favorite sentence of journalists is, "The best fill-in-the-blank (movie, TV show, restaurant, product, etc.) you haven't heard of." Of course there is the gratification of having brought something of worth to the public's attention but, also, the journalist can claim bragging rights for having been the first to be in the know.
I was all pumped to start this article with said sentence, filling in the blank with beer and bring to your attention the Dancing Camel brewery. But with more and more bars serving this microbrewery's varieties, there is too good a chance that you already know about it. Furthermore, if you're a beer lover, chances are that you've already tried it and already know how great it is.
David Cohen established the Dancing Camel brewery in 2006, three years after his immigration to Israel, following his dream to create high quality, exciting beers here. Since its founding Cohen has brewed stout, wheat and ale beers in addition to unique, seasonal beers including the 'Trog Wit, the Six Thirteen Pomegranate Ale and The Golem, which packs a whopping 9.5% abv. And, to further local beer culture even more, Dancing Camel is one of the only places where you can buy a keg for a party and/or unemployment.
But only recently did Cohen craft a beer special for the Tel Aviv summer.
"We wanted to create a beer people could sit on the beach with and enjoy," Cohen says. "We created a delicious blond beer with depth and sophistication from German hops and light malted barley and then added subtle Mediterranean spices." Those spices are an impressive and damn tasty mix of lemon, nana, rosemary and thyme.
The result is the Gordon Beach Blond (5.2% abv.). "This ain't no light beer. Refreshing yes, but still flavorful enough to be called Dancing Camel,"Cohen points out. And he is so very right. I gulped down my glass in seconds torn between wanting to savor its flavor and my desire to consume something so refreshing and so tasty.
Aside from delicious beers, the brewery holds numerous special events, at their kosher-certified smoke-free brewpub. For example:
• Sunday nights are movie night. Catch classic movies from timeless masterpieces to indie/cult films to others on the brewery's three meter screen with a Camel in hand. And, if sitting on a bar stool is not your thing, then you are welcome to bring your own beach/lounge/lazy-boy chair. It's like having a full screen TV and brewery in your own living room! This Sunday, July 26 you can check out BeerFest at 8 p.m. and then the classic Eurotrip at 10 p.m.
• Come Thursday, July 30 enjoy drink and dance (a great combination) to the musical stylings of Beni Tal & The Band. The blues and jazz show starts at 10 p.m. with no cover.
• Recently the brewery held its first annual beer pong tournament. If you've been to college or hung around with drunk Americans you should know this game. If you have not, then let me just say it involves cups, ping pong balls and copious beer consumption. "It was an amazing night. In the last round the last team had to drink ten cups of our Golem beer. No one was left standing," Cohen vaguely recalls.
• Feeling competitive, thirsty and sober? In August you'll have your chance to satisfy all those urges in the first ever flip cup contest. Again, this involves: cups, beer and drinking in a different format.
• If you're from Jerusalem and have never tried beer, Dancing Camel is a great place to start. And, you'll have two great chances in August in your own, proverbial backyard. On August 5, Dancing Camel will be the only worthwhile thing going on at the Woodstock Revival festival. Then, on August 26 and 27, the Camel takes part in the Jerusalem Beer Festival. Mark the dates in your calendar.
Finally, two other important notes:
• Every night has a happy "hour" till 9:30 p.m. Enjoy a second beer free with each first beer purchased. And, unlike other bars who compel you to order the second before that horrible witching hour, at the Dancing Camel you may request your second drink after 9:30 p.m. so long as your first drink was ordered beforehand. Though, it must be on the same night, you moocher!
• Every Wednesday night is ladies night. Again, that's 1+1 on all drinks, all night. Ahh, to be young again. And a lady.
Dancing Camel is located at 12 Rehov Hatasiya, Tel Aviv; (03) 624-2783. Opening hours are 8 p.m. until the last customer and Fridays from noon till Shabbat.