Image viaSamples of Deschutes Brewery’s Chainbreaker White IPA.Our beer mugs runneth over here in St. Louis. Bend, Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery, the nation’s fifth-largest craft brewery, is set to commence Base Camp for Fanatics, its weeklong campaign to introduce new and specialty beers through tasting events, food pairings and a chance to engage with Woody, a “giant beer barrel on wheels.” Base Camp, which began Friday, May 3, with an appearance at St. Louis Microfest, continues throughout the coming week, with the brewery’s events scheduled each evening.
drink learn more, Gut Check called Erik Frank, Deschutes’ regional events manager, to get the rundown on the brewery’s first-ever St. Louis beer fest.
A city of 85,000, Bend is home to fourteen individual breweries, which is kind of crazy. But as Frank explains, Oregon — and Portland in particular — “is often referred to as ‘Beer-vana,’ and is loaded with craft breweries.” (It seems there’s more than just sullen vampires in the Pacific Northwest.)
Deschutes expanded into Missouri in 2012, and its management team views Base Camp as a chance to win over a local following. Frank points to the burgeoning craft-beer scene as the primary reason for choosing St. Louis as a host city, highlighting local favorites including Schlafly Beer and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (3229 Washington Avenue; 314-222-0143).
In fact, on Tuesday, May 7, at the International Tap House-Soulard (1711 South Ninth Street; 314-621-4333), Deschutes is collaborating with St. Louis brewery Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue; 314-631-7300) for an event called Hats Off to Homebrewers. “It’s a grateful nod to, and celebration of, home brewers everywhere, as the craft-beer movement would not exist without them,” says Frank. Attendees can pick up home-brewing supplies and recipe books, and also sample a Belgian IPA designed by Perennial Brewmaster Phil Wymore and Deschutes Brewmaster Brian Faivre.
“Throw in a little Stump the Brewer QA session, and you have a recipe for awesome!” Frank says.
Another objective of Base Camp week is to break out new, never-before-tasted beers. When asked to describe River Ale, Deschutes’ new signature brew, Frank slyly answers our question with a question of his own: “How much flavor can you pack into a small package?” Fair enough. Frank goes on to explain that River Ale is Deschutes’ session ale, a low-alcohol-by-volume beer (4 percent) that satisfies the palate while allowing drinkers to consume several pints in one extended “session” without falling off their barstool at the end of the night. This event takes place on Monday, May 6, at Llywelyn’s Pub-Webster Groves (17 Moody Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-962-1515) and begins at 6:30 p.m. Representatives from Deschutes will be on hand to talk about their latest beer, along with may of their other selections on tap, and to share in the general merriment.
All in all, Base Camp Week is full of opportunities to try new beers from a brewery that is positioned to fit nicely with the current craft-beer scene in St. Louis.
3229 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO
Show additional locations »
1711 S. 9th St., St. Louis, MO
8125 Michigan Ave., St Louis, MO
17 Moody Ave., St. Louis, MO
SHERMAN, TX – Some big changes could be coming for the beer industry in Texas. Several bills are making their way through the Senate that could directly effect the way all breweries do business.
As Jeremy Roberts looks at all the progress he’s made moving towards opening his craft brewery in Sherman, there’s a fear in the back of his mind that he can’t quite shake.
“Should we even do this, should we even open the brewery in Texas?”
Five bills making their way through the Texas Senate could change the beer industry across the state.
“My worst case scenario is, we may not be able to make a profit, and if we can’t then 903 Brewers may not exist in the next few years,” said Roberts.
The bill causing a lot of controversy is Senator David Carona’s SB 639, which looks to change current law relating to the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages.
Roberts says the it would allow distributors to control the price of his product.
“They’re gonna tell me what I can sell my beer for as well as if I’m only going to be able to sell my beer for a certain amount, I’m not going to be able to make the quality of beer that I want to make.”
It’s a change, Roberts says will make it nearly impossible for his business to grow, and bring jobs to the community.
“That’s what’s been going on for a long time now, our Government is hurting our small people.”
“Sounds a little bit like controlling the price, I mean ya know someone have control they don’t need.”
