|Israel's first craft beer in cans:|
Malka Hoppy Wheat,
IPA, Blonde Ale and
(Photo montage by
Bat Sheva Yanir)
You might not have noticed, but beer from the Malka Brewery has been available in cans for the past month or so. Of course, why would you notice something as axiomatic as craft beer in cans?
But this is a big deal. The Malka Brewery in the Tefen Industrial Park (way up north) has installed Israel's first craft beer canning line.
The Israeli mega-brewing duopoly –Tempo Beer Industries in Netanya, and Israel Beer Breweries Ltd. (IBBL) in Ashkelon – have been selling their beers in cans and bottles for decades. And I can think of two collaborative beers which were brewed and canned in a foreign brewery before being shipped to Israel and marketed: Desert Haze (brewed in Belgium by Mikkeller and Negev Brewery) and How's It Hanging? (brewed in Norway by Lervig and Schnitt).
But this is the first time our craft beers are being "canned in Israel."
Now I know people who don't drink beer out of cans, believing that it's somehow inferior to beer in bottles. Bottles have a higher status than cans. They also have more "heft" when you hold them in your hand.
But cans are actually better for beer in a number of ways. Here are some:
Two big enemies of beer are light and oxygen, and cans keep them both out better than bottles do. The third enemy is heat, but in this regard, cans are no better than bottles. However, aluminum cans cool down faster than glass bottles, allowing the beer inside to chill quicker when placed in the fridge.
Cans are easier to take with you. They're lighter than glass bottles, they don't break and they're easier to store.
For those interested in ecological sustainability, aluminum is much more recyclable than glass, and its lighter weight requires less energy for transporting.
And then there's the issue of Israeli beaches: Cans are allowed; bottles are not!
Malka CEO Gilad Dror told me that the cans give the brewery an opportunity to refresh the brand with more space for new colors and designs. "We are also making a statement," he continued, "that Malka is a state of the art brewery with the most advanced machinery, and we will always strive to be at the top of technology and quality."
One final reminder: Even though you can now buy and keep Malka's four core beers in cans (Hoppy Wheat, IPA, Blonde Ale and Pale Ale), don't drink the beer directly from the can. Always pour it into a glass first. First, because the metal touching your lips will affect the taste of the beer. But more important, the narrow opening of the can prevents you from enjoying the aroma of the beer, which everybody knows is an important part of the craft beer experience.