November 25, 2021

Kweik IPA ► 3-way collaboration: Hatch + Birateinu + Chalutz Chadash

Kweik IPA from
Birateinu, Chalutz Chadash and Hatch:
The Kweik yeast from the Vikings of Norway;
the hops from America.  

'Tis the season for collaboration -- at least in Israel it is.  And here we have a triple collab: Birateinu in Jerusalem, Chalutz Chadash in Beersheva, and the Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem put their heads together to create Kweik IPA -- arguably the first time a variety of Kweik yeast was used in a commercial Israeli beer.    

Yisrael Atlow, the Head Brewer at Hatch, explained to me that Kweik is an entire species of yeast, originally from Norway, that ferments sugars (that is, eats them) even at high temperatures, and works very fast.  Hungry little fungi, they are. 

The Kweik yeast line goes back hundreds of years.  Many believe it was the kind of yeast used by the Vikings to make their ale.  The strain was kept alive by local farmers for their home-brewing. 

Did the Vikings have Kweik yeast
to brew their ale!
"We chose a strain called Kweik Voss from Norway," Yisrael said. "I think it brings flavors like tangerine and red orange -- which could not have come from any hop. We only brewed one batch of 1,000 liters at Hatch. The feedback from the customers has been very heartwarming."

Along with the Kweik yeast, the brewers used American Galaxy and Mosaic hops, once added to the boil and then twice again for dry-hopping.  Alcohol by volume reached 6.5%.

 My drinking partner Moshe joined me for tasting the Kweik IPA.  The first thing you notice is the lovely deep golden orange color, very hazy, with a creamy, long-lasting head.  The hops did their stuff with deep aromas of citrus, pineapple and other tropical fruit.  The taste is sweet with some fruit, but also malt and yeast bread, and a bit of leather.  The body is medium and creamy, and the mid-bitter finish makes it very high on the refreshing scale.  

"It suits the Israeli climate," said Moshe, adding, "I haven't had such a unique beer in a long time."         

Well, I'm not going to say which of these delicious flavors came from the Kweik yeast, but it all came together excellently.  Recommended up and down.    

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