But progress was made on Tuesday, as a spokesman for Senator Carona tells us.
”Senator Van de Putte, Senator Eltife, and Senator Carona all worked to bring everybody to the table and work together and work through everybody’s concerns and it’s clear that not everybody got everything they wanted, but everybody comes out of this in a much better position,” said Director of Senate Business Commerce Committee, Steven Polunsky.
Tuesday all five bills included in what’s known as the “Craft Bills Package” were passed by the Business Commerce Committee, but they still have a long way to go, starting with a pass through the full senate.
Staff writer- Memphis Business Journal
Memphis’ local beer scene is growing quickly, with a fourth craft brewery planning to open in the market by the end of the year.
Two brothers, Davin and Kellan Bartosch, are planning to open WISEACRE Brewing Co. in the heart of Memphis’ Broad Avenue Arts District.
They have signed a lease for 13,000 square feet at 2783 Broad and will produce a regular lineup of year-round beers as well as a selection of seasonal and limited-edition brews.
In addition to brewing, WISEACRE will also feature a tap room in which customers can sample the current offerings, learn about each unique brew and purchase beer to-go.
Davin and Kellan started planning WISEACRE 10 years ago.
Davin started brewing at home and then enrolled at Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest beer brewing school in the country.
He later studied at Doeman’s Academy in Germany, graduating salutatorian from his class at World Brewing Academy in 2008. He brewed professionally at Chicago’s Rock Bottom Brewery, where he received awards and accolades from the Great American Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup and the Festival of Wood Barrel Aged Beer. Davin has worked with leaders in the craft beer movement such as Haymarket, Half Acre and Solemn Oath Brewery as well as restaurants like celebrity chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill.
“I’ve had so much fun experimenting with different ingredients and collaborating with the most creative folks in craft beer,” he said. “I can’t wait to bring the best of what I’ve learned to our hometown. Mineral content in water is vital to beer, so Memphis’ artesian wells are a brewmaster’s dream. This is the perfect city to make ridiculously great beer and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Andy Ashby covers commercial real estate; transportation and logistics; construction; and Downtown Memphis. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story of Armadillo Ale Works begins with a happenstance meeting between Bobby Mullins, his ex-girlfriend’s dog, and an armadillo.
We’re sitting inside Deep Ellum Brewing Company in roundtable fashion, and a very reluctant Mullins is hesitant to answer my question, “Why Armadillo?” He’s trying to change the topic. For the past ten minutes, he and his partner, Yianni Arestis, have been telling me about their big dreams of opening the first craft brewery in Denton. It’s going to be called Armadillo Ale Works. In the last couple of years, Arestis and Mullins have been selling artisan sodas, and now they’re putting that on hold so they can focus all their efforts on beer.
Here’s where our beloved DEBC comes in. Enter John Reardon (owner) and Tait Lifto (brand and sales ninja) of Deep Ellum’s craft brewery. They’re two really cool, chill guys. One day, they’re hanging out at this event for brewers called Brews Cruise before the North Texas Beer Festival, and the next day, they’ve taken a liking to the Armadillo boys. “These guys are in it for the right reasons,” says Reardon. He can practically see their honest beer hearts poking through their shirts. The DEBC team decides to adopt the Armadillo men, and thus, a symbiotic friendlationship is born.
Ever since then, Reardon and Lifto have been teaching Mullins and Arestis how to brew beer, how to run a business, and everything about the beer world from the ground up.
“I’ve never heard of [this relationship] being done before. It’s this whole synergy and bringing things together,” says Reardon.
It’s true. You’d think that the DEBC boys would say ‘hell, naw’ to helping their future competition out, but they just don’t see it that way. They’re brewery brothers. They’re little guys against the “big guys.” (“Big guys” referring to non-local, massive beer companies like Budweiser.)
Armadillo Ale Works will be brewing their stouts at DEBC, and DEBC will help with the whole distribution process. Before this summer, Armadillo Ale Works will be releasing its Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale (a wheat beer made with grapefruit peel and coriander) and Quakertown Stout (oats, brown malt).
