March 19, 2020

Beer in the Time of Coronavirus


You probably noticed quite few articles these days with the title, "___ in the Time of ____." 

Journalists are using this because it refers back to an amazing novel from 1985, "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Colombian Nobel prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez.  Written in the style of "magical realism" which he perfected, it's a story of love unrequited and unfulfilled yet eternal.

It ends with the two geriatric lovers quarantined, as it were, on a river boat which sails back and forth between towns infected with cholera, unable to disembark.  They will be doing this, you feel, forever.

Sound familiar?


We hope our strict measures of social distancing and self-quarantine will end before forever, but in the meantime, economies and businesses all over the world are struggling for their survival.  Food stores and pharmacies are still open for business, but all other retail trade, including restaurants and pubs, are not getting any foot traffic. 

Here in Israel, many retail outlets have begun to do home-deliveries in order to stay in business, including those which sell craft beer -- in bottles or by the glass.  I noticed that the same thing is happening in the U.S. and in other countries as well.

So this is an appeal to all my readers and beer lovers to support these stores and restaurants.  While you're home anyway, please order beer and food from the breweries, bottle shops and restaurants who will be only too happy to bring it to your door.  And from what I can read, they almost all are doing it.  You can find out more by searching them out on Facebook or the internet.                   


Times are going to be tough enough anyway.  There's no reason for us to suffer through them without beer.           

March 17, 2020

Two beers from New Pioneer

Gilad Ne-Eman shows the old blogger
around at one of the super-enjoyable
Beer7 Fests in Beersheva.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Gilad Ne-Eman of Beersheva has been brewing commercially since 2009.  He not only brews; he owns and operates the Beer House, a bar and beer garden which also sells bottled beers, and the Brew Shop, which sells ingredients for home-brewing, and offers courses, workshops and tasting sessions.  Gilad also is a founder and leader of the Home-Brewers Guild of Beersheva, one of the founders and organizers of the Isra-Brew home-brewing competition, and an organizer of the annual Beer7 Fest for home-brewers.  A very busy and entrepreneurial young man!

Gilad opened his first brewery, HeChalutz ("The Pioneer") in 2009 and introduced some very innovative beers.  In 2017, he joined with Tomer Ronen of HaDag HaLavan ("The White Fish") Brewery to form Tog. When they broke up last year, Gilad continued brewing at the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat under the new label, Chalutz Chadash ("New Pioneer").

Last, summer he brought out his first Chalutz Chadash beer, 4 by 4, a session IPA which is no longer brewed.

Chalutz Chadash now produces two beers which I recently had the pleasure to taste.

Bill the Bastard is called an Australian pale ale, mostly because the hops come from Australia (Galaxy) and New Zealand (Nelson Sauvin).  Gilad told me that the beer was made in cooperation with the Beersheva ANZAC Memorial Center which commemorates the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who defeated the Turks in Beersheva during World War I in 1917.

'Bill' was actually the name of one of the cavalry horses which took part in the battle.  "I give talks and do beer tastings for the center's staff and visitors," said Gilad, "so we thought it would be a good idea to do an Australian-style beer which has a connection with the ANZAC soldiers."   
 
According to my research, Australian pale ales are much like the traditional British varieties.  Compared to American pale ales, they have a maltier flavor and contain less hops.
Image result for anzac beer sheva
The Beersheva ANZAC Memorial Center:
An Australian cavalry horse inspired
Bill the Bastard Australian Pale Ale. 

We found Bill the Bastard to be quite hoppy.  Although the label says it measures 10 IBUs (International Bitterness Units), it tasted more like 30.  It pours out a crystal clear golden color, not much carbonation.  The aroma is very fresh, yeasty, fruity and flowery -- really  conjuring up springtime and summer as we want them to be.  My drinking partner Moshe and I got tastes of citrus fruits, yeast, toasted malt, apricot and fresh cucumber.  The finish is bitter.  At 4.9% alcohol, we felt that this was the "ale" equivalent of a "summer lager."  I would certainly come back to this beer as the days get longer and warmer. 


Chalutz Chadash's second beer is 7 Lev Adom ("Red 7 of Hearts"), in the style of an American red or amber ale.  Many people see this style as midway between the hoppier pale ales and the roasted malty porters or stouts.  It takes brewing skill to get that balance just right, and Gilad has done just that.  

