July 27, 2020

A visit to the Sparrow Brewery

The Sparrow Brewery beer park on
Moshav Magshimim:
Wonderful beer and hummus
every Friday morning.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Perhaps the most pleasant side effect of the Israeli craft beer efflorescence is the growth of taprooms or beer gardens adjacent to breweries.  Besides bringing direct, single-tier income to the breweries, they are great places to hang out with friends, enjoy good food and drink some of the best beer in Israel.

There are big beer gardens that can accommodate hundreds of visitors, and there are smaller ones that have tables and chairs for a few dozen.  

IBAV Taster Yitzchak Miskin (right)
and the old blogger build up a beer thirst
while hiking around the Crusader fortress
of Mirabel, known in Hebrew as
Migdal Tsedek or Migdal Afek.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
On one Friday morning before the corona struck, I drove up with Israel Brews and Views Tasters Yitzchak Miskin and Mike Horton to the cozy beer park of the Sparrow Brewery on Moshav Magshimim near Petach Tikva.  I went again just a few weeks ago under very different conditions.

Before we arrived at the moshav we took short hikes in the area, carefully planned by Yitzchak, an experienced and enthusiastic hiker.  Sure they were fun, but the underlying reason was to get us even thirstier for the beer!

Excellent hummus and cold beer (also excellent),
served by Dror Sapir (right) and his mom and dad
at the Sparrow Brewery beer park on
Moshav Magshimim.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Owner and brewer Dror Sapir (whose first name means "sparrow" in Hebrew) has kept his beer park open through most of the shut-down period since the tables and chairs are all outdoors and well-spaced from each other.  He's open most every Friday morning (except when it's extremely hot or extremely cold), and the menu is simple: Besides Dror's own excellent beers, there is home-made hummus and malabi (milk pudding with rice and rose syrup).  The beer park is a family affair, with Dror's parents and wife pitching in.

The beers on the menu alternate depending on what Dror is brewing at the time.  My favorite is his Zythos Wheat IPA.  In fact, when I first had it several years ago, it became my favorite Israeli craft beer.  Since then, quite a few others have competed for this position, but I still recommend it highly.  [Read that early review here.]

Dror Sapir gets serious while talking
about his beer with the old blogger.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
Sparrow's other standard beers include a Summer Wheat (an easy drinking hefeweizen), a classic IPA (aromatic and fruity), Sparrowheat (a strong wheat at 6.2% alcohol), and a dry-hopped West Coast IPA.

As we feasted on his beer and hummus, Dror explained that he opened his beer park on Sapir family property on Magshimim around four years ago.

"I've been brewing Sparrow beers since 2013," he added.  "I was gypsy brewing and bringing my beers to stores and restaurants by myself.  Besides the low profit margins, I was unhappy that I didn't get to see and hear the customers' reactions to my beer.

Dror Sapir stays serious about the coronavirus
while serving his beer on a recent Friday morning
at the Sparrow Brewery beer park
on Moshav Magshimim.
"Here in the beer park, I cut out the middleman and sell directly to the public, and I love to get their reactions when they drink my beer."

You can occasionally find bottles of Sparrow beer at the Beer Bazaar pubs, depending on the quantity that Dror brews!

People travel to Sparrow for the Friday morning beer and hummus from miles away --Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rehovot -- though Dror says that 70% of his regular customers are from the moshav.  These are lucky people.  If I lived closer I would probably make the Sparrow beer park my regular Friday morning routine. 

1 comment:

  1. It's a wonderful place. I wish there were more like it! And you wrote a great article, Doug!


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