America isn’t the only country seeing an explosion in craft beer. Even places not necessarily known for their brewing prowess have new independent breweries opening up—like Israel. And now, the largest Israeli craft brewery has started importing those Middle Eastern brews into the US.
According to the Post and Courier, Tel Aviv’s Malka brewery has now been cleared for sale in 12 different states, and they are continue to try to find ways to enter the American market. Austin Clar, the beer’s importer, admitted that garnering interest in a beer from half way around the world isn’t easy, especially when so much of the craft market is built around supporting local businesses. “I won’t sell any beer in Asheville, North Carolina,” he was quoted as saying. “I do decently on Portland, but I don’t do anything in Bend. Can’t sell a thing in Austin. That’s just how it is.”
However, Clar also stressed the importance of American sales: Israelis drink just 14 liters of beer each year compared to American who down 90. But can people in the US really get excited about a Belgian blonde, pale ale and stout from Israel? Clar pointed out that though Malka has to import most of their ingredients – malts, hops and even yeast – from places with more friendly growing conditions, some of the ingredients like orange peel and coriander are “really Israeli.”
No matter what it tastes like, you have to assume it can’t be as bad a Manischewitz, right? Or maybe you like Manischewitz, in which case I’m guessing craft beer might not be your thing.