|The air was cold but the atmosphere |
was hot: Hatch Brewery's
"Connect to Craft" event.
The Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem was the scene last week for the launching of four new beers. It was cold in the brewery building, but the atmosphere was warmed up by the good beer and food, and the conviviality of the 50 or so guests.
Thanks go to the Hatch team for preparing this evening: Owner Ephraim Greenblatt, Production Manager Yisrael Atlow, Brewmaster Shmuel ("Schmulz") Naky, Chefs Yisrael Feivish and Mordechai Cohen, and Avi Levy-Stevenson, social media and marketing manager. Photographer Idan Goor was also on hand to explain his work and the photographs which were chosen to illustrate the new Hatch beer labels.
Ephraim explained the concept behind the name of the event, "Connect to Craft." There will be more such events, he promised, aimed at building the connection between the beer-drinking public and Israeli craft beer. In fact, the Hatch Brewery will be using "Connect to Craft" as its tagline.The assembled guests didn't just drink the beers. As each beer was presented, it was paired with a food item.
So we began with Training Session, a 4% ABV Session IPA. It isn't very bitter for an IPA, with aroma of citrus fruit and hops. The taste brings a very quiet lemon and some toast. The beer was paired with a delicious artichoke soup, which balanced out whatever bitterness was in the beer. Quite successful.
|Hatch Training Session IPA:|
Hoppy and citrusy.
(Photo: Idan Goor)
The photo on this label is a suitable snowy scene that Idan Goor took in the Austrian mountains. "In this photo," explains the label, "you can make out a bicycle rider disappearing into the snowy horizon. Like the rider who is on his way to an adventure, this beer is a snowy trip that reveals wonders to us at every stage."
|Hatch Choppin' It Up|
Barrel-Aged Belgian Triple:
Sweet with spiced, lemon
and wooden barrel flavors.
(Photo: Idan Goor)
The label was Idan Goor's photo of an outdoor wood chopping scene from Georgia (the country, not the state). Outwardly, you don't get the connection of rural Georgia with a Belgian beer! But the label helps you understand: "The people living there have no connection with the state. The build homes for themselves, grow vegetables for themselves. They pay no taxes because they receive no services from the state. This beer was made at the brewery, but at the moment it entered the barrel, it took care of itself, and in the course of months, absorbed the flavors of the wood."
|Hatch Brewmaster Shmuel Naky,|
AKA Schmulz, struck a
majestic pose at the event.
Choppin' It Up was paired with a sweet semi-main dish made with onion, potato, carrot and dried fruit, spiced with red wine, fennel, cardamon and cinnamon. This I found to be less successful, since both the dish and the beer were quite sweet to begin with, and together really too much.
For dessert, we had the first beer Schmulz has brewed under his own label – "Brewed by the Beard" – since he started working at Hatch. As expected, it was over the top, or under the table – depending on your perspective. Schmulz named it Baklava, after an ultra-sweet Middle Eastern (and Persian) pastry. It's full title is: "Double Peanut-Layered, Pistachio-Laced, Cardamon-Spiced Imperial Persian Ale." None of those flavors was missing.
This is a black and thick dessert beer, with aromas of chocolate, some coffee, cardamon and other spices. The flavor is peanuts and chocolate, with salted pistachio in the background. It has far more flavors than your typical baklava pastry.
|Baklava, "Brewed by the Beard," is among |
the best "Double Peanut-Layered,
Imperial Persian Ales"
I've ever had.
The beer went beautifully together with the non-dairy ice cream served with it. Someone suggested that I put some ice cream into the beer, which was a mistake. Keep them separate and you won't be sorry.
Thanks again to the Hatch crew for this evening and for the "Connect to Craft" idea. I'm looking forward to more events like this one.