November 2, 2019

Beer Market brings "take-home draft beer" to Jerusalem

The new Beer Market
in Machane Yehuda, Jerusalem.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
The concept is not a new one.  It's been in cities around the world for several years, and even in some Israeli cities since 2017.  But it's just arrived in Jerusalem.

We're talking about draft beer you can take-away and drink at home, or wherever else you want to.  Yes, the same draft beer that you drink from a tap in your neighborhood bar or restaurant.

"I don't know why no one else opened a place like this in Jerusalem before now," ponders Yuri Volman, one of the partners of Beer Market in the Machane Yehuda market (3 HeCharuv Street), which opened two months ago.  "I and my partner, Alex Lobanov, thought that the time was right to bring this idea to Jerusalem.  There are a large number of tourists in this city who want especially to try Israeli craft beers.  Jerusalemites too appreciate Israeli craft beers more than other cities.  Now they can bring the beer home fresh from the tap."

Partner Alex Lobanov mans the taps
at the new Beer Market in
Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
It works like this: Beer Market has three sizes of clean, empty, brown plastic bottles – half-liter, liter, and liter-and-a-half.  You pick the size you want and one of the 15 beers on tap.  The taps were custom-made in Russia and include a special apparatus for filling bottles.  The opening is sealed tight to keep air from touching the beer as it is filled, and to keep the amount of foam to a minimum.  The bottle is then sealed with an airtight screw cap.

"The unopened draft beer will stay fresh for about a week in the refrigerator," explains Yuri.  "After it's opened, you should finish it as soon as possible, since oxidation is a great enemy of beer."

The Beer Market's custom-made taps for
filling bottles with fresh draft beer.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
The Beer Market charges NIS 25 for a half-liter, NIS 39 for the liter, and NIS 59 for the liter-and-a-half.  You can also buy glasses of beer to drink there for the same prices, which are quite reasonable.  A tasting "flight" of four different beers (each cup 150 milliliters) costs NIS 34.
There are draft beers from Ronen, Emek Ha'ela, Malka, Negev, Jem's, Buster's Hard Lemonade, and Shoshana (an "Israeli" beer brewed with mint in Belgium).  There is also one rotating tap for special or seasonal beers which currently holds Alexander's new Saison.  You can also have liquors and cocktails at the bar.  Light snacks such as nacho chips and edamame are available.

Although Beer Market is the first to bring take-away draft beer to the greater Jerusalem area, two chains have been operating in other Israeli cities since 2017.  They carry both Israeli craft beers and foreign imports, while Beer Market sells Israeli craft beers exclusively.  There's Beer Station (with stores in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva, Ashdod, Rishon L'Tzion, Bat Yam and Petach Tikva) and Beer Point (Beersheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Bat Yam and Rishon L'Tzion).  Bira Nekuda has a similar store in Rechovot.      

Jerusalemites have always known that the best beer you can have is fresh from the tap.  Now they can bring it home with them to share with family and friends. 

A version of this article appeared Friday, November 1, in 
The Jerusalem Post local weekly, In Jerusalem.

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