Pouring out a semi-hazy, dark amber color, 7 Lev Adom gives off refreshing aromas of grapefruit, caramel and grass, while carrying over to a dank taste of bitter citrus, malt and yeast, creamy mouthfeel, and bitter finish.  Its flavors are stronger and fuller than a pale ale, and the ABV, at 5.1%, a bit higher.

This is a good beer without novelty, refreshing and pairing well with many foods.  




You can read these earlier posts on Gilad Ne-Eman and his beers:

The Beer7 Fests -- here and here

The Tog Brewery -- here.

The Isra-Brew Competition -- here and here.          

February 10, 2020

Two new beers → Shevet Small Batch IPA, BeerBazaar Cannabrew

Good people of Israel and around the world:  The flood of new Israeli beers has not subsided.  Gives me no rest.  Here are two more you've been waiting for.

Shevet Small Batch IPA

Bottles of Shevet Small Batch
IPA (India Pale Ale) and
ESP (Extra Special Bitter).
Right after coming out with their first "Small Batch" beer ‒ an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) ‒ the Shevet Brewstillery in Pardes Hanna has issued the second in the series ‒ an IPA (India Pale Ale).

Small Batch means that "only" 5,500 bottles of the ESP were produced, and 4,500 bottles of the IPA.  [Read my review of the ESB here.]

Starting off slowly on the Israeli craft beer scene, IPAs are now made by almost every major brewery in the country.  This style of beer, which includes a few sub-styles, has been the most popular craft beer in the world.  It is marked by strong hop aromas and flavors (which can be flowery, citrusy, tropical fruity, piney, or any combination in between), higher alcohol content, and moderate to heavy bitterness.

The hops used in the Shevet Small Batch IPA are Amarillo, Nelson and Centennial ‒ leading us to expect notes of citrus and flowers and pine, coming at us all at once.  Alcohol by volume is 6.5%.

The Shevet Small Batch IPA is a slightly hazy, light amber color with very little carbonation.  Sitting with my drinking partner Daniel, we inhaled whiffs of pine needles, bready malt, mango and orange peel.  The taste is quite bitter (the label says 34 IBUs  International Bitterness Units), with recognizable flavors of bread, grass and flowers.  (Even if you've never tasted grass and flowers, this is how you would imagine they taste.)  Daniel also noticed a taste of melon.

We both agreed that this is an IPA suitable for Israeli tastes, more like an English IPA than the more aggressive American style.

BeerBazaar Cannabrew

The BeerBazaar Brewery's
Cannabrew beer, infused
with cannabis terpenes.
This is the beer that has been causing major ripples and rumors among the Israeli craft crowd.  What can we expect from this first Israeli beer infused with cannabis isolates?  You're not going to get high, that's for sure, but the particular "terpene elements" in this beer are said to help you feel more energy and a heightened ability to focus.

At any rate, before you read my tasting review, please take a moment to re-read my background article on Cannabrew here.  Since this beer is not yet on sale at the BeerBazaar stores nor on the shopping website (www.beerbazaar.co.il), my review is probably the first you'll be reading.

Cannabrew is built on a pale ale base (5.1% alcohol), though its hazy, dark amber color is not exactly "pale."  Beginning with the aroma, you get very pleasant floral notes, grapefruit peel and a general fruitiness ‒ but no discernible cannabis.  That comes when you taste it: Noticeable flavors of green plants and citrus are there, especially in the retronasal olfaction, which is a fancy way of saying how we smell and taste something while breathing out.  Behind these flavors is a bitter background which might be from the hops or the cannabis, which, after all, are genetic cousins in the Cannabaceae family.     

Did I get the aroma and taste of the marijuana plant?  I don't think I did, but my drinking partner Daniel positively identified the taste as cannabis.  The vegetal flavor that I did get blended in very nicely with the beer.

The Cannabrew label peels off to reveal
information about the ingredients and
production process of this beer.
Did I feel any increase in energy and focus?  Not really.  But it was kind of an intense morning, and I might have missed it.  I eagerly await what others have to say about the effects of this beer.

One more word about the label:  It's an attractively designed black, tan and green, showing a cannabis plant and hop bines.  The label peels off easily, revealing (in Hebrew and English) further details about the Cannabrew ingredients and production process.  A nice touch, and one more element that makes this special beer even more special. 

