August 23, 2020

Beertzinut ► 3 core beers win in Europe; 3 additional beers on the market

The united colors of Beertzinut beers. 
Three core beers from the Beertzinut Brewery ("Serious Brewing") on Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev Desert have won medals in the European Beer Challenge.  The judging took place in London last year, involving hundreds of beers from mostly European breweries. 

At the same time, Beertzinut has released three beers representing styles not usual for Israeli brewers: One is a Kölsch style of beer (originating from Cologne, Germany) and two Berliner Weiss fruited sour beers.

Neil Churgin, owner and brewer of
Beertzinut, at last year's
Craft Brewers Conference in
Denver, Colorado. 
Beertzinut owner and brewer Neil Churgin deserves kudos (and perhaps a medal for bravery) for adding these two uncommon beer styles to the Israeli craft beer repertoire.

The Berliner Weiss style is a wheat beer which is "inoculated" with lactic acid bacteria while still in the brew kettle.  The bacteria are then killed by boiling before regular fermentation takes place.  The result should be a light, dry and refreshing beer, with a yogurt tang to it.

The Berliner Weisses from Beertzinut are the same basic beers (3.4% ABV), but each brewed with a different fruit.

The first is called Apricot Fields.

Beertzinut FINAV:
Pineapple Berliner Weiss.

Apricot Fields is a sour beer, but not so much that it will pucker your mouth -- and it will certainly quench your thirst on a hot day.

Even more enjoyable (to me) was the second Berliner Weiss, brewed with pineapple.  It's named FINAV, which Neil says means, "F___, I Need A Vacation."

Moving on, this beer is lighter than Apricot Fields, but just as cloudy and low carbonated.  Here you do get nice, ripe pineapple in the aroma.  The taste is just as sour, but with noticeable pineapple concentrate in the fore.  First you taste the sweetness of the fruit, and then the sourness gives you a slap.  "A slap that feels like a kiss," to paraphrase Louise Bigelow in Carousel.

Beertzinut Shluk beer:
Kölsch spelled backwards.
The third beer is a Kölsch, a German beer fermented at ale temperatures (about 20˚22˚C), but then lagered at a cold temperature.  These are light and crisp beers, well-balanced between the bready malt and the noble hops.

This beer's name is Shluk, which means a "swig" in Hebrew.  Coincidentally, it's also Kölsch spelled backwards, which Neil says happened when an ornery word processing program reversed the letters without being asked.

Moving on, Shluk is clear as Kölsch should be, the color of ginger ale, with a light carbonation.  There's some malt in the aroma, but mostly wet hay and new-mown grass.  The taste is mildly bitter, with flavors of malt and lemon popsicle.  The swallow brings smooth malt and perhaps a melon aftertaste, finishing very dry.   The body is very light.  ABV is 4.2%.  My drinking partner Moshe said he could have "seven of these in a row." 

Beertzinut's core beers take three medals in the
European Beer Challenge

Competing against hundreds of other beers, mostly from European brewers, Beertzinut beers won three medals in last year's European Beer Challenge competition.  The judges are Europe's leading beer buyers, including importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and restaurant and bar groups.

Cool Medjool won a gold medal in the Fruit, Smoked Beer category.

Shlishiya ("3-Way") also took first place in the American IPA, Session IPA category.

Layla (Night) won a silver medal in the Belgian Style IPA, Black IPA category.

Belated Congratulations to Beertzinut and Neil Churgin.  If I've said it once, I've said it two or three times: Israeli beers should be entered in more international competitions.  Our chances are improving.  Some veteran beers will do well; some new beers will do even better.                             

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