A simple Google search for “Israeli Craft Beer” might surprise you with its results. In this area, Israel is, yet again, a “Start-Up Nation.” Unlike vineyards and wineries that are as ancient as biblical times, beer breweries are relative newcomers. Craft breweries now dot the Israeli map, boasting names that reflect their locations and brewing philosophies. From the new age “Mystical Mountain” to the funky “Dancing Camel” to the “Malka” (Queen), there is no shortage of brews to sample and celebrate.
If you happen to be in Tel Aviv and get lucky enough to score a seat at the Carmel Market’s Beer Bazaar, you will start up the exploration right. The only beer stocked here is Israeli craft beer and the servers in this tiny and quirky drinking hole are knowledgeable and passionate about the Israeli beer industry. Once you have a few tastes there, you’ll be ready to venture out on your own to track down the flavors that appeal to you.
Heading north from Tel Aviv, a must-stop is Alexander Brewery in the Hod Hefer Industrial Park. And yes, I will confess – I am biased. It is located across the highway from my hometown; it is named after Alexander Creek, on which I spent my short rowing career and its logo is the locally famous water turtles.
But, you might ask, how is the beer? Well, I’m proud to say that it is No. 1 on this list of “The 10 Best Craft Beers in Israel!” The location is humble and small – you need to call ahead for a tour and a taste. But the flavor is big! Competing in the European Beer Star competition, Alexander has won a silver medal for their Blonde beer in the English Style Golden Ale Category, and another silver for their Alexander Milk & Honey Beer. For 4 consecutive years, they have won a gold medal for their Alexander Black as well. Local Pride it is!
While you are in this hidden Industrial Park, check out 2 other gems: award-winning Recanati Winery and Yoav Dekelbaum’s artisanal bakery, offering everything from mini individual pastries to babka, French-style macarons and more.
To continue relaxing, just head west towards my hometown of Givat Olga and its beautiful beach, get a room at overlooking the cliffs and the panoramic ocean and call it a day!
For more information check out the Israeli Craft Beer official website.