Around the World Beer Trip...where would you go?

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Tapsucker
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Postby Tapsucker » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:12 pm

atomeyes wrote:
i was there 6 years ago. beer scene was still bad, but there was a micro in the Golan and a micro in Rosh HaNiqra.

not to get political, but i think what you were told about Taybeh being smuggled in is inaccurate, as is its exclusion. israelis love palestinian food and cooking. i'd assume beer is no different.

your comment about wine is hilarious. israel is known as being a very underrated wine country. in Tel Aviv, i walked into a wine store and was amazed at the local selection. the Galil and golan are known as having amazing climates for wine growth.


I still don't know if it was Taybeh. Basically I was told that goods being shipped through check points were regularly turned back as "security threats" unless enough bribes were paid (probably an exaggeration, given the discipline in the Israeli security forces). It seamed to especially hit smaller producers who did not have official networks of distributors in Israel. It could be exactly like trying to import into Ontario without LCBO blessing for all I know.

I did see explicit economic discrimination against local Arabs that shocked and disappointed me. For instance, being handed a tourist pamphlet by El Al staff at Ben Gurion upon arrival that discouraged hiring Palestinian taxis because they would "rip you off". The effort backfired as I only took Palestinian taxis after that and later found out that the prices and service I received were much better than the norm. People have to live and feed their families. If you want to build a peaceful and civilized society you need to lose the tribalism and dehumanization of others. Surely, I would think this would be well understood there...
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lister
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Postby lister » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:15 pm

atomeyes wrote:cool that you're taking your grandfather with you to Portland :)


Too much work and paperwork digging them up and flying with one of them. :wink:
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Tapsucker
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Postby Tapsucker » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:20 pm

Belgian wrote:
Tapsucker wrote:I was in Israel years back. At the time the beer options were terrible. Even the wine sucked as we constantly had kosher (boiled) wine thrust upon us.

I think mevushal (= 'boiled') wine has an additional step of pasteurization making the wine remain kosher regardless of who uncorks or serves it (important distinction - regular kosher wine is not boiled, it's just natural wine.)

Boiling wine drastically alters the flavor and shelf life, and thankfully many good Israeili wines are not pasteurized. I'd just avoid mevushal wines entirely if possible - you can sometimes tell them by the short expiry date.


At the time there was an excellent selection of imported wine, but very expensive. We managed a day trip to a winery near the Golan Heights and as gentiles did get to sample some pretty promising wine. The area is ideal for wine production. However, everything commercially available at the winery was indeed pasteurized and definitely lacked the character for the wine we sampled.

The Kosher explanation given was not about natural or otherwise, it was about grapes potentially touching the ground and about yeast being alive. Not being and expert on the traditions, I can't say if that was accurate, but I was not there to argue.

Our hosts only offered the cooked stuff when we asked for local wine and whenever we went out on our own, local wine was cooked or you paid more for import. Of course, this only describes the places we went...
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Belgian
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Postby Belgian » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:54 pm

Tapsucker wrote:The Kosher explanation given was not about natural or otherwise, it was about grapes potentially touching the ground and about yeast being alive.

More to avoid any batch of wine possibly used for pagan worship, such as pouring some out on the ground (yeah it's an ancient rule). This is why today only an observant jew must handle every stage of kosher wine production.

The relevant point being that unpasteurized kosher wine in Israel is more natural than the mevushal and, like unpasteurized beer, will probably taste a whole lot better. Just wanted to help that be clear so people enjoy their trip more, cheers!
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Postby Philip1 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:48 am

To all the people who mentioned Copenhagen I'm curious to know why. I spent last weekend there and my impression from (all two evenings!) is that to get their more interesting local brews you have to get bottles from organic food stores and perhaps bottle specialists. I'm sure there are pubs with a good selection too but I think you'd have to go out of your way to find them. I wasn't there for the beer so I didn't do any research.

Also, if you go there make sure you bring a lot of spending money as 50-55 kr ($11) is the norm just for a Carlsberg in the city centre area. Pubs even on Friday and Saturday night were rather quiet - though it was windy and rainy.
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Postby El Pinguino » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:19 pm

Ya, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have fairly crazy high beer prices. I can't imagine how much people spend at a bar like Akkurat in Stockholm. I think Mikkeller bars and Fermentoren are big draws for some people wanting to head to Copenhagen, but I could be mistaken.
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Postby Philip1 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:31 pm

El Pinguino wrote:I think Mikkeller bars and Fermentoren are big draws for some people wanting to head to Copenhagen, but I could be mistaken.


That might be it. I recall Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery claiming the micro scene was really taking off in Denmark but I don't know much about. (Brooklyn Lager and East India Pale Ale were 50 kr - $10.18 today - at the sports bar in the central train station).

I picked this up:



[img][img]http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k288/Philip788197/image_zps4a77161d.jpg[/img][/img]
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El Pinguino
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Postby El Pinguino » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:29 pm

I remember drinking a Tuborg in the summer in Copenhagen many years ago, along the little Nyhavn area. Expensive, but plenty of nice scenery around to make up for it!

Didn't know much about good beer back then...
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Postby Belgian » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:54 pm

El Pinguino wrote:Ya, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have fairly crazy high beer prices...

If I'm not mistaken it's social responsibility gone extreme. Supposedly the coastal climate or grey/short northern days are a bit depressive and make one want to douse the pain away with the bottle...

Of course many Scandinavians are ridiculously well-off anyway, allowing them to drink as they like so it may just be an effort to protect youth and students. There are ferries etc. across to mainland Germany for 'alco-tourism' at about a 50% savings, tremendously popular.

I've been to the Ostsee in Germany a few times, I could see Denmark/Sweden over the waters but never been there yet.
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Belgian
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Postby Belgian » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:56 pm

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Bytowner
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Postby Bytowner » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:29 am

Belgian wrote:More to avoid any batch of wine possibly used for pagan worship, such as pouring some out on the ground (yeah it's an ancient rule). This is why today only an observant jew must handle every stage of kosher wine production.

The relevant point being that unpasteurized kosher wine in Israel is more natural than the mevushal and, like unpasteurized beer, will probably taste a whole lot better. Just wanted to help that be clear so people enjoy their trip more, cheers!


LCBO Israeli wine feature coming up:
http://lcbo.ca/lcbo-ear/media_releases/ ... nt_id=3401
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Belgian
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Postby Belgian » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:10 am

^ Looks like some good wines for fair price. And L'Chaim! to those of you observing Passover after next week - have a joyous festival.
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Brews Phillips
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Postby Brews Phillips » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:08 am

6 places I would go if I had the time+money:

1. Vilinius, Lithuania (Just so I can visit this place: http://www.snekucio-alaus-pasaulis.lt/)
2. Brooklyn, NY
3. Turin/Milan, Italy - emerging craft beer scene
3. Mexico City - ditto, apparently
4. Kuichi Brewery (Hitachino,), Japan - It's like an all-inclusive resort!!: Sake, beer, and brew on premise.
5. Brasserie Cantillon
6. Sri Lanka - It's tropical and they brew Lion Stout there - so it counts ;-)

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