December 16, 2014

A hike along the Alexander River

Viewing the wonders of the
mighty Alexander River.
Friday morning found Trudy and I hiking with our friends Yitzchak and Pnina Miskin along the Alexander River near Netanya.  (It's actually too small to be called a "river," but it's bigger than a stream.)  It was a beautiful fall day and we enjoyed the weather and the scenery and observing the famous soft-shell turtles which are colonizing the river.

After the hike, we took a short drive over to the Emek Hefer Industrial Area to visit the Alexander Brewery.  The beer is named after the river and its symbol is a flying soft-shell turtle.  "Wedded to the landscape," as we say.

A famous Alexander
soft-shell turtle.
The Alexander logo:
A flying soft-shell turtle.
Luckily, the founder and owner Ori Sagi was there to greet us.  We congratulated him once again for the two gold medals he won last month in Germany at the European Beer Star Competition for his Alexander Black porter and Alexander Blonde golden ale.  (Read more about it here.)

The sparkling brewery was very impressive with modern mash tuns, boiling kettles, coolers and eight giant fermentation and maturation vats, seven of which were full of beer.  Alexander's brews 25-30,000 liters a month.

Ori Sagi gives us a tour of his brewery.
Sagi explained to us that the brewery is taking environmental-friendly steps.  For example, to cut down water usage, which has traditionally been a serious problem in brewing, the water that is used to cool down the wort after boiling, is recycled into the mash tun to be used for the next batch of beer.

"Also," added Sagi, "the used grains are given to the local farmers to feed their happy cows."

Ori Sagi shows the old blogger his two
Gold Medal certificates from the
European Beer Star Competition.
He showed us the huge cold storage room where all of the bottled and kegged beer is kept until shipping.  "We also deliver our beer in refrigerated trucks," Sagi said.  "We're not responsible for how the beer is kept in stores and restaurants, but we want to make sure that it arrives there as fresh as possible." 

We went out to the front sitting area where the brewery hosts visitors and groups for tastings.  "But the most important thing we do here," explained Sagi, "is educate bartenders and restaurant owners about Israeli craft beers.  They have to know how to explain to their customers how we are different from the giant industrial brewers and why it's worth drinking craft beers."

Lunch at Kfar Haro'eh.
After we said good-bye and another "Mazal Tov" to Sagi, we drove over to the Kfar Haro'eh moshav to have lunch.  I ordered a Goldstar, arguably the flagship brew of Israeli big beer.  And then sitting there, hot and thirsty from the morning's activities, I took the first gulp and felt that this was the best beer in the world.           


  1. Doug, it truly was an enjoyable adventure! Just remember that the restaurant does carry Alexander Blonde beer, so on the same day, it's possible to enjoy the complete "Alexander experience" - hiking by the river, visiting the brewery, and drinking the beer at the Kfar Haro'eh restaurant.
    Can't wait for our next "adventure"...

  2. This post is included in the latest Shiloh Musings: Chanukah 5775 Havel Havelim!

    Please visit it, read, comment and share the posts and the blog carnival, thanks.


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