December 2, 2015

Herzl Brewery chosen to make collaborative beer in Germany

When Bernhard Purin, Director of the Jewish Museum in Munich, and Conrad Seidl, the "Beer Pope" of Austria, visited Israel last summer, they met with several Israeli craft breweries.  Their mission: to choose one which would brew a collaborative beer with a German brewery, in honor of a new exhibition to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, Germany's and perhaps the world's first beer purity law.

(You can refresh your memory here.)

Well, after three months, a winner has been chosen: Herzl Beer of Jerusalem.

Conrad Seidl (left) and Bernhard Purin meet
Maor Helfman at the Herzl Beer booth
last summer at the Jerusalem Beer Festival.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Bernhard and Conrad liked Herzl beers from the start, which they called flavorful and innovative.  They especially appreciated Embargo, a 6.7% ABV porter flavored with Cuban tobacco leaves.  On his "Beer of the Week" blog, Conrad said of the tobacco, "it's better to drink it than to smoke it."  (You can see the video in English here.)

Herzl's other regular beers are:

IPA . . v'Zeh -- A 7% India pale ale.
Shesh Achuz Kapara – A mild, red, British-inspired ale, 6% ABV.
Dolce de Asal – A strong (8%) Scottish style ale made with honey and spice.
Bira Levana (White Beer) -- A 4.9% "steam beer" (California common), made with lager yeast and fermented at ale temperatures.

The old blogger visited Herzl Beer to meet
brewers Itai Gutman (left) and Maor Helfman.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Maor Helfman, one of the founding partners of Herzl Beer, told me:  "We were really excited to learn that our brewery was chosen to represent Israel in this historic project.  The opportunity to work with our counterparts in Germany is amazing and gives us a great source of pride."

Maor and partner Itai Gutman will fly to Munich next year to begin working on this project.

The Israeli-German brew will be introduced in April 2016 at the Munich Jewish Museum at an exhibit called "Beer is the Wine of this Land: Jewish Brewery Tales."  The exhibit will honor the important role Jews played in the beer industry and hop trade, starting in ancient Israel, through the Torah and Talmud, and then dealing with Jewish hop traders, brewers and brewery owners in Munich, and ending with the recent flowering of craft beers in Israel.

The bi-national beer will be on sale at the Museum restaurant and in selected bars and shops in Munich. 

The Bavarian Collaborators:
Mario Hanl and Timm Schnigula
in their new Crew Republic
brewery near Munich.
The German craft brewery chosen for the project is the Crew Republic in Unterschleissheim near Munich.  In only five years, partners Mario Hanl and Timm Schnigula have earned a reputation in Germany for their excellent beers. 

Regarding the collaborative beer, Purin explained that the 500-year-old Reinheitsgebot is still basically the law of the land in Germany.  "This means that beer can only be made with water, grain, hops and yeast.  No other additives of flavorings are permitted.

"This is a special challenge for the Israeli brewers, since Herzl and many other Israeli craft beers use extra ingredients which add flavor and depth.

"It will be a fascinating mission for the two breweries to bring the taste of Israel and the taste of Bavaria into one bottle," said Purin.

To me, it's also very emotional that two young Israelis and two young Germans, born of the same generation, will be working together to make one great beer.  And if you can't get to Munich to taste it, you'll be able to rely on the old blogger's review.  The good Lord willing, I plan to be in Munich for the opening of the exhibit.   

The exhibit, "Beer is the Wine of this Land: Jewish Brewery Tales," will run at the Munich Jewish Museum from April 13, 2016, through January 3, 2017, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot.     


  1. I enjoyed reading your work. I'll come back for more

    Keep up the good work :) from TheStillery, a stuart bar in Florida

    1. Thanks for writing, Steve. I hope you continue finding interest in the blog.


Thanks for your comment. L'chayim!