Monday, April 11, 2016

Craft Second-Temple-era beer

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Wheat Feat Jerusalem Brewery Produces Second Temple-era Beer. The small Herzl Brewery has created a brew that’s as close as possible to an ancient strain of wheat, making it dry, syrupy and a very acquired taste (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).
In Jerusalem’s Talpiot industrial zone, amid the carpentry shops and tire repair garages, a small boutique brewery produces a beer called Herzl. One of the owners, Itai Gutman, 31, occasionally adds his own innovations to the standard beer recipes. For example, he recently managed to brew a beer from a heritage grain – a wild plant that’s as possible to the 2,000-year-old wheat from which modern wheat developed. Presumably, therefore, this brew comes closest to the ancient beer that was consumed after man learned how to ferment grain.


We can assume that Gutman’s beer is similar to the ancient beer consumed thousands of years ago. It’s 3 percent alcohol – a bit lower than modern-day wheat beer – and is rather dark and thick. And the taste? Well, it's a stretch to say it tastes good, but it’s definitely interesting.

“It’s unlike anything I have ever tasted,” nods Gutman. “From my viewpoint, as a person who has tried to hone his sense of taste, it was a surprise. It has a very dry taste, but it also has a strong aroma and suggestion of red fruit – almost like a syrup.”

For background on ancient Near Eastern and ancient Israelite beer and efforts to resurrect them, see here and follow the links.