February 2, 2020

Four 2020 beers

This has been a productive season for new Israeli craft beers.  I'm counting something like nine or ten within the space of a few months.  Here are my notes on four of them.


Sheeta Pumpkin Ale

Image result for pumpkins"
American pumpkins are not only good
for eating, but can be carved into
Halloween jack o'lanterns.

The Sheeta Brewery in Arad (eastern Negev) has introduced a seasonal Pumpkin Ale.  As far as I know, the only other Israeli brewery that makes this style of beer is Galil, which has been doing it for several years.

Pumpkin Ales are widely known in the U.S., where pumpkins are pumpkins, not the Middle East orange squash (British say marrow) known as dla'at.  These ales seem to be either loved or hated.  Most of them are highly spiced and try to imitate the iconic American pumpkin pie, also loved (as by me) or hated!

We tasted the Sheeta Pumpkin Ale on tap at Beerateinu in Jerusalem.  At the time, it was not available in bottles, although I understand that it soon will be.  In the glass, it's a hazy, dark copper color with a thin head.  It's made with cinnamon, and this is readily detected in the aroma and taste.  It's a spicy brew, although I would call the taste more of a pumpkin cake than a pumpkin pie.  You get the sweet spice with a slightly ascetic background.  The finish, though, is dry and refreshing.  Alcohol by volume is 6.1%.

In short, the Sheeta Pumpkin Ale doesn't have the full oomph of some American Pumpkin Ales which are liquid pies, but conveys the style in a tasty, forthright manner. 

Shapiro Double IPA


Image may contain: drink
The Shapiro Brewery in Beit Shemesh has launched a new Double IPA (DIPA) to help keep away the winter chills.  At a loud and lovely event at the brewery, the public was introduced to the new beer on tap and in bottles.  I got there early and was one of the first tasters outside of the Shapiro family, and got to talk with Head Brewer Ory Sofer about the new beer.

"We look at this beer as an IPA for the winter," Ory told me.  "It's a 'double' because it's made with more hops – over seven kilograms [15 pounds] of Mosaic and Cascade hops for our 1,000 liter [265 gallon] batch – and is more alcoholic – 8.5% – than regular IPAs. 

"Out of this batch, we made two kegs, which are being pumped here at the launch, and the rest we bottled.  It's a very limited edition."

Head Brewer Ory Sofer in the
Shapiro Brewery in Beit Shemesh.
Ory added that Shapiro will continue and expand its program of producing seasonal beers, supplementing the summertime IPA and the wintertime Jack's Winter Ale.

We tasted the beer from the tap and from the bottle: no discernible difference.  It's a dark copper color, clear as a bell, with a thin white head.  Wonderful aromas of grapefruit, lemon and pineapple greet you, along with the strong malt.  The hop flavors also include pineapple and grapefruit, with perhaps some orange peel.  Although the fruit taste is bitter, the finish actually brings out the sweetness of the fruit.  My drinking partner Moshe said it even reminded him of a "sugary dried date."

For a DIPA, it's exceptionally well balanced.  Don't drink this beer ice cold to experience the full depth of the different flavors.  In fact, the Shapiro DIPA an extraordinary beer that Ory and his team – and all of us Israeli dwellers – can be proud of.

Bazelet Porter

After many years without introducing a new beer, the Bazelet Brewery on the Golan Heights (Katzrin), has brought out a Porter, at 4.7% ABV.

Porters have a famous history of going back to London in the 18th century when, it was said, a new kind of heavier, darker beer with a roasted taste found favor with the river and street laborers – the porters.  It gave them a nice boost of alcohol and carbohydrates at the end of the day, and was tastier than the other beers being served at the time. 

Be that as it may, the Bazelet Porter is a very dark brown with reddish flecks, and has a tan head.  The aroma includes strong roasted malt and chocolate, with some yeasty bread notes.  The flavors are pretty mild, including bitter chocolate and caramel against a semi-sweet background.  To get better flavors, let the beer warm up a bit before you drink it. 

The body is thin for a porter, but the finish is dry and bitter as it should be.  In total, not a bad beer, but a porter should have room for stronger tastes and a fuller body.

BeerBazaar OMG (2020)

For the third year in a row, the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat has brought out a new version of its winter super-beer, OMG (Oh My Goodness).  This year it's an Imperial Stout, 8.5% alcohol, aged for five months in barrels which held whisky and rum from the Golan Heights Distillery.  Only 500 numbered bottles were produced.  They are available only at the BeerBazaar pubs, where you can also buy the beer on tap. 

