Four new beers

Here are four new beers to help you start the New Year.

Four Beers (photo credit: Courtesy)
Four Beers
(photo credit: Courtesy)
While it’s still summer, let’s get hold of this year’s version of Jem’s Summer Ale from the Jem’s Beer Factory in Petah Tikva.
This is a light in color and in strength (5% alcohol by volume) pale ale made for summertime drinking. For those who have any doubts or questions, the name tells you so! Our bottle poured out the color of clear ginger ale, with very little foam. There was some lemon in the aroma but very little hop presence. On the palate, we got more lemon, some dankness and a touch of apricot. The overall impression was that of a light lager with a dry, refreshing finish.
I and my drinking partners simultaneously came out with the words “beach beer” because this is a perfect beer for the lazy days of summer, packed in ice on the beach, or taken from the fridge during or after a long, hot day.
The Alexander Brewery in Emek Hefer has brought out its own version of a wheat beer, called an “Israeli wheat.” It seems as if every Israeli craft brewery wants a German-style weissbier (also known as weizenbier or hefeweizen) in its repertoire.
In strength, color and aroma, the Alexander Wheat is typical of German-style wheats: 5% alcohol, hazy pale, with unmistakable scents of cloves from the wheat ale yeast. Its taste, though, is spicier than European wheats, with hints of fresh pumpkin pie spices. Well balanced, it is neither overly sweet from the wheat malt nor very bitter. The finish is mild and refreshingly bitter. This is a beer that was designed to help us cope with our Israeli summer.
The latest beer from the Dictator Brewery (made at the Beer Bazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat) is an India Pale Ale, another style that is now becoming a “must” for every craft brewery in Israel.
Brewer Yotam Baras has departed from his tradition of putting human dictators on his beer labels. The IPA features the biblical “iron beast,” the fourth beast envisioned by the prophet Daniel 7:7 – “...awesome and dreadful and exceedingly strong, and it had huge iron teeth....”
The beer inside, however, is much tamer. It’s a strong (6.2%) IPA that supplies all the bitterness you want. The color is a hazy orange-copper, and the dominant aromas are citrus (mainly grapefruit and orange) and pine resin. On the palate is more bitter citrus and yeast, balanced by a gentle malt sweetness – a very tasty and refreshing combination.
Bottom line: One more very drinkable Israeli IPA but not breaking any barriers or pushing any envelopes.
Oak & Ash is a new beer brand being brewed at the Dancing Camel Brewery in Tel Aviv. In fact, the founder, owner and head brewer of Oak & Ash is Asher Zimble, who is the head brewer at Dancing Camel.
As the name more than implies, Oak & Ash has adopted a brewing plan that calls for conditioning its beers with oak wood.
The Rye Pale Ale is 5.5% alcohol by volume, hazy and golden orange color, and very fruity. I got the wood in the aroma and the taste. Whether it was oak or maple or mahogany, I couldn’t tell you, but it was certainly wood. “Like the smell after you saw wood” is how my drinking partner Moshe put it.
We also detected strong hop aromas of citrus and spice. The taste offered a complexity of bitter fruit and spice, with ripe tangerine and kumquats standing out, but also malt and caramel.
Although “rye” is in the beer’s name, we were unable to find any traces of it in the aroma or flavor. We are always trying to upgrade our olfactory and gustatory radar, but some things are still out of range. The body was medium, with a long dry finish.
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