Four new craft beers for the summer

ByDOUG GREENER
August 12, 2017 18:55

These new beers will help you get through the summer. Well, so will any beer, but you should give these a try if you haven’t yet.




The craft beer named Esser.

The craft beer named Esser. . (photo credit:PR)

A few new beers are here to quench your summer thirst. Israeli craft brewers know that it’s the lighter, crisper, drier beers that people prefer in the hot months – the July-August-September period when your clothing sticks to your body, and people carry water bottles with them when they take more than two steps out of the house.

Three brewers have come out with new India pale ales, always summer favorites with their light bodies, dry finishes and ratched-up hop bitterness. But before we taste those, let’s try a new Belgian strong ale. Although it’s not associated with summer drinking, no one says you can’t enjoy any beer you want any time you want!

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Esser Beer

Esser means “ten” in Hebrew, and that’s the alcoholic content of this latest beer from the Beer Bazaar Brewery (Mivshelet Ha’aretz) in Kiryat Gat.

Esser is a strong ale in the Belgian style, the color of golden straw, with a small creamy head. The alcohol is very present in the aroma, along with caramel and peach/nectarine. The taste is sweet caramel, not unusual for a Belgian-style beer, with notes of lemon pie or crème brulee, but it’s balanced by the fruity esters of the hops and the yeasty spice. The body is full and creamy, with a bittersweet finish.

It’s not easy to pull off a balanced beer of this strength, but Esser is just that. Don’t gulp it down on a hot day and don’t have more than one.
Shapiro 2017 IPA

Every summer for the past three years, the Shapiro Brewery has been bringing out a seasonal India pale ale, brewed to the same recipe except for the hops. This year, they’re using Simcoe, a proprietary hop from the US, known for its pungent, citrusy and piney aroma. The alcoholic content has remained 6.5% every year.

The Shapiro 2017 IPA pours out a clear reddish amber. In addition to the citrus, there are some aromas of tropical fruits, specifically passion fruit and mango. The taste is bitterer than the aroma suggests it might be, but it doesn’t overpower the fruit and citrus flavors. Ripe mango remains predominant here as well.

In short, the Shapiros have once again brought out an excellent seasonal IPA: balanced, mid-bitter and full of delicious fruit flavors.

Laughing Buddha Single Malt IPA

Vladimir Gershanov from Tel Aviv and partner Dima Grabak from Haifa have been brewing beer with the jolly Laughing Buddha label since 2005. Their Single Malt IPA has been around for quite a while, having been contract brewed in several locations. But it is now being prepared in commercial quantities at the new Sheeta Brewery in Arad.

The beer is a cloudy, pale amber color with a pinkish tinge and a foamy white head. Alcohol by volume is 7.1%. The surprise begins with the aromas. Along with the citrus and pine hops, you get... sugar candy. With that in our nostrils, we took a sip and found tastes of jelly apple, cotton candy and toffee.

Then, with the second swallow, you do get the bitterness of the hops, along with citrus fruits. Coming after the candy, it’s quite refreshing.
Mikkeller Green Gold IPA

Brewed in Israel at the Alexander Brewery in Emek Hefer, Green Gold IPA is actually a product of the Mikkeller contract brewery based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Mikkel Borg, the founder and owner of Mikkeller, brews his beers in different breweries all around the world. Israel is, in fact, not the first country where he’s made Green Gold.

Green Gold may not have been conceived in Israel, but it was born here, so let’s have a taste.

The beer itself is excellent. It pours out the color of clear gold, with a lovely foamy head. The aroma is citrusy and piney hops. The taste includes elements of grass, more pine resins and some grapefruit and orange. The bitterness is moderate and blends very well with the flavors. The delicious long and fruity finish stays with you. Alcohol by volume is 6.8%.

These new beers will help you get through the summer. Well, so will any beer, but you should give these a try if you haven’t yet.

The writer is the owner of MediawiSe, an advertising and direct marketing agency in Jerusalem. He writes a web log on Israeli craft beers at www.IsraelBrewsAndViews.blogspot.co.il.

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