I've said this before and I'll probably say it again: There is a special category of darker and stronger beers (which cuts across style guidelines) that are made to be sipped and savored.  They're closer to whiskeys and liqueurs than they are to lagers and light ales, or even to porters and stouts.  They should not be drunk ice cold, but at temperatures about 12°-14° Centigrade (55°-57° Fahrenheit).  If they pair well with any food, it's usually no more than hard cheeses or desserts.  Many, but not all, can be stored for several years and will probably improve. 

"Oh My Goodness":
That's me reacting to the
BeerBazaar's 2020 OMG,
while Jeremy Cowan, Proprietor of the
Shmaltz Brewing Co. in New York, looks on.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
The three versions of OMG are in this category.  The 2020 Imperial Stout lets you know this as soon as you see it in the glass.  I tasted it from the tap at the BeerBazaar in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda market.  I was joined by Jeremy Cowan, Proprietor of the Shmaltz Brewing Co. (He'Brew Beer), who was visiting from New York.  I thank Jeremy for his companionship and his comments. 

I already wrote some background about the beer (which you can read here), but it was only recently that I had a chance to taste it and write my review.

OMG 2020 is pitch black in the glass with thick tan foam.  Each whiff conjures up different aromas: chocolate, coffee, rum, dark fruits.  The taste is sweet and very boozy, with flavors of chocolate, raisins, molasses, rum, oak and vanilla.  The body is full and syrupy, with a long a sweet finish. 

The 2020 version certainly upholds the excellent reputation of OMG beers from the BeerBazaar – a real credit to Lior Weiss and his brewing team.             

January 22, 2020

New from BeerBazaar: Cannabrew ● Free home deliveries ● OMG (2020)

News is a-poppin' at the BeerBazaar Brewery (Kiryat Gat) and chain of pubs.  Two new beers have been released, and a home-delivery project is in the beta stage.

Cannabrew -- Israel's first cannabis-based beer

You can smell it; you can taste it -- but you can't get high on it.

In mid-January, the BeerBazaar Brewery launched Cannabrew -- Israel's first beer made with cannabis isolates.

"In Israel, it is not yet legal to use cannaboids, the psychoactive components of cannabis," explained Avi Moskowitz, CEO of BeerBazaar, "but the use of terpenes, the organic compounds which plants use for defense and communication, is legal."

BeerBazaar worked with a laboratory which succeeded in identifying the genetic profile of the Sativa cannabis plant and isolating those terpenes which had the qualities they were looking for.  Avi continued:  "We were able to replicate the exact components that contribute to energy and focus in the Sativa plant and from other non-cannabis plants.  Cannabrew is our first 'functional beer,' and we expect to continue to make other functional drinks leveraging this unique technology." 

But there was another challenge that had to be met as well: How to get the oil-based and insoluble terpenes to blend with the beer?

Avi Moskowitz, CEO of BeerBazaar,
in the Jerusalem Machane Yehuda branch.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
"To overcome this," Avi explained, "we partnered with an Israeli start-up company that specializes in
cannabis and terpene emulsification.  Their patent-pending technology allows the terpenes in the beer to be combined into a uniform beverage.  There are no sediments; the different elements are fused into one.  You can actually smell and taste the terpenes in the brew."

I'm a beer blogger, not a chemical engineer (like my youngest son), but I was able to follow Avi's explanation and understand how very difficult this process was -- to produce a beer which has the aroma, taste and beneficial effects of the Sativa cannabis plant, and is legally permitted.

Bottles of Cannabrew will soon be available online on the new BeerBazaar website (see below).  When it goes on sale at the BeerBazaar stores sometime later, it will come in a cylinder gift package, including a special edition poster, magnet and "other goodies."   

BeerBazaar plans to introduce other "functional beers" during the course of the year.  This is a new and exciting dimension in the world of craft beer, and we can hardly wait to hear more about it.

Beer from the Beer Bazaar direct to your home -- the same day!

My home delivered package from BeerBazaar
arrived safe and sound with eight
assorted beers (four different beers),
including the new Cannabrew.
Very shortly, you'll be able to buy Cannabrew through the new BeerBazaar home-delivery website.  The site is still taking its first steps, so not every function may be working, but in principle you should soon be able to surf over to www.beerbazaar.co.il and order Cannabrew as part of an 8-pack or 12-pack bundle.