But back to the armadillo story. Mullins is trying, but I cannot be persuaded to change the topic. I ask Mullins if he’s ever had a weird encounter with an armadillo. He laughs nervously. ”Yes, several, actually.”
“Can you tell me some of them?”
“Are they going to be included in the story?”
“Yes, they will be.”
“Okay, no. No. They’re all irrelevant.”
“Irrelevant is good!”
“When I was in college, the girl I was dating… one of her dogs attacked an armadillo, so I had to go and save it.”
Well, there you have it, folks. Mullins pried the armadillo out of the dog’s jaws and saved it. (It had to be put down later, but that’s irrelevant, right?) I’m rather impressed. If the Armadillo guys can save armadillos, I’m pretty sure they’ll brew great beer. Great logic, I know.
If you really want to, you can see Bobby Mullins lying through his teeth in this DEBC video at the 3:27 mark, right after Tait Lifto asks him if he has any interesting stories with armadillos. Note to self: Don’t play mafia with Mullins. What a terrible liar.
‘Brewed in Brooklyn’ documentary about beer set to premiere in River Horse … – Hunterdon County Democrat
Brooklyn was the “one time and perhaps future beer-brewing capital of the world.” Find out why the creators of the film “Brewed in Brooklyn” feel that way in a film set to premiere
The 50-minute documentary was created by John Weber and Bennet Aube, both of Lambertville, and Kim Bjorheim of Hellertown, Pa.
The film features interviews with “historians, brewers and beer lovers alike and includes vintage footage and excerpts of classic Brooklyn beer commercials that would bring a smile to Don Draper’s face,” the trio pitches on the creative projects fundraising site Kickstarter.
“Brewed in Brooklyn,” the men say, is a “must see DVD for anyone who loves beer, Brooklyn or history.”
Weber said today that the premiere of “Brewed in Brooklyn” is planned for March 16. That’s the same month that New Jersey’s oldest craft brewery, River Horse, plans to move from the site where it was founded in Lambertville to a newer building in Ewing.
The film makers are completing the project, but still looking for backers. Anyone who gives $10 or more can see their name in the credits. Give at least $20 to also get a copy of the DVD, at least $50 adds a set of tasting glasses and $100 or more tacks on a movie poster. Give at least $500 and enjoy a New York brewery tour for two, too.
Funding for the project helps with the cost of original music, insurance and post production costs.
If You Go
What: Verboten Brewing, Loveland’s fifth craft brewery.
When: Soft opening 3-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, and 1-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, with a grand opening event likely Feb. 2.
Where: 1550 Taurus Court in Loveland, between Madison and Boise avenues north of East Eighth Street.
The Name: “Verboten,” the German word for “forbidden,” refers to the 16th-century German beer purity law. The regulation allowed only water, barley and hops (and later yeast) as ingredients. Verboten Brewing’s recipes make liberal use of ingredients that were “verboten” in Germany.
Cost: $5 for all beers – 10 ounces for higher-alcohol (“big beers”) and 16 ounces for others. Customers also can buy 32-ounce and 64-ounce bomber bottles, which can be filled and taken home.
Information: Verboten Brewing’s owners hope to interact with customers on their Facebook page, facebook.com/VerbotenBrewing, which is where they announced their Jan. 11 opening.
LOVELAND — Two brewing buddies are launching their own effort to help make Northern Colorado a craft beer drinker’s destination.
On Friday, Jan. 11, their nanobrewery, Verboten Brewing, will open at 1550 Taurus Court in east-central Loveland.
Fort Collins residents Josh Grenz and Joe Akers have been home-brewing together for three years. They and their wives, Angie Grenz and Keri Akers, decided a little over a year ago to take the plunge and turn the hobby into a business.
“We wanted to start out small just to keep it simple,” said Josh Grenz, who went to part time this week at his job with Rocky Mountain Computer Solutions.
Joe Akers said the partners established an order in which each would stop working his or her “day job” and go full time with the brewery as the business grows. Akers, who owns a window-tinting business, would go third, he said.
Filling the Kegs
On Tuesday, Akers and Grenz were hustling to get their American IPA out of one of their three fermentation tank and into barrels so they would have somewhere to put the Caramel Espresso Porter that was just about finished boiling.
