March 30, 2017

Kosher for Passover beer to America

We've been following Bryan Meadan for a few years.  First, as a home-brewer and contract brewer of gluten-free beer (please see here); then as a commercial brewer of Israel's only kosher-for-Passover beer (here).

Well, this year, Bryan took another giant step -- across a continent, an ocean, and another continent.

He's exporting to California and giving American Jews their first taste of kosher-for-Passover beer. "This year is only a test," Bryan acknowledged.  "We sent only 60 cases (1,440 bottles) of Bitter Date Ale and 60 cases of Amber Date Ale.  They'll be sold in select stores in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas."

These ales are not new to Meadan Brewery, which was opened in 2015 in Carmiel.  They are both based on date honey (silan), meaning they are gluten-free and legume-free, making them kosher-for-Passover for all Jewish ethnic groups and communities.

"The Bitter Date Ale has more hops than the Amber Date," Bryan revealed, "but other than that, they are basically very similar.

The first shipment of
Meadan kosher-for-Passover beer
arrives in California!
"We hope that American Jews will be so excited about kosher-for-Passover beer that they will make it a holiday tradition."

In addition to the kosher-for-Passover customers, the beer will also be marketed to people who keep gluten-free diets (such as celiac patients), and as a unique date ale beverage in itself.  Each store will decide how best to market the beer.

Meadan Brewery hasn't forgotten the local market.  This year, 125,000 bottles of the kosher-for-Passover beer have been brewed for sale in Israel before and during the holiday.  "I doubt if that will be enough to meet the demand," Bryan concludes.  "Last year we produced  45,000 bottles, but stores and restaurants ran out during Passover."

If Meadan's kosher-for-Passover beers find a successful market in America, these numbers will seem like drops in the beer barrel.

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