November 30, 2022

HaDubim Triticum ➯ A strong, wheat IPA

Triticum IPA from HaDubim:
"Not a wheat beer;
an IPA brewed with wheat malt."

The latest IPA from the HaDubim brewer-brothers, Rotem and Dagan Bar Ilan, is called Triticum IPA.  I looked it up in my old high school Latin-English dictionary and (re)learned that triticum means wheat.  So this is a Wheat IPA, also known as a White IPA.  The style guide book says it should be a hybrid of an IPA and a Belgian Witbier.

Rotem explained that the tastes we get from a wheat beer (German-style or Belgian-style) come mostly from the wheat beer yeast, and Triticum is not made with wheat beer yeast. "This is not a wheat beer," he emphasizes. "It's an IPA that's brewed with wheat malt (40%) along with the usual barley malt.  This mix gives Triticum a lighter body and a slightly different style of malt sweetness.  The hop flavors come from Magnum, Chinook and Citra hops."

Triticum is brewed at the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat.  ABV is 7%.

Beer from golden fields
of triticum aestivum.

Recipe details aside, Triticum pours out a very clear golden-orange color with a long lasting foamy head (one of the results of using wheat malt).  You get hop aromas of grapefruit, pine and spice.  The taste is very bitter, but still with flavors of grapefruit, spice and some bread coming through.  

Bitterness can be black like kola nuts, or sharp like horseradish.  But this bitterness is bright and herbal, and does not dominate the true flavors.  It continues through the long and dry finish.

If you're looking for the wheat in Triticum, you might have a hard time.  If you're searching for a strong IPA that delivers on hoppy bitterness and flavor, you'll find it here.    

November 20, 2022

Jem's MondiAle 2022 for the Mondial

Jeremy Welfeld, Brewmaster at the
Jem's Beer Factory, enthuses over
his new MondiAle 2022 beer.

Just in time for the Mondial world soccer championship in Qatar (where alcoholic beverages are forbidden) is the 2022 version of MondiAle from the Jem's Beer Factory in Petach Tikva.  Jem's also brought out a MondiAle for the last Mondial in 2018, but I must have been looking the other way because I missed it.             

This year's MondiAle is called a Limited Edition pale ale, 5% alcohol, and for some reason was contract brewed at the Alexander Brewery in Emek Hefer.

The alcohol-free soccer world championship, 
the Mondial, opens today in Qatar.
The beer pours out a clear light amber color with a thin rim-clinging head.  The hop aromas are refreshing but not intense: A little citrus and fruit, some yeast and a tinge of soapiness.  The taste was mildly bitter, with the malt and hops in nice balance.  Flavors of bread, caramel, vegetal and faint fruit.  The mouthfeel brings a tingly carbonation and a medium body.  

This is an easy-drinking beer and good for what it was made for: Kicking back in front of your TV and watching the soccer championship.  And while you're doing it, think of the poor people in the stadium who have to drink their alcohol-free beer -- it at all!   

Thanks to the Stern Arieli Saar agency for sending me a bottle of MondiAle 2022 for tasting.  

November 13, 2022

BeerBazaar Scary Pumpkin arrives for the season

BeerBazaar Scary Pumpkin for 2022:
Pumpkin and spice and all things nice.

The BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat (with pubs and retail outlets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) has once again brought out its seasonal Scary Pumpkin Ale.  (The Hebrew name is closer to "Wicked Pumpkin," but whatever.)  This beer comes out in time for the North American pumpkin-eating season of Halloween-Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin ales have a huge following in the U.S.  There are those who await the fall avalanche of these beers with great anticipation, while others cringe at the very name.  I myself am a tepid fan.  Pumpkin and/or pumpkin pie spices in a beer can be quite enjoyable, certainly more so than many other flavored beers.  

This year's Scary Pumpkin was just that.  The taste of the earlier version (or versions) has long evaporated from my memory, but going by my notes, it wasn't much different from the 2022 edition.

(Read about the first BeerBazaar Scary Pumpkin here.)

The beer is brewed with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice: About the same ingredients my wife uses to bake her pumpkin pie.  The pie has 0% alcohol; Scary Pumpkin has 5.8%.  

I'm not afraid of no Scary Pumpkin!

It's a hazy golden amber, the color of fall and pumpkins, with a thin, fizzy head.  You get aromatics of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, along with a solid malt background.

With the first sip, you taste sweet pumpkin spice, but this soon balances out with the hop bitterness.  Cinnamon and nutmeg are also prevalent, with some light cookie dough.  Cooked pumpkin has a very mild taste and I was unable to detect it amidst all the other spices.  Even with all the pumpkin pie flavors, Scary Pumpkin holds its own with real beer parameters: Malt, hops and yeast.

So if you're looking for a beer that delivers on the autumn pumpkin pie flavors, this is a good one.