With their three-barrel-size kettle, each batch must be mashed and boiled in two parts to fill a six-barrel fermentation tank. A barrel equals two kegs, and each keg holds 151/2 gallons of beer.
Such a small setup allows the men to experiment with different beers, they said. “It helps us rotate our beers more often,” Akers said.
They plan to keep rotating their beers, rather that keeping any standard “house beers” on tap. They will open with a Caramel Porter, the American India Pale Ale, a Lemongrass Wit, an Orange Blossom Honey Wheat and a Rum Barrel-aged Stout.
They developed all the recipes while still home-brewing. “We have 20 to 25 different recipes in our repertoire,” Grenz said, and some of the creations won medals in home-brew competitions.
“These are the kinds of beers we enjoy the most,” Akers said.
In the Taproom
Right now, the taproom has five taps, plus a “nitrogen tap” to create a creamy, frothy pour. The seating area has room for about two dozen patrons and is open to the brewing
area in the back, separated only by a chain.
The sounds and smells of the brewing process make their way to the front. “We wanted the person who’s drinking beer to be part of the brewing process,” Akers said.
The brewery doesn’t have a kitchen, so Verboten Brewing will sell prepackaged snacks and have food trucks on site for customers.
When discussing the process of opening a brewery, Akers and Grenz mentioned the assistance they received from half a dozen other craft breweries in Loveland, Berthoud and Fort Collins.
“All the breweries help out,” Grenz said. “It’s just a real cool community.”
The More the Merrier
Rather than fearing the competition, the other Northern Colorado brewers take a “more the merrier” approach. “It’s a hotspot, the place to go,” Grenz said.
“It’s like Napa Valley,” Akers said. “How many wineries are there? It’s the buzz it creates. People go there for that.”
“We’re doing different beers,” Grenz added. “You don’t need to compete with each other and sell the same stuff. You can find your own niche.”
Verboten’s niche is specialty beers with fruit and spice flavors, higher-alcohol brews and beer aged in liquor barrels, including oak barrels from Dancing Pines Distillery across the street. Eventually, the partners want to make some “real ales.”
Nick Callaway, owner of Loveland Aleworks, said he helped Grenz and Akers with a few questions as they were getting started.
He agreed that there’s plenty of room for more small breweries.
“Craft beer folks are always looking for something new – what’s innovative, what’s new, what’s rare.
“It’s really neat to have Verboten in town.”
Craig Young can be reached at 635-3634 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigYoungRH.
Brian and Jennifer Royo are the beer barons of Katy, hands-down.
Owners of No Label Brewing Company, located at 5351-A First Street, the couple oversees a company that has grown from having one small account serviced by a “glorified homebrew system,” to a craft brewery that turns out 88,000 bottles of beer a month delivered to a client list of 275 that includes bars, restaurants, grocery stores and specialty markets across Texas — but mostly centered in and around Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.
“It’s grown a lot faster than we expected,” said brewmaster Brian, a 1996 graduate of Taylor High School who later attended the University of Houston to study construction science.
Brian also met Jennifer at UH, where their romance blossomed and led to marriage. Parents of a two-month-old son, Travis, the couple will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary in April.
Construction was Brian’s first passion — until he became interested in home brewing.
“I just fell in love with it,” he said. “Next thing you know, I’m spending all my extra money on homebrewing supplies.”
According to Jennifer, the idea to open a brewery in Katy first surfaced while the couple was talking with some friends.
“We all thought it would be pretty neat,” she said.
However, it took several years of planning before the idea became a reality. Joined in the venture by Brian’s parents, Gil and Melanie, the two Royo families leased spaced in one of Katy’s old rice silos and set about fulfilling the dream. Thus, the No Label Brewing Company was born.
The small brewery hosted its first keg sale in late December 2010, which drew a small but appreciative crowd. That event has now morphed into regular Saturday afternoon (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) “tastings” that are attended by several hundred beer connoisseurs. Admission is $5 and the kid-friendly, dog-friendly event features live music, food vendors and beer. Note that IDs are required, those under 21 are admitted for free (but must be accompanied by an adult) and no outside alcohol is allowed.
