Quality beers and local micro breweries continued to be a popular trend in 2012. Overall, there seems to be a growing appreciation for quality beverages in all categories and while recent statistics show that Israelis haven’t increased the consumption quantity by much in 2012, the average “drinker” is spending more money on his or her booze. This can have two reasons, the first – a growing demand for quality and premium beverages which cost more. And the second – recent tax reforms that raised prices in several beverage categories. In my opinion, it is a combination of the two.
Recent tax reforms are also making it increasingly harder for small private breweries to compete. Some brewery owners have even indicated that the reforms are so harmful that they might put them out of business. Having said that, a growing array of Israeli beers is still available at bars and local beverage shops. I for one hope that the legislators will recognize the importance of encouraging local small artisan producers, in the beer industry as well as other sectors, and find ways to encourage them rather than put them out of business.
Next week Studio Ben Ami will hold the third annual Beers 2013 festival. This is an excellent opportunity for beer aficionados to get together, meet with some of the local brewers, importers, distributors and of course, taste and sample from a variety of over 200 beers.
BEERS 2013 will take place on the 8th and 9th of January at the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv. Between 14:00-17:00 the event will be open to the professional audience only (bartenders, waiters, distributors, hotel management, sales people etc.) and between 17:00-23:00 the doors will open to the general public. Entry tickets with tasting coupons and a complimentary beer glass will be sold at NIS 60.
Jem’s Beer Factory
One Israeli brewery that is definitely worth a visit is the Jem’s Beer Factory in Petach Tikva. I first visited Jem’s about a year ago and since then have been back three or four time. Aside from the opportunity to sample Jem’s various beers, the brewery also boasts a pretty good kosher-meat menu with classic bar food, hamburgers, onion rings, sandwiches etc. fish & chips as well as salads and even grilled fish. If you get a chance to visit, I would recommend trying some of the home made sausages and the beer sample tray which includes small glasses of the various beers on tap.
Jem’s will also be exhibiting at BEERS 2013.