June 18, 2021

With Herzl Brewery's move to larger facilities, Hatch takes over in Talpiot

Ephraim Greenblatt (center), owner of the
Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem, poses with
brewers Yisrael Atlow (right) and Mendel Shneider.

(Photo: Mike Horton)

Hatch Brewery, owned and directed by the indefatigable Ephraim Greenblatt, has taken a major commercial step by renting the location that housed the original Herzl Brewery in Jerusalem, located in the Talpiot Industrial Zone.  The facilities have been upgraded with larger and more modern equipment, including an instantaneous water heater and reverse osmosis water filter. 

[The original article about Ephraim and Hatch can be read here.] 

Ephraim, 32, was eager to talk with me about his ambitious plans for the brewery.  "We have two core values," he declares.  "The first is a commitment to beer of the highest quality, and our new equipment demonstrates this."  

A general view of the Hatch Brewery in
Jerusalem's Talpiot Industrial Zone.

(Photo: Mike Horton)

When I visited the brewery with photographer Mike Horton, Ephraim and his staff were taste-testing two different versions of an IPA they had recently brewed.  Even though the beers were very similar, the tasters reached a consensus on which was better.  This choice would become Hatch's regular IPA.

"These sessions are very valuable," Ephraim told me.  "We are constantly improving our beers.  'Tomorrow's beer,' we say, 'will be better than today's.'"        

"The second value is to create an experience for Hatch beer customers to feel connected to:

Stairway to the beer:
The old blogger joins
Yisrael Atlow (left) and 
Ephraim Greenblatt at the 
Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem. 

(Photo: Mike Horton)
1) Our place -- the Hatch Brewery.

2) Our people -- the brewers.

3) Our values -- our efforts to give them the finest beer they can buy."

Research has shown that one of the main attractions and selling points of craft beer is the bond that micro-breweries form with their customers. Beer drinkers enjoy feeling that "♪ This brand is my beer!"  They get to know the back story of the brewery -- its brand personality -- the lives of the brewers, and the details of each beer.  

"This is the relationship we are trying to build with our customers," Ephraim explains.

Hatch beers are now sold at the two Jerusalem restaurants owned by Ephraim (Hatch in the Machane Yehuda market and Shmaltz in Ramat Eshkol), as well as the major beer specialty stores: Birateinu in Jerusalem, Beer & Beyond in Tel Aviv, Biguns in Karkur, and Beer House in Beersheva.  Hatch is also designing a website for direct orders so people from all over Israel can buy their beers.

"We also do contract brewing for other brewers," Ephraim adds.  "Further down the road, we would like to use the area around the brewery as a tap room and restaurant on Thursday nights and Fridays.

Even the water can be formulated as needed
for the different styles of beer:
The new reverse osmosis water filter at the 
Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem.

(Photo: Mike Horton)

"Though there haven't been any beer festivals in Israel for more than a year, we would like to take part in as many 'quality' festivals as we can as soon as they begin.  This is very important for us to reach a wide pubic.

"In fact, I don't rule out organizing our own beer festival with other brewers invited."  

The day-to-day brewing at Hatch is overseen by Yisrael Atlow, 27, an Israeli brewer with experience in Australia, and assisted by Mendel Shneider.  26-year-old Mendel immigrated to Israel recently with a Brooklyn yeshiva education.  Ephraim hired him and trained him as a brewer -- providing him with the tools for a promising career.

"We are currently brewing six core beers," Yisrael said, "plus some limited and seasonal issues."    

In no particular order, these are the Hatch beers which are available as of this writing:

Core beers:

Some, not all, of the Hatch beers
available in the beer specialty stores.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Pacific Ale -- A pale ale which Yisrael says is his homage to the beach in Melbourne, Australia.  It is indeed suitable for the beach: Crisp and refreshing, mid-bitter, with subdued tropical and citrus fruit flavors.  5.2% alcohol by volume.

Beerless Beer -- So named because it's made without hops.  Technically a Berliner Weiss, on the spectrum of sour beers, but actually not very sour.  Some bread and caramel in the taste, and very smooth drinking.  4.1% ABV. 

Billow -- A wheat ale (Hefeweizen), aromas of bread and yeast, with moderate wheat beer spice tastes.  Dry, bitter finish.  4.9% ABV.  

IPA -- The Hatch interpretation of an American IPA.  Hoppy and bitter, citrus aromas and tastes, with orange up front.

Balance -- An American Amber Ale, 5.6% ABV, dark amber color, defined by chocolate and malt flavors.

Fanatical Stout -- A dry stout with a smooth, full body.  Chocolate and roasted malt are the dominant tastes here, with some coffee and brown sugar.     

No one has beer on the brain more than
Ephraim Greenblatt, owner of the Hatch Brewery 
and restaurants in Jerusalem.

(Photo: Mike Horton)  
Seasonal brews:

Bikurim -- A Barley Wine, one of the strongest beer styles, 11.4% ABV.  Made from pure malted barley.  It is very boozy, with sweet malt predominating, a full body and alcoholic warmth in the mouthfeel   

Nuweibaa -- A Beduin chai beer, brewed with sage, lemongrass and black tea.  Inspired by Yisrael's visit to a Beduin tent.  The aroma of sage is strong, followed by the taste of tea.  

Twisted -- A gose-style beer (pronounced go-seh), brewed with pretzels and salt.  Slightly sour with some salt water in the background.    

The beers from Hatch cover a wide range of styles -- and a range of quality.  Being the only commercial brewery located in Jerusalem, it is a real asset to the city.  Jerusalemites can happily feel that, "This is our beer."              

[After selling the equipment to Hatch, Herzl Beer moved its brewing activities to the Malka Brewery in the Tefen Industrial Zone in northern Israel.  Herzl gained a much larger production capacity and the enhanced distribution resources of Hacarem Spirits Ltd., which is a partner in the Malka Brewery.  Maor Helfman, the founder and brewer of Herzl, was appointed the Beer Brands Manager of Hacarem.  Read the full story here.

 [               [A similar version of this article appears in In Jerusalem

                     the local weekly newspaper of The Jerusalem Post.]                     

1 comment:

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