Monday, March 18, 2013

People's Brewery Of Israel

[link to podcast page]
WFMU's Beer Hear! with Bob W. and B.R. from 3/19/2013

Beer in the Middle East? Not too likely in the Muslim-majority nations. In fact, Brooklyn Brewery's co-founder Steve Hindy (and, no, they don't pay us to mention them in every single blogpost/podcast -- they're just the biggest, most visible brewery in New York City -- and they kick ass!) started homebrewing as a journalist stationed abroad in the alcohol-free Middle East in the 80s, so as not to be deprived of a beverage that, ironically, originated there (probably in Iraq or Iran) thousands of years earlier.

But in the alcohol-tolerant nation of Israel... cut the schmalz and mash the malts!
B.R., Ariel and Bob, at Proletariat. Thanks to Cory for turning down the punk muzak!
We met up with Ariel Druck, a brewer at The People's Brewery located in Even Yehuda, Israel, not far from Tel Aviv, while he was on an extend tour of the Northeast U.S., starting in New York for NYC Craft Beer Week. We saw him at pretty much every event and bar that we were at, so, clearly, he was well informed!

Side-note: the somewhat tongue-in-cheek socialist-themed logo and name of the brewery was inspired by the fact that the owners of the brewery spent some time on a kibbutz., not because they're Marxists. So don't go there expecting free beer, regardless of your needs and abilities.

Ariel gave us some very general background info on the craft beer scene in Israel. You can always get more from good ol' Wiki. But his basic message was that craft beer was on the rise in Israel, and his brewery is one of the scene's leaders. We first met Ariel two weeks prior to conducting the interview at Proletariat where we sampled a bit of one of his beers -- I can't recall what it was -- and it was very good. It was something along the lines of a Belgian triple or golden ale.
Ariel seems to be one of those fearless brewers who threw himself into the craft beer life, devoted to making interesting, flavorful and challenging creations of the zymurgistic persuasion to test himself and to delight other devotees of good beer. You can hear his take on the current Israeli craft beer scene and find out what caught his attention during his beer trip to America in this week's podcast.

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