Its been a brilliantly hectic past few weeks with a beer event round each corner, and I simply couldn’t say no to any of them for my childish fear of missing out. I was on the money this time though, I had a fabulous time. Here’s the where, how and why…
First up was the Beer-D beer festival a couple of Fridays back. This was a showcase of smaller brewers and some home brewers and a chance for them to show off their beers to the enthusiasts who made a point of knowing about the event and turning up. I say making a point to know about it, because it wasn’t all that easy to know about in first hand and so I was thankful for my ever growing network of beer chums who let me in on it.
I found there Basha-Flom, pouring out that liquid black gold BIPA which I wrote about last. They have since ran out and are brewing a new batch, so hard luck if you didn’t manage yet to taste it, but be patient, its coming again soon.
There too was Tozeret Haretz, who not for the first time impressed me with his award winning American style beers. Did you know he won a top British beer award recently? No? Well now you do and now you should go and find out why, I promise you wont be disappointed.
The sun was beating down and doing its usual burn me to a crisp in 7 mins and 40 seconds (I have timed it) but distracting me was the good company of my brother from another mother and life-long neighbour who had recently started to enjoy real ales. I am happy to report that this foreigner in our midst has gone back with a six pack and an abundance of enthusiastic stories of Israeli brewing ingenuity. We might just convince him to make Aliya yet, fingers crossed.
Then came the annual brew party in Yarkon park and this time, thankfully it was in the shade of the tree’s. If you are not familiar with what this is, it really is an event your eyes must behold to grasp the full awesomeness of it. Over 200 beer enthusiasts and the home brewer clans gathered with one goal in mind. Brew superb beer in the outdoors, and get happily hammered in the process.
Gas balloons where set up, hose pipes drawn across the grass, tables erected, cooler boxes filled with ice and home brewed beers where jacked open. The festivities were well under-way by the time that I got there and tens of brewing groups where either finishing off their boils or lagging being with their mash.
This afternoon was what its all about, It being the feeling you get when you bump into friends, share different beers, have a laugh and feel the contagious enthusiasm of man, woman and paddle (brewing spoon) doing the business.
Good boys and girls volunteered upon themselves tasks and responsibilities varying from setting up the cooler pool (a baby paddling pool filled with ice and frozen water bottles and milk cartons) so we can enjoy our beer cold, to designing the official t-shirts (check the guys in the pics) and selling hotdogs, to the righteous souls who stayed behind and cleaned up, ensuring that Robbie Williams who was due to perform there the next day would not be appealed at our littering habits. Call it Beer Hazbara if you like.
Besides the home brewers, attending where also the personalities behind some well known breweries; “Hadubim” and “Dancing Camel” – testament to how this grass roots movement of Iaraeli craft beer knows not borders nor class distinction. It know only good brews, and some bad ones along the way too, too many american hops (arguably a good thing rather than bad one), and unified passion.
And did I mention the best IPA I tasted on the day was brewed by two Haredi American guys and their wives? Yup…unified passion indeed.
Next up was Chucks’s Brewery and Benny’s Cask Ale Pub. Benny’s, if you do not already know, is the only cask ale pub in the land, our land. He looks after the beers in cask as though his own, and conditions it in his temperature controlled cellar for the optimum silk cask pint experience. Ever few weeks or so, Benny hosts a ‘meet the brewer’evening where the guys behind the brew on tap would talk you through what your drinking, Its a great idea and the advocacy for young brewers is appreciated.
Pouring from his impressive bar pumps this time was a new IPA from Chuck’s boys. They stood up and gave their shpiel, answers some questions and encouraged everyone to get stuck in and judge for themselves. Both interesting and encouraging was their insistence on honest critical feedback from the punters and so I too offered my thoughts. As this was not their final products, I am interested to see which tweak suggestions were taken on board and what the end pint tastes like soon.
And lastly there was Beer Bazaar hosting Shapiro Brewery and launching their new IPA on tap. Its an absolute cracker of a beer by the
way, the the Bazaar was positively swinging with revellers. The atmosphere was abuzz with anticipation that another one of the main stream big boys have produced an API and a bloody good one at that.
I couldn’t stick around for too long as I had fresh smoked salmon in my bag purchased in the Shuk and the sun was scorching, but I did still manage 2 full pints of the stuff. Its always nice hanging around other beer drinkers, standing in the bustle and hustle of the Carmel Market and Beer Bazaar has been providing refuge for the weary shopper for a couple of years now. Its a wee gem in the haystack…literally.
So there we have it, 4 very different beer festivals in a couple of weeks and a very happy and satisfied beaming blogger, and I cant wait for the next one…