August 27, 2018

Givatayim Beer Festival -- August 28-30

This is probably the closing bell for the 2018 beer festival season.  August ends this week with the big Jeruslaem Beer Festival (read about it here), but also the Givatayim Beer Festival (August 28-30) in Givatayim Park.  Doors open every evening at 7:00 to a celebration of dozens of beers from Israel and abroad, food stands, food trucks, and music.  On the first night at 9:00, there will be a performance by the popular band Tislam Rock'n'Roll. 

More information on the Hebrew Facebook page:

August 24, 2018

The Great Jerusalem Beer Festival -- August 29-30

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The Jerusalem Beer Festival (Ir HaBira in Hebrew) is returning for its 14th year next week on Thursday and Friday, August 29-30.  A huge fenced-in area in Independence Park will once again be devoted to beer, food, music and great vibes for the two nights.

The old blogger with Eli Giladi.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
Eli Giladi of Giladi Productions, the organizers of the event, promises that at least 120 different kinds of beer will be on sale.  The headliners will be Israeli craft brewers (some 16 of them), but there will also be impressive stands for the well-known Israeli mass-brewed beers (Tuborg and Carlsberg), as well as imported beers from all over the world.

Two craft breweries will be making their first appearances in Jerusalem:

Hagibor ("The Hero") – A new brand from the Meadan Brewery in Carmiel.  They make a Brown Ale, an IPA (India Pale Ale), an Extra Stout and a Bavarian Wheat. 

(Photo Netanel Tobias)
Talpiot Shuk Brewery – A two-year-old brewery and art gallery in Haifa which serves beer and food.  Owners and brewers Anat Mirkin and Arik Granot are looking forward to introducing their beers to Jerusalemites, but they have no intention of marketing their beers country-wide.  "We're doing it for the fun of it," says Mirkin.  They will be pouring a Lager, an IPA, and a Belgian Dark Ale.  

Two new beers from craft breweries will be introduced at the festival:

From Barzel Beer on Kibbutz Ha'ogen comes Effi, an IPA with citrus and piney flavors.  The beer is made at the Alexander Brewery in Emek Hefer. 

(Photo Netanel Tobias)
The Dancing Camel Brewery in Tel Aviv, Israel's first craft brewery, is introducing The Seven C's, a collaboration with the Freak'N Brewing Co. in Peoria, Arizona.  The beer is a New England-style IPA, known for its fruity sweetness and creamy body, and very popular now in the U.S.  The C's refer to the seven varieties of hops, all beginning with the letter "C," which are used for the brewing of this beer, and which add the fruitiness without much bitterness.

There are some other interesting beers that you should be looking out for at the festival:

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Oak & Ash, which shares facilities with the Dancing Camel, will be serving their limited edition Freedom Imperial IPA, very bitter, fruity and strong (10% alcohol by volume).  Also on tap is their new Braggot, made with honey and hibiscus tea.  It's on the cusp between a beer and a honey mead, with flavors of rosé wine, fruit and honey.   

Shapiro Brewery in Beit Shemesh is also offering an IPA, their 2018 version brewed with Citra hops.  Another great beer being poured by Shapiro is their Imperial Chocolate Barrel-Age Porter, introduced in very limited quantities only a few months ago.  It's a dark, chocolatey, roasty and alcoholic porter, better suited for the cold Jerusalem winters than the warm summer nights – but definitely worth a taste.      
HaDubim ("The Bears") Brewery will be pouring their new Love Ale, with its rainbow colored label as a sign of solidarity with Israel's LGBT community.  It's a mildly bitter amber ale with tastes of caramel, and citrus and tropical fruits.  Brewed at the Beer Bazaar Mivshelet Ha'aretz in Kiryat Gat.

On tap from the Tog Brewery in Beersheva (brewed at the Beer Bazaar Mivshelet Ha'aretz in Kiryat Gat) is Beera Masala, a Belgian wheat beer brewed with the Indian spices used to make masala tea.

