Organizer Leon Shvartz, owner of the Glen Whisky Bar, along with Shmuel Naky (his partner at Beerateinu, the Jerusalem Beer Center), came up with the idea of a craft beer fair and are running with it.
"Jerusalem's annual beer festival is very nice," admitted Leon, "but it has come to be dominated by Israel's industrial beer duopoly" -- Tempo Beer Industries (brewers of Goldstar and Maccabee) and Israel Beer Breweries Ltd. (Tuborg and Carlsberg). "There are stands for some Israeli craft beers, but most of the attendees come to load up on the industrial beers and their foreign imports."
To solve this problem, Leon and Shmuel invited only craft breweries to participate in their Fair, and so far 13 have agreed:
Hadag Halavan (The White Fish)
HeChalutz (The Pioneer)
Two or three others may still come on board.
|The previous "Dictators."|
Getting back to Leon, he told me that all of the booths will be the same size and are being rented for the same price. "I kept the price low," he insists, "so all the brewers will have a chance to make money at the Fair."
|The grounds of the First Station in Jerusalem.|
Entrance is free.
"You heard me. Entrance is free. And we're having deejay and live music at different times."
Visitors can eat at any of the restaurants in the First Station. There will be a central booth for buying bottles of beer and beer-related merchandise.
"As you can see, we're introducing several concepts which are new for beer festivals and fairs," concludes Leon. "If we are successful, we may be holding these fairs more than once a year."
Dates announced for Haifa Beer Festival:
Polina Charnovelsky from the "Cooperation" Office of the Cultural Department of the Haifa Municipality, has just informed me that the Haifa Beer City Festival will be held August 17-18, 2016, at the Agritech Grounds, near the Convention Center.
But be warned: This is not the place to experience Israeli craft beers. The Festival is sponsored by Tempo Beer Industries, and the only beers being served are their own (Goldstar and Maccabee) and the beers they import.