About 20 volunteers also turn out for the “tastings” to help out, said Jennifer, who handles the brewery’s marketing duties.
“We have great support from the people in Katy,’’ Brian noted.
“It’s just a great place for people to socialize,” added Jennifer.
No Label Brewing Company also hosts private parties, but cautions anyone interested in renting out the brewery that it is not air conditioned or heated. Prices for a two-hour party depend on the number of folks in attendance — $250 for parties of 25, or $350 for parties of 50.
The brewery’s output has grown in leaps and bounds since 2011, the first full year of operations when Brian and a small crew produced about 700 barrels of beer (one barrel equals 31 gallons). Last year, after the Royos signed with a major distributor and purchased some large brewing equipment — including a 15-barrel brewhouse and some fermenting tanks — the production increased to about 2,500 barrels. The goal for 2013, said Brian, is to produce between 5,000 and 6,000 barrels of beer.
“We expect bigger and better things this year,” said Brian. “We will continue expanding and upgrading our facilities, and we will have a garden/seating area behind the brewery.”
The brewery’s growth in 2012 also led to the hiring of three new employees, bringing the total to six full-time and one part-time, and Brian plans to add a few more employees to the payroll this year.
Also on Brian’s list of things-to-do in 2013 has been the creation of some new beers.
His latest experimental brew is the Elda M Stout, a creamy and sweet winter seasonal stout featuring rich flavors of roasted and chocolate malts with a hint of coffee. Brian says it’s the perfect drink for a cold winter day. This beer is named after the boat that Brian’s mom, Melanie, grew up on in Panama.
Another new brew, Don Jalapeno Ale, is being brewed this month and will be released in February. Based off the brewery’s popular Pale Horse Ale, Brian says this ale is brewed with 60 pounds of jalapenos — 30 pounds raw and 30 pounds roasted (seeds included) — and has a slight burn at the back end.
Production of Don Jalapeno Ale will continue “until we decide to stop — or run out of jalapenos,” he added.
The two new brews join a tasty lineup that already includes the aforementioned Pale Horse Ale, as well as El Hefe, Ridgeback Ale, Black Wit-O and Mint IPA.
Brian likens brewing to cooking, adding a pinch of this and a pinch of that. He said he learned quite a bit about brewing from books. But, like cooking, the best teacher is experience.
“There’s a lot of trial and error,” he said. “Eventually, you just know much malt and hops to put in.”
For information about No Label Brewing Company, call 281-693-7545, e-mail Jennifer@nolabelbrew.com or visit www.nolabelbrew.com.
Even before they opened their winery in Temecula six years ago, the Wiens family was fermenting plans for a brewery.
Now that Wiens (rhymes with “beans”) Family Cellars at 35055 Via Del Ponte is so successful, known for its “big reds,” the owners hopped right to the suds. They’ve turned their yeast affection to locally produced lagers and ales crafted at Wiens Brewing Co., which opened Nov. 10 with six year-round styles and a variety of seasonals.
Wiens is the first Temecula Valley winery to open a brewery. The grapes and the grains don’t co-exist, but reside in separate facilities — the 7,500-square-foot brewery/tasting room is at 27941 Diaz Road, Suite A.
“We’re German and we love our beer,” said Dave Wiens, 57, who manages business development. Apparently, the region is fond of the suds. Wiens is the seventh brewery, joining Black Market, Ironfire, Refuge and Aftershock in the Temecula Valley, Craft Brewery in Lake Elsinore and The Locker Room in Wildomar.
The Wiens family, six brothers and three sisters, also figure that the beer business shows no signs of going flat. Statistics show that 1,940 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2011, comprised of 1,063 brewpubs, 789 microbreweries and 88 regional craft breweries
According to the Brewers Association trade group, craft brewers sold an estimated 11,468,152 barrels of beer in 2011, up from 10,133,571 in 2010. Craft brewer retail dollar value in 2011 was an estimated $8.7 billion, up from $7.6 billion in 2010.
