May 19, 2022

Two from the Nomads: Helle in a Bucket (with cardamon) ● Pale, not Poison (with sumac)

The Nomads brewing team of
Yonah Rubin and Jacob Mogerman:
Different style beers with different spices.

The Nomads are a brewing team of Yonah Rubin and Jacob Mogerman who have chosen (so far) to brew their beers each in a different style and each with a single spice.  So their first two beers were a Saison brewed with za'atar (which I wrote about here) and a Kölsch brewed with sage (which you can read about here).      

They have just come out with two new beers in the same line:  A Brown Ale made with cardamon ("Helle in a Bucket") and an American Pale Ale with sumac ("Pale, not Poison").  These beers were brewed at the Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem, but Yonah told me that the Nomads are now looking for a place of their own. 

"Helle in a Bucket" Brown Ale from the Nomads:
Brewed with cardamon spice.

Let's begin Helle in a Bucket, brewed with the cardamon (called "hel" in Hebrew -- get it?).  The beer pours out a deep red amber color, semi-hazy, with rocky head that stays around a while as a ring of foam.  The aromas are cardamon and minty spice, with the malt adding some bread and brown sugar.  The flavor also has cardamon, which gives the malt a sweet character, and also some floral, fruit and spice.  

Helle in a Bucket is evenly balanced between the hops and malt, and has a semi-dry finish and long, spicy aftertaste.  I wonder how the cardamon would have fared in a beer style different from Brown Ale. 

"Pale, not Poison" American Pale Ale from the Nomads:
Brewed with sumac spice.
Pale, not Poison is an APA made with sumac, a red to purple colored spice used in the popular za'atar blend.  I do not know the taste of pure sumac, but Yonah Rubin described it to me as fruity, citrusy and a little sour.  "We wanted it to bring some tartness to our beer without using a souring yeast or bacteria."

It's a slightly hazy, light amber color, with a thin white head and slow carbonation.  There are aromas of grass, spice and some light grain.  The flavor brings intense spice (either from the hops or the sumac additive), as well as some lemon and a pleasant tartness and sourness.  The balance is towards sweetness, with the malt contributing weak bread notes and even weaker honey flavor.  The finish is crisp and the aftertaste is mid-length.

Pale, not Poison is a good, innovative beer.  The sumac is probably the cause of the beer's unusual spiciness and tartness.  IMHO it works very well.  I'm interested to see if the Nomads continue with their "different spice" beers, or if they move in a new direction.                               


  1. They sound really good.

  2. Do they have an online shop?
    I’d like to try them both. But especially the cardamon beer with an Absoult Extrakt chaser.

    1. Hi Andy -- Unfortunately, they do not. But I've seen Nomads beer in Birateinu in Jerusalem, and I'm sure you can also find them in Beer & Beyond in Tel Aviv.


Thanks for your comment. L'chayim!