|We tasted three Kedem beers:|
IPA, Strong Wheat and Stout.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
I just found out about a beer label that has been around for a while: Kedem. The word means something like "yore" or "days of old," which is a nice name for a pretty new beer. The brewers are now trying to bring the beer to the wider public by using social media. You won't find it on the shelves yet. You have to order it directly from the brewers.
Still, a "new" beer brand is what gets the old blogger's juices flowing, so off I went to find out what this was all about. Accompanying me was IBAV photographer extraordinaire Mike Horton.
"The both us of live in Nokdim, a community south of Bethlehem, and the both of us love beer and love to cook. So a few years ago we began to brew beer at home."
|The owners and brewers of Kedem Beer:|
Eitan Mann (left) and Elroi Kapach.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
The speaker is Eitan Mann, 39, who works in Israel's hi-tech sector. The other one he was talking about is Elroi Kapach, 35, a construction manager. The two neighbors perfected their brewing skills under the guidance of Shmuel ("Shmulz") Naky, one of the owners of Birateinu, the Jerusalem Beer Center, who brews some of the most unusual beers in the country. [Read about some of them here and here.]
Eitan and Elroi live near Tekoa, a community which hosts a famous home-brew festival every summer. A few years back, they decided to exhibit their beers at the festival.
"The reactions of the visitors were amazing," Elroi continues. "We made and sold more beer every year at the festival, but it remained a hobby until recently, when we made it a business.
"It's still a sideline, though. We're keeping our day jobs!"
Kedem beers are now contract brewed at the Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem. [Read about that place here.]
|The Hebrew word kedem appears |
in this Jewish prayer:
"Renew our days as of old."
We tried three Kedem beers.
The India Pale Ale (5.1% alcohol) has citrus aromas and flavors, though not very distinct fruits. It is mildly bitter with a medium body. Israelis have been weaned to appreciate American-style IPAs with more extreme flavors and bitterness, but this one is less so.
The Strong Wheat (5.7%) is in the style of a Belgian witbier, brewed with orange peel. When I asked Eitan why this was not listed in the ingredients, he said that it doesn't have to be. Very curious. It's a very pale color, with fruity aromas and orange taste in the background. Very much in the ballpark for this style.
The Stout (4.8%) was Mike's and my favorite. Dark brown, bordering on black, with a creamy tan head, the dominant aroma and flavor is roasted coffee. This is not surprising, since it is brewed with coffee essence, though this too is not listed on the label. The mouthfeel is quite creamy with a medium body. I am not a stout fan, but I found this to be a very enjoyable beer.
Eitan and Elroi told us that they also brew a Porter but there was none available at the time for us to taste. It is a lighter color and less roasty than the Stout.
Kedem beers are currently available only by ordering from the brewers. Call Eitan at 052-644-4331, or Elroi at 054-741-1490.