Wiens Brewery is starting small, producing 4,000 barrels annually and eventually ramping up to the facility’s 10,000-barrel capacity. The startup’s brews already are flowing from about 28 taps at more than 20 restaurants, including Gambling Cowboy, Sweet Lumpy’s, Scarcella’s Italian Grill and The Edge.
Steve Sillan, owner of Rosati’s Pizza, said Wiens’ Front Street Lager is a hit with customers. “They really connect well with local breweries,” he said.
Wiens’ Insomnia India Pale Ale, Front Street Lager and Plateau Pale Ale are selling “wonderfully” at the Crush Brew, said manager Spencer Szczygiel. “They’ve been making great wines for years and the same high-quality has carried through to their brews.”
Brother Doug Wiens, now 55 and the family’s winemaker, sowed the winery’s seeds in 1996 when he began planting grapes on property he bought in Northern California near Lodi. After the first harvest in 2001, he leased the land and then moved to Temecula where most of his siblings lived. All of them pitched in to help launch Wiens Family Cellars in October 2006.
Since then, the winery has expanded to four buildings totaling 15,000-square-feet on 70 acres, produces 15,000 cases a year, boasts 4,500 wine club members and ships to 18 states. Since its debut, Wiens Family Cellars has grown 10 to 15 percent annually in sales and profits, said Dave Wiens.
He ascribes much of their success to family teamwork, 15 of whom are part of the 50-member staff. “It takes a lot of beer to make good wine, so we figured why not make the beer, too?” he quipped.
They even had a brew master in their midst, brother Peter Wiens, 37, who has a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis and worked for Anheuser-Busch for 12 years. The family invested $500,000 to gut, remodel and equip a former warehouse on Diaz Road as a brewery and tasting room that seats 130.
“It’s a bold experiment,” Dave Wiens said. “So far, we’re doing great.”
Right now, the brewery only serves draft beers, but will start a barrel program in February. The hours are 3 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Follow Laurie Lucas on Twitter @laurielucas
Check her blog on http://blog.pe.com/retail/
COLD SPRING – Craft beer brewing is a hot trend all over the country, and now we have some highly praised brews being created right here in central Minnesota.
Third Street Brewhouse of Cold Spring is the newest featured business in our “Made in Central Minnesota” series.
While the Third Street brand is new, the history of brewing in Cold Spring is over one hundred years old.
Two years ago, the company made the decision to rebrand as a craft brewery, build a state of the art facility and launch a line of specialty beers for a local market.
Horace Cunningham is the Director of Brewing. He’s studied and worked for companies from Germany to Great Britain to Minneapolis. But, he says, getting the chance to create beers for Third Street is the highlight of his long career in brewing.
Cunningham says the fully-automatic brewing equipment they work with at Third Street, much of which was designed and assembled in central Minnesota shops, is some of the finest he’s seen anywhere in the country.
Third Street General Manager Doug DeGeest seconds Cunningham’s sentiments. He says, the strength of the Third Street brand is being built with a combination of well-made brewing equipment and a talented, 15 member brewing team.
Right now, Third Street Brewhouse offers 3 year-round beers, with plans to add a fourth some time next year. They’ve also launched two seasonal varieties. Their newest, Sugar Shack Maple Stout, which debuted on Monday, is brewed with maple syrup tapped from trees right around the corner at St. John’s Abbey Arboretum in Collegeville.
You can find Third Street beers in over 50 bars, restaurants and retailers around Minnesota. The company also welcomes visitors for tours and tastings. To learn more or schedule a tour, you can call them at 320.685.3690.
By Rabbi Baruch Rock
Craft beer brewing is an art. The craft brewer is self-mandated to blend the complex flavors from water, malts, hops and yeasts into a harmony of delight. There is also a creed of the craft brewer as described by the Brewer’s Association:
• The hallmark of craft beer and craft brewers is innovation. Craft brewers interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent.
• Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness.
• Craft brewers tend to be very involved in their communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism, and sponsorship of events.
• Craft brewers have distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers.
• Craft brewers maintain integrity by what they brew and their general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft brewer.
