Herzl’s suds in Munich

Jerusalem’s Herzl Brewery chosen to produce anniversary beer in Germany.

Herzl Beer partners Itai Gutman (left) and Maor Helfman in their Jerusalem brewery (photo credit: MIKE HORTON)
Herzl Beer partners Itai Gutman (left) and Maor Helfman in their Jerusalem brewery
(photo credit: MIKE HORTON)
My friend just became a grandfather for the second time and in the good old American tradition, he wanted to give me a Cuban cigar. But since we don’t smoke and we love beer, he gave me a bottle of Herzl Beer’s “Embargo,” a strong porter brewed with real Cuban tobacco leaves.
I thought of this a few days ago when the Munich Jewish Museum announced that Herzl Beer, Jerusalem’s only craft brewery, had been selected to produce a collaborative binational beer with a craft brewery in Germany.
“We were really excited to learn that our brewery was chosen to represent Israel in this historic project,” said Maor Helfman, a founding partner of Herzl Beer, whose brewery is in the capital’s Talpiot industrial zone. “The opportunity to work with our counterparts in Germany is amazing and gives us a great source of pride.
“We would like to thank the Munich Jewish Museum, the organizers of this project, for putting their trust in us to be representatives of the craft brewing industry in Israel.”
The two partners of the Herzl brewery, Helfman and Itai Gutman, will fly to Munich next year to begin working on this project.
The Israeli-German brew will be introduced next year at the Munich Jewish Museum to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first beer purity law – the famous Reinheitsgebot.
In April 2016, the museum will open an exhibition called “Beer is the Wine of this Land: Jewish Brewery Tales.” It will honor the important role Jews played in the beer industry and hop trade, starting in ancient Israel, through the Torah and Talmud, and then dealing with Jewish hop traders, brewers and brewery owners in Munich, and ending with the recent flowering of craft beers in Israel.
The binational beer will be on sale at the museum restaurant and in select bars and shops in Munich.
Herzl was chosen for this honor from among several Israeli craft breweries that were visited last summer by Bernhard Purin, director of the Munich Jewish Museum. Joining Purin was Conrad Seidl of Vienna, a famous beer writer and blogger also known as the Bierpapst (“Beer Pope”).
The German craft brewery chosen for the project is the Crew Republic in Unterschleissheim near Munich. In only five years, partners Mario Hanl and Timm Schnigula have earned a reputation in Germany for their excellent beers.
Regarding the collaborative beer, Purin explained that the 500-yearold Reinheitsgebot is still basically the law of the land in Germany.
“This means that beer can only be made with water, grain, hops and yeast. No other additives of flavorings are permitted.
Purin went on to reveal that the Herzl and Crew Republic brewers have already established contact and are discussing possible recipes for their collaborative beer. “I can tell you that they are going in the direction of a steam beer. This means that they will use a traditional German lager yeast normally fermented at low temperatures, but will do the fermenting at the higher temperatures usually associated with Israel.”
“Steam beers” are so called because the vats of beer were originally cooled in the open air, resulting in clouds of steam hovering over them.
The exhibition “Beer is the Wine of this Land: Jewish Brewery Tales” will run at the Munich Jewish Museum from April 13, 2016, through January 3, 2017, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot.
The writer is the owner of MediawiSe, an agency for advertising and direct marketing in Jerusalem. He writes a weblog on Israeli craft beers at www.IsraelBrewsAndViews.blogspot.co.il