I had the merit to be in Israel in July of this year, and after discussions with David Shire, part owner of the Lone Tree Brewery we arranged for me to make the trek out to his brewery, located in the heart of Gush Etzion.
It’s a small operation - a microbrewery - but it’s a brewery with gumption. Its logo is bright and vivid and promises a kaleidoscope of taste. The hand-crafted beer delivers on this promise, and how!
David sat me down and proceeded to roll out three beers for me to taste. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it. Out of the eight beers that they produce, I tasted the Extra Oatmeal Stout, the English Northern Ale and the Pale Ale.
Each have distinctive flavours that rival any of the mainstream beers that I drink over here in the USA. The Extra Oatmeal Stout is comparable to Guinness - personally, too heavy for me to drink regularly, but I would totally marinate my brisket in it, or use it to beer-roast a chicken. The other two beers that I tried would definitely be a constant presence in my fridge - they are so good that I would even replace my regular American beer with them.
David (originally from Scotland), and his business partner Susan Levin (originally from Maryland), gave me a tour of their operation. These are people who, before they opened the brewery, perfected the art of the home brew. Home brewing of beer is not for the faint of heart - and David and Susan obviously know their craft. Now they have a proper operation, they have kosher certification (Rabbanut of Gush Etzion), and are gaining a reputation for great beer. Extra Bonus - they only use natural ingredients.
Before The Lone Tree Brewery came along the beer in Israel was nothing to write home about. Not anymore. Lone Tree Brewery can hold its head up high and know that it is brewing a superior product. As of right now their beer is only available in Israel (Machane Yehuda, Beit Shemesh, Modi'in & Gush Etzion. Home deliveries throughout Jerusalem) - but my hope is that more stores will stock their product, and eventually, that we will be able to import it into the US.