Of course hot weather is supposed to be the perfect time for a cold beer.
Could this be a myth perpetuated by large American industrial brewers (whose names will go unmentioned)?
What I do know is that alcohol makes me warm and if I drank the quantity of beer I drink of cold water and my iced herbal teas, I would be falling over drunk within minutes of returning my morning walk. That is if I took their advice.
But I don’t and only occasionally treat myself to a beer in the evening when things are cooling down and I try to catch a sea breeze from our balcony.
A couple weeks ago I made a quick trip to one of the local shops featuring alcoholic beverages. Most of these stores now have a decent selection of good imported beers and sometimes some true gem craft beers from Europe. They also have a selection of beers from Israeli boutique breweries. So I picked up a couple beers I know and a couple that I am less familiar with.
In this case it was two bottles from a relative newcomer to the shelves: Achuzat Bayit. For those that have proper Hebrew working in their browsers, it looked like this: אחוזת בית.
This is Israeli beer. A true Hebrew beer that brings back the days of the old moshava, the pioneers and harkens back to a simpler time. The graphics are nostalgic, the colors earthy and there is not a single Latin letter on either of the two labels.
Think of it, an Israeli boutique beer that doesn’t hint at a history or heritage of beer outside of our tiny state. This is beer for the local connoisseur without any pandering to outsiders.
I won’t say “it’s about time”. After all it may have happened before and I didn’t notice.
“Achuzat Bayit” is Hebrew for “estate”. As in a large residence. Something like the Rothschild’s would build if they lived in Israel. Or our current batch of tycoons who are busy bleeding the poor middle class masses dry. But I diverge.
An “Estate” also brings associations of wineries in France. Didn’t those Rothschild’s also make wine?
So it is no surprise that these beers are named after people who also have streets named after them. Like Rothschild. And Allenby. Allenby was the British general who kicked the Ottoman Turks out of Palestine in World War I. They also make a beer called Sheinkin, another street.
The Rothschild beer is a golden lager. It is very refreshing and hoppy with a slightly different taste to most Pilsners. It does not mention Pilsner on the bottle which could be intentional. Lager is a method not a style. Pilsner dictates not only the yeast and temperature of lager but also the malts and hops. I rather liked this beer. A good summer brew.
The other beer I bought that day is Allenby, an amber lager. This is essentially what Goldstar is but the Allenby was reminiscent of an English Pale Ale (or what they call a “bitter”). It is quite hoppy and has a nice roasted malt background. Interesting that it tastes like an English beer and is named Allenby. Coincidence?
I do recall running into the Achuzat Bayit crowd at one Beer Exhibition or perhaps a long forgotten beer festival. The bottles says it is made in Ashdod. Let us hope they are all safe.
I recommend seeking out beer from this brewery. Certainly if you see it in a shop or restaurant, jump at the chance. After all, what could be more patriotic than supporting a brewery in Ashdod with a Hebrew only label that is unashamed of its origins?
Last week I picked up a six pack from the Beer Market in the Jaffa Port. This is a shop that has been around a couple
years that sells only Israeli Boutique Beers. They sell a 6 pack of almost any of the beers for 85 NIS including bottles, deposit and a six pack carrier. It’s a great way of checking out those beers you always wanted to try. I will report on the blog as I drink them. It’s hot though so there is no rush.
I also want to mention that there is a new pub on Yerushalayim Street in Kfar Saba called Benny’s Cask Ale Pub that specialized in Israeli boutique beers. Check it out onFacebook.
Visiting this pub with a designated driver is definitely on my To-do list. Curtains Kfar Savans are on notice. You know who you are Mr. R.
As always you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org