(Photo Netanel Tobias)
Music is very much a part of beer festivals, and the Jerusalem Beer Festival goes all out.  Performing on Wednesday night (August 29) are The Giraffes, Mercedes Band and the Full Trunk.  On Thursday night (August 30), Nechi Nech, Sima Noon and the Paz Band will take the stage.   
Entry to the Jerusalem Beer Festival costs NIS 70 on the days of the festival, but you can buy advance tickets online at a discount.  Soldiers and students get a little bigger discount.  Go to: for more information.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
If you live in or around Jerusalem, you love beer and you're over 18, you simply can't miss the Jerusalem Beer Festival.  Even if you're not a great fan of beer (I think I may know a few of these), you should still attend for the other drinks, the food, music and atmosphere – and to discover close-up what great people beer-lovers are.

Here are some tips, based on actual experience:

·        Take public transportation.  It's not easy to find parking, and you don't want to drive home anyway after enjoying a few beers.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
·        Get there shortly after the gates open at 6 p.m. if you want some leisurely time to walk around, drink your beer and speak with the brewers and your friends.  When the music starts at 9:30, the noise can put an end to polite conversation.   
·        Eat some carbs and fatty foods before the festival.  Pizza and pasta, for example, are good choices.  These slow down the absorption of alcohol and let you sample more beers.  Also, drink water between beers and have something to eat during the festival as well.  There will be several food stands. 
·        Reconnoiter before you start drinking.  Make a mental note or a real note of the beers you're interested in, and then go back to taste them.  (Bringing along a pen or pencil is also a good idea since you may want to write down things to remember.) 
·        Try beers you're not familiar with.  This is the perfect place to expand your repertoire.  Don't be ashamed to speak with the brewers and ask questions.  You don't have to be a beer geek to learn more about beer.                
(Photo: Mike Horton)
·        Don't feel you have to try everything or that you have to finish a beer you don't like.  That's what the grass is for.  "Just one more" adds up fast to become "way too much."  Keep it moderate, have a good time, and get home safe.   

             [A similar version of this article appears in In Jerusalem
                the local weekly newspaper of The Jerusalem Post.]

August 14, 2018

Hadera and Givat Shmuel beer festivals next week

I've received complaints that I haven't been giving readers enough lead time for the beer festivals that are coming at us right and left at a crazy pace.  And they're right.  So here are two for next week; time for you to make plans, pick out your wardrobe, water the plants and hire the babysitter.

Hadera Beer Festival
August 22-23

The second annual Hadera Beer Festival is returning to the Piazza pedestrian mall (Herbert Samuel) on Wednesday and Thursday, August 22-23, beginning each night at 7:00.  Entrance is free, and there will be "tens" of different kinds of beer, food stands and live entertainment by HaYehudim and Full Trunk with Sha'anan Streett of HaDag Nachash (though it isn't clear on which nights they are appearing).

More information in Hebrew on the Facebook page:

Givat Shmuel Beer Festival
August 23

Those of you in the Givat Shmuel area finally have a local beer festival -- the first Givat Shmuel Beer Festival, Thursday, August 23, in the new Event Garden on the corner of HaZeitim and HaNassi Streets.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

This is being organized by the same Alechko Neznansky who has been doing beer festivals around the country.  The system in all of these is the same.

Entrance is free, but you pay for the beer and the food.  Tickets will be sold for three, four or five glasses of beer, with discounts for soldiers and students.  Gluten-free beer and cider will be available.  

Among the permanent "tips" from the organizers:  

* Come by foot or public transportation
* Come early
* Drink responsibly
* Bring mats and folding chairs

Facebook page in Hebrew is at:     

If you have any questions for further information, send e-mail to:

August 12, 2018

Three beer festivals this week: Afula, Goma Intersection, Modi'in

As the festival season heats up (literally and figuratively), this week is bringing along three kinetic beer festivals:  Afula in the central Galilee (August 14), the Goma Intersection in the Upper Galilee (August 14-15), and Modi'in in the center of the country (August 16). 
       Afula Beer and Food Trucks Festival
      August 14

Named the Afula Beer and Food Trucks Festival, this one opens on Tuesday night, August 14, at 6:00 p.m. in the Afula train station.  Admission is free.  Musical entertainment will be provided by Moti Taka and Chanan Ben Ari.    