You can already use the site to purchase other BeerBazaar beers (an 8-pack for 99 shekels; a 12-pack for 129 shekels), choosing from either pre-assorted packs or make up your own.  Currently, the site is only in Hebrew.

And here's the kicker -- delivery is free and if you order before noon, your beer arrives the same day!  BeerBazaar invested time and money in setting up a logistical network that gets the beer to you on the same day that you order.  This could be a game changer -- if all goes well.

2020 version of OMG (Oh My Goodness) is a barrel-aged Imperial Stout 

No photo description available.For the third year in a row, BeerBazaar has brought out a new version of its winter super-beer, OMG.  [You can read about last year's version of OMG here.]

The year, the style is an Imperial Stout, 8.5% alcohol, aged for five months in barrels which held whisky and rum from the Golan Heights Distillery.  Only 500 numbered bottles were produced.  They are available only at the BeerBazaar pubs, where you can also buy the beer on tap. 

Bottles cost 79 shekels for 750 milliliters.  Gift packages that include a cardboard cylinder, a special edition poster and a magnet sell for 104 shekels.  This is a very limited edition, so I suggest you get over to your nearest BeerBazaar as soon as possible if you want to buy a bottle or taste it from the tap.

I haven't tasted this beer yet, but I can say that it is pitch black and, according to the label, full-bodied and rich with flavors of roast and dried fruits.  It's recommended to pair with smoked cheeses or chocolate desserts. 

OMG is a perfect beer for aging.  The brewers say that you can put your bottle away for up to five years and the beer will just get better.  Of course, there are those of us who can't or won't wait that long.   

Stay tuned for my up and coming review of Cannabrew and this year's OMG.

January 15, 2020

Beers brewed in ancient Israel to be produced commercially

"If you promise them beer, they will come":
The crowd at the Bible Lands Museum
in Jerusalem hears about the project
to brew beers made with
ancient yeast and original ingredients.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Last year, a team of Israeli archaeologists, microbiologists and brewers announced that they had successfully isolated and cultivated yeast cells found in the pores of ancient clay vessels, excavated in Israel, which were believed to have held beer. 

They then used one of the strains of this yeast (dating back the Philistine period of about 850 BCE) to successfully brew a tasty beer.  This event was announced at a well attended press conference at Beerateinu, the Jerusalem Beer Center, which you can read about here.

Prototype bottles of "Ishtar," a mead
made from ancient yeast dating back to the
Persian period, about 500 BCE.

(Photo: Mike Horton)   
Two months ago, a honey mead was introduced to the public which was made with another strain of this ancient yeast -- this one dating back to the Persian period, about 500 BCE.  

It was made public during an event at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.  Mead is made from honey, water and yeast – and this one has a delicious sweet, nutty flavor, with a higher alcoholic content than beer.

At that event, Dr. Michael Klutstein of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, revealed that his laboratory, along with Hebrew University's Yissum Research Development Co., plan to bring three of these ancient beverages to the commercial market: the Philistine beer ("Goliath"), the Persian mead ("Ishtar") and an Egyptian beer made from yeast dating back to about 3100 BCE (tentatively to be called "Narmer," the first pharaoh). 

Dr. Michael Klutstein, a microbiologist at the
Hebrew University - Hadassah
School of Dental Medicine,
announces the project to commercially brew
beers from ancient yeast found in Israel.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
"In the past," Dr. Klutstein told me, "reconstructed ancient beers have been made with what people thought were original ingredients, and modern yeast.  We have made our drinks so far with ancient yeast and modern ingredients.

"But the ancient beverages we brew will have both original yeast and other original ingredients.  This is a first, and this is what we are really excited about."

The importance of this project cannot be underestimated.


Dr. Yitzchak Paz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said that this experiment was a real "breakthrough."  "This is the first time we succeeded in producing ancient alcohol from ancient yeast.  In other words, from the original substances from which alcohol was produced.  This has never been done before."

And Prof. Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, the head archaeologist of the team, summed it up by proclaiming, "Make no mistake about it.  This is a fantastic find!" 

Dr. Klutstein's team is looking for investors to move this project forward, so if any of you, dear readers, are interested or know someone who might be, please contact me. 

