bartending?I’ve been working for Dancing Camel for about five years now. I started working at the Brewery and that’s where I learned all about the beer. Where did you learn to the trade?I learned most of what I know on the job. I think that people can learn a lot by doing a bartender course but I personally didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t. I picked up most of the skills by watching other people in action and asking how to do it until I got it right.What’s the craziest night you have ever had?This year we had a party before Pessah to get rid of all the hametz. The place was just heaving and the atmosphere was electric. It was all you can drink beer so things got quite interesting by the end of the night. Who would be your dream customer?I think either Jim Morrison or Jimmy Hendricks.Why?They both seem as if they would be really cool people and they also both liked to drink a lot. What would you serve them?It would have to be single malt whiskey, definitely without ice.What is your favorite drink to make?Well seeing as it’s our specialty I would have to say beer. Out of all the beers that we stock here I like to serve the American Pale Ale because it has a subtle yet distinctive taste that most people like.What is your least favorite drink to make?I don’t really have a least favorite drink but if I had to choose then I would have to say either coke or water. I don’t like it when people come into a bar and order soft drinks. You could stay at home for that.What is the best tip you've ever received?NIS 250 from a very generous guy. What is the best part of the job?I get to speak to all different kinds of people and I have the opportunity to make their night a success rather than a failure. Dancing Camel is known to be a gay-friendly bar. What makes it gay friendly?We don’t actually consciously do anything special. We just accept everyone for who they are. A few of us that work here are gay so maybe that’s what makes us gay friendly. We also had a huge party for Gay Pride with a popular local drag queen. Any tips for those looking to be a bar tender?You need to be a people person and know how to make people feel comfortable. There are things you can teach someone but there are certain qualities that just have to come naturally. Vital 10, Tel Aviv7 p.m. till last customerPhone: (03) 518-5870 Email: email@example.com
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