Wheatney from the Beer Bazaar Brewery..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Three or four years ago, I could not have imagined that new Israeli craft beers would be appearing at such a regular and rapid rate. Now I have to hustle just to keep up to date. Here are four new beers you should get to know.
BEER BAZAAR WHEATNEY
The Beer Bazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat (known in Hebrew as Mivshelet Ha’aretz) has come out with Wheatney, its own version of a German-style wheat beer (weissbier) for the “Israeli taste.” Wheat beers seem to be very popular in Israel, and every craft brewery wants one in its repertoire.
Lior Weiss (no relation to the beer), a partner and brewer of Beer Bazaar, says that Wheatney is based on his unique recipe of Pilsner malt, wheat and rye.
The alcohol by volume is 5%, very comfortable if you’re having more than one.
Wheatney is straw colored, slightly hazy, with active carbonation and a huge frothy head. The aroma is very typical of this weissbier style: banana and cloves but with an herbal background from the hops and some toasty malt. The flavor is also quite marked by the banana and cloves, with the hops adding fruit and spice but very little bitterness. The finish is sweet and medium lasting.HECHATZER DOUBLE KRUZO
HeChatzer Brewery (Back Yard Beer) has introduced another version of its popular mango beer Kruzo. It’s called Double Kruzo because it’s made with twice the amount of mango and twice the amount of dry hopping. The beer is brewed in commercial quantities at the Srigim Brewery.
Double Kruzo is at base a pale ale. The color is hazy pale orange, with an active carbonation that I appreciated. The aroma is very hoppy, with citrus and tropical fruits being dominant, and some grass. The bitter mango comes through in the taste, though very understated; in fact, not much so than the original Kruzo. Other fruit tastes are also there from the Magnum and Citra hops: citrus, tropical fruits and pineapple. The mouth feel is very creamy, and the finish is moderately bitter and refreshing. Alcohol by volume is 5.3%.
HaChatzer partners Yochai Maytal, Ariel Chinn and Shachaf Ashkenazi have demonstrated their talent and innovation on numerous occasions, and Double Kruzo is definitely further proof of that.NANA DANCING CAMEL & SHAPIRO
Two of Israel’s veteran and major craft breweries – Dancing Camel in Tel Aviv and Shapiro in Beit Shemesh – have collaborated to produce a mintinfused beer.
Dancing Camel owner David Cohen says the new beer, called Nana (Hebrew for “mint”), brings together Shapiro’s famous Pale Ale and Dancing Camel’s Gordon Beach Blond, which is flavored with mint and rosemary.
“We left out the rosemary,” says Cohen, “but we increased the strength of the mint by steeping it in the beer during fermentation.”
The hops used are Cascade and Citra, and the alcohol by volume is 4.8%.
Nana pours out semi-hazy and very pale yellow, with low carbonation and a thin, fast-dissipating head. I didn’t get any of the typical hop aromatics but nice mint zest and lemon grass. There is also mint and sweet spice in the taste, with a strong malty backbone adding some bread flavor. The finish is very tasty with light bitterness, though not especially long.
Mint makes everything refreshing, and in this Nana beer it works wonderfully. It should also pair well with salty snacks or with dishes that go with mint, such as couscous and bean salads, chickpea or other grain salads or even (if you’re really adventurous) vanilla and chocolate ice cream! SOURIANO GORGEOUS IPA
Gorgeous IPA is the first commercially brewed beer from the Joya Souriano Brewery in Yahud, brewed at the facilities of the Shapiro Brewery in Beit Shemesh.
This beer is brewed in the popular style of a New England IPA: very hazy, loaded with hops (Gorgeous has seven varieties) chosen to impart citrus and tropical “juicy” flavors, and a soft mouth feel due to the addition of oats.
Gorgeous IPA pours out a cloudy pale-to-orange gold with a thin head. The aroma from the seven hops is a blend of tropical fruits and pine. The strong bitterness in the taste departs from the New England IPA style, but there are also plentiful juice flavors: orange, pineapple and with a little stretch, lychee and pears. The dry and bitter finish is exceedingly refreshing. The label recommends paring this beer with salty and fatty foods like pizza, French fries and burekas. That would work for me.The writer is the owner of MediawiSe, an agency for advertising and direct marketing in Jerusalem. He writes a web log on Israeli craft beers at www.IsraelBrewsAndViews.blogspot.co.il.
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