January 14, 2020

Sales & Mergers: Oak & Ash buys Buster's; Herzl joins Malka

We may not be talking about earth-shaking exits, sales and mergers, but two recent events have tongues wagging in the Israeli craft beer industry.

Buster's Beverages sold to Oak & Ash

(From left): Asher Zimble, Leiby Chapler
and Denny Neilson toast the sale of
Buster's to Oak & Ash.
The Buster's Beverage Company, founded by Denny Neilson, has been purchased by Oak & Ash, a craft brewery known for its innovative beers, including several aged with oak (hence its name).
Oak & Ash partners Asher Zimble and Leiby Chapler have been contract brewing their beers in different locations since they started in 2017. With the purchase of Buster's in the Noham (Sorek) Industrial Area near Beit Shemesh, they now have a permanent home. In addition, they have acquired the Buster's brand name, which includes three styles of apple cider, two flavors of hard lemonade, a line of craft beers, and spirits under the Pioneer label.
Pam and Denny Neilson: 
More time to be grandma and grandpa.

Denny Neilson -- winemaker, brewer, teacher, pioneer in the Israeli craft beverage movement, and founder of the Buster's Beverage Company -- first put out feelers to find a buyer several months ago.

 "I have been working non-stop for the last 55 years, most of that time working two jobs," he told me.  "I've loved every minute of every year, but the time has come for me to be solely a husband, father, and saba (grandfather)."

His son Matt, who is heavily involved in the company's sales and marketing, would have been a natural for taking over the reins of Buster's.  But Matt has other plans for his future.

Matt and Denny Neilson
with Buster's flagship hard apple cider.
"This was a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in entering the craft beverage industry," says Denny.  "Oak & Ash were able to produce beverages and generate income from day one!  Starting from scratch would have taken 10-14 months, minimum, for anyone to reach the production level of a facility like Buster's."

Denny was looking for a buyer who was passionate about craft beverages and would make every effort to maintain the quality of the brand.  "I found this with Asher and Leiby," he asserts.

Asher says that he will continue to produce the full line of Buster's Beverages, while also expanding
the production of Oak & Ash's well-known beers.  "In fact, we just brewed 600 liters of our popular New England IPA," he continues.  "We have plans for new beers, some oak aged.  Since we are also a distillery, we have barrels which formerly held whisky that can be used for aging beer, creating, for example, bourbon barrel barley wine and stout.

"I advise you to keep your eyes open for our new beers and new liquors."           

Last year, Denny exported his kosher-for Passover hard lemonade to the New York / New Jersey area.  [Read about that here.]  Asher revealed that he is now working on an order for 20,000 bottles which will be shipped to the same New York importer in time for Passover.

There is no doubt that the purchase of Buster's by Oak & Ash produces a synergy which will bring us very interesting and innovative beverages.  This perhaps is some compensation for the retirement of Denny Neilson, whose laid-back manner, friendliness and boundless knowledge of brewing helped make the Israeli craft beer industry what it is today.

Herzl Beer now being brewed (temporarily) at the Malka Brewery

Herzl owner/brewer Maor Helfman (right) greets
 the Austrian "Beer Pope" Conrad Seidl and
Bernhard Purin, Director of the
Munich Jewish Museum,
at the Jerusalem Beer Festival.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
Maor Helfman, owner of the Herzl Brewery in Jerusalem, has announced that his beer will now be brewed at the new Malka Brewery in Tefen, and distributed by Hacarem Spirits Ltd., which is a partner in the Malka Brewery. 

"This arrangement is temporary until we find a new and bigger facility for Herzl in Jerusalem," says Maor. "Our problems have always been 1) having the capacity to brew enough beer to meet the demand, and 2) having the distribution resources to get our beer to markets all around Israel.  Brewing at the huge, modern Malka facility will enable Herzl to increase its output many times, and our distribution will be handled by the Hacarem network, which reaches all over the country."
   
Maor Helfman and the old blogger.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
During the time of this arrangement, Maor will serve as Beer Brands Manager within the HaCarem organization, replacing Gilad Dror, who becomes Director of the Malka Brewery.

"For me, It's like a homecoming," continues Maor.  "I worked for the Hacarem agency for four years before I opened the Herzl Brewery.  They are a very professional staff, and we have plans for new beers and logistical improvements for this year.  They also know about my chutzpa and knowledge of 'guerrilla marketing' which I hope will benefit everybody."