July 15, 2022

Malkat Ha'emek: Two premier beers from the Queen of the Valley

One of the smaller brewers exhibiting at the recent Jerusalem Beer Festival ("Ir Habira") was Malkat Ha'emek ("Queen of the Valley"), owned and operated by Roi Levy.  Roi (pronounced row-ee) was pouring his two beers, Pale Ale and IPA, which he contract brews at the Galil Brewery on Kibbutz Moran. 

"This is my dream come true," Roi announces, "brewing and marketing my own beer.  I started home-brewing around eight years ago in the courtyard of my home in Moshav Ometz [Emek Hefer].  I took a home-brewing course at Beer & Beyond and then learned everything I could about beer.  The feedback from family and friends, and even from strangers, was excellent.

"I discovered that brewing does me good, and does good for the people around me -- family and friends.  They are the ones who encouraged me to take my beer out into the world." 

Roi Levy (right), owner and brewer of
Malkat Ha'emek Beer, raises a tasty toast
with the old blogger.

(Photo: Mike Horton)

Roi, 43, wanted to go commercial, but it took the economic dislocation of the corona crisis for him to take the step last October.  "I quit my day job and devoted myself to making and marketing my beer.  I do everything, including delivery."  

Malkat Ha'emek beers are now available in stores in the Emek Hefer area, Netanya, Beer & Beyond in Tel Aviv, Birateinu in Jerusalem, Kishkashta in Rishon LeZion, and other locations. 

The first two beers from
Malkat Ha'emek: 
Pale Ale (left) and IPA.

(Photo: Mike Horton)
The Pale Ale (always a popular beer style) is 5.1% alcohol by volume, clear golden color, with a rocky and stable head.  Citrus dominates the aroma, with hints of malt and yeast.  The taste brings sweet citrus to the fore (orange and lemon) as well as slight tropical fruit flavors.  It is very crisp and refreshing, with a long, bitter-sweet finish and tingly carbonation.  

The IPA is in the style of American "West Coast" India Pale Ales, with the hops taking the lead and bringing their wonderful aromas and flavors -- along with the bitterness, of course.  ABV is 5.6%.  The color is very similar to the Pale Ale, but the aromas are stronger and more defined: Grapefruit, pineapple and pine, with some breadiness from the malt.  The flavors are less distinct: Overall bitter fruit, citrus and malt.  The mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation.  The finish is bitter and dry -- above par for an IPA of this kind.

Roi Levy's first two beers are very drinkable, and I look forward to other styles from Malkat He'emek.  

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