Today we took a two-pronged trip. We first headed to Kibbutz Ga’aton where we toured a tiny fruit wine factory. That story will be in the next blog post. This post is about the second part of our trip; to Kibbutz Yehiam where we chanced upon an amazing micro-brewery. Here is our story:
We entered Yehiam and drove around. After some driving we got out and looked about. There was an odd aroma similar to that of potato chips. Curiosity got the better of me and I followed the amazing smell around a building to a nice big wooden deck. An open door beckoned and I went in to find a micro-brewery humming away by the name of Malka Beer (Beera Malka which means Queen Beer in English).
Inside, master brewer Omri was boiling the grain in some sort of process that makes the beer. He had it straining into small buckets and then would decant the boiled beer into another vat. Although he spoke a decent English, we didn’t get the detailed rundown as to how they go about making the beer.
Here are some pictures of the beer brewing process that he explained:
The bottling was done in a side room. A young man, who helped us take pictures, is inside sorting through empty bottles and putting them somewhere, for reasons that I do not know.
We asked the owner, Assaf Lavi (who speaks a fabulous English), if we could try some beer. He was kind enough to go into the little bar they have and find us a bottle of each of the three; Irish Stout, Pale Ale and English Lager, for us to try. We stepped outdoors onto the deck and sat down around a rustic table for some beer sampling.
Assaf brought out glasses and poured us each a generous serving, letting us taste from his stock of cold goodness.
As we sat in the cool shade, sipping the cold beer and commenting on the richness, the freshness and the taste, Assaf told us about how he began doing this. He is in the process of selling his current, older equipment and opening a larger plant for wider distribution. For us it didn’t matter, as long as his new factory is still within a 15 minute drive, we’d be happy.
Once all was said and done, and the beer was (almost) all gone, we gathered around for a group picture. The master brewer came out from his toils, a smile plastered on his face as the bottling lad snapped the picture:
We then placed an immediate order for 24 bottles; 12 Irish Stout and 12 Pale Ale. Assaf went inside and filled a box for us, another sale for another happy customer.
But that was not the end. I snuck back inside the plant one last time and snapped a picture of Omri hard at work. Now this is what a “beermeister” looks like:
If you’d like to see more about Malka Beer, here is the website: http://malkabeer.co.il/
Truly a good beer!