Over 45 brands of Israeli and foreign beers will be on sale.  What seems to be the emerging pattern, you can buy vouchers for three, four or five glasses of beer, and there will be discounts for soldiers and students.  The organizers went out of their way to ensure vegetarians and vegans that they will not go hungry at the festival.  Gluten-free beer will also be available.    

Children are welcome to the station area if accompanied by a parent, but you must be over 18 to enter the beer stands.  Participants are reminded to come early, take public transportation and drink responsibly.

For additional information in Hebrew, see the Facebook page:

Or e-mail to:

   The First Beerzia at the Goma Intersection
August 14-15

The first Beerzia, the Israel Beer Festival in the Galilee, will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14-15, at the Goma Intersection south of Kiryat Shmona in the Upper Galilee.  The gates open each evening at 5:00, and entrance and parking is free.  There is no announcement of how many different beers will be poured, but the usual "good beer, good food and good music" are promised.  

More information in Hebrew on the Facebook page:

 Modi'in Beer Festival
August 16

The Modi'in Beer Festival is returning again this year on Thursday, August 16, in the courtyard of the Azriel Mall.  I really enjoyed myself there last year.

Mr. and Mrs. Old Blogger with
Bob and Chana Faber at last year's
Modi'in Beer Festival.
The same Alechko organization which is running the Afula Festival (above) is also doing the Modi'in Festival.  The announcement was in identical language, including the typos!

Six p.m. is when the doors open; free admission; 45 different brands of beers, food stands, music, etc.  Even the coupons for buying three, four or five glasses of beer are the same.  You can buy the coupons ahead of time and save a little money at:  

More information in Hebrew on the Facebook page:

August 10, 2018

Petach Tikva Beer Festival -- Saturday night, August 11

Tomorrow night, August 11, beginning at 8:30 (after Shabbat), the Petach Tikva Beer Festival is opening in the Shacham parking lot.  If you're in the area, I can't think of a nicer way to spend Saturday night.  Forty brands of beer -- 40 -- from Israel and abroad will be on sale.  Food stands, of course, and  places to sit down and enjoy the beer and the food -- and the music.  Live performances by Ivri Lider and the Mercedes Band. 

Entrance is free.  If you click here (, you can buy tickets which will get you three glasses of a third-of-a liter of beer for 69 shekels, or five glasses for 99 shekels.  If you buy the tickets at the Festival, it will cost you more.  If you're from Petach Tikva, and you have a residence card to prove it, a glass of beer costs only 15 shekels. 

More information here:     

August 5, 2018

Netanya Beer Festival -- August 8-9

The next beer festival this week is in Netanya, Wednesday and Thursday, August 8-9, at the Kikar Ha'atzmaut (Independence Square).

The organizers, Beer in the City, promise craft beers from Israel and abroad, live performances and stands for street food.  Entrance is free and the doors open at six o'clock each evening.  The popular rap group Hadag Nachash will be performing, but it's not clear which of the days.  

More information at:

BEERS 2019 Exhibition scheduled for Tel Aviv, April 29-30

The organizers of the BEERS Exhibition, the Ben Ami Agency, have announced that it will take place April 29-30, 2019, in the Heichal Tarbut (Charles Bronfman Auditorium) in Tel Aviv.  As I reported to you here, this year's BEERS festival, originally scheduled for August 7-9, 2018, was canceled. 

In their announcement, the Ben Ami Agency first praised beer festivals for the enjoyment they bring to so many people and for their importance in building a beer culture in Israel.  However, the announcement continued, this decision by the organizers to hold an "exhibition" instead of a "festival" will take it to a "much higher place."  The event will "meet the professional needs of the restaurant and bar industry in Israel (before the start of the 2019 beer season), along with a very high level beer experience for the general public."  More information will be provided as it becomes available.

From the comments I have seen on social media, opinions seem pretty evenly divided between those who welcome the change to an indoor exhibition in the spring, and those who would prefer the enjoyment of an outdoor festival in the summer.