Technically, a craft brewery produces no more than 475,000 gallons of beer per year (I am using craft brewery and microbrewery interchangeably, an obvious generality that glosses over the complexities of the industry, but sufficient for this posting). Culturally, these small scale breweries forsake size to allow for greater care and attention to be paid to the quality of ingredients and the nuances of the brewing process. What speaks to me most from the creed is the commitment to integrity and relationship: relationship with the ingredients, history, individualism, community and innovation.
Never thought of beer in this way before? You are not alone. When I made Aliyah in 2002, the craft beer industry in Israel was well … non-existent. Even homebrewing equipment was nearly impossible to find. It was several years later in 2006 that Dancing Camel appeared not on the scene, but to create the scene. By now, there are 20+ registered microbreweries in Israel. But do not mistake quantity for quality…or craftsmanship. This past summer on a return to trip to Israel, I made it a point to try as many Israeli craft beers as I could find, albeit from the bottle (draft beers are in a different league, unfortunately the dynamics of the visit didn’t allow for that kind of luxury). Besides, if a brewery has the courage to put their product in a bottle, then that should be proof enough that they have something worth tasting. While on the whole the experience was a delight and some tasty brews were discovered, there is certainly room for improvement. The sum of it, craft brewing is form of art, craft brewing in a bottle … a fine art that few, at least in Israel (or more aptly, from the beers tasted), have mastered.
Throughout the course of two beer tastings my friends and I sampled six different breweries and 18 different beers. The list of breweries and beers included the following:
NEGEV BREWERY – AMBER ALE
NEGEV BREWERY – PORTER
CANAAN BREWERY – PALE ALE
CANAAN BREWERY – CARAWAY
CANAAN BREWERY – WHEAT
EMEK HAELAH – BEVARIAN WHEAT
EMEK HAELAH – BLONDE
EMEK HAELAH – IRISH RED ALE
JEM’S WHEAT, JEM’S AMBER ALE
JEM’S DARK LAGER, JEM’S STOUT
JEM’S 8-8, ISRA-ALE BLONDE
BIRA BRABUA – PILSNER
BIRA BRABUA – RED ALE
BIRA BRABUA – BOCK
BIRA BIRABUA – AMBER
Other beers sampled but not included in the beer tastings were various styles from PAVO BREWERY in Zichron Yaakov, as well as various styles from the GOLAN HEIGHTS BREWERY.
Each beer evaluation considered the following six aspects (as expanded upon in the publication “How to Hold a Tasting at Home” by The Brewer’s Association): 1. Appearance — color, head and carbonation; 2. Aroma; 3. Taste; 4. Mouthfeel or Texture; 5. Overall impression; 6. Beer Whispering.
This last category is my favorite. The beer whisper is essentially what you, your totally subjective self, have to say about the beer. What is its story? What does the beer remind you of? You will see in the evaluations (what I like to call developmental criticism) that a beer may whisper some unusual things. In this case the beer tastings were much more a celebration than an attempt at critique. My love for Israel, craftbeer, comraderie and plain old fun is what I was going for in these tastings. I hope that you will have the opportunity to hold a beer tasting of your own, in a rebuilt Jerusalem, speedily in our days.
In this first post, I share the write ups for two of the six breweries and their respective beers. A disclaimer, this is a completely subjective evaluation. Coming up in the posts to follow, more evaluations and the stories behind the breweries/brewers themselves. L’Chaiim!
Rabbi Baruch Rock, born and raised in NY, first learned of craft brewing while serving in the Student Conservation Corps in the Bitteroot Wilderness of Idaho at the age of 16. Since then, Baruch has been an avid homebrewer both in the US and for the ten years he lived in Israel. Baruch Rock now resides in Fairfax, Virginia, where he gladly sips his favorite craft beers from across the country to those close to home.
- beer at home
- beer brewing equipment
- beer brewing kits
- beer brewing supplies
- beer kits
- beer making
- brew beer at home
- brew your own
- brewing at home
- brewing yeast
- home beer brewing
- home brew
- home brew beer
- home brew cider
- home brew kits
- home brew supplies
- home brewery
- home brewing
- home brewing equipment
- home brewing for
- home brewing kits
- home brewing supplies
- your own beer