A Visit to Dancing Camel Brewery
Before I went to Israel on my recent trip, several people, independent of each other, had recommended I visit Dancing Camel Brewery, as one of the premier breweries in Israel. Clearly, I had to visit.
Located in an area that was largely commercial, with various car stores, it almost seemed to be in a small alley on HaTa’asiya Street, right near the larger HaMasger Street. Despite it’s seemingly off the beaten path location, it had a lively atmosphere, even on a Sunday night, when I went. With about twelve seats total at the bar, which was three sides of a square filled up with seats and a couple of tables inside and a few tables outside, the bar can easily fill up. Fortunately, we were able to quickly grab two seats at the bar when two people departed.
Being a brewery, I had to tasted their beers to see what they were. As someone who enjoys tasting flights of beer, I saw that they offered taster glasses of 150 ml each, either 4 beers for 50 shekel, 6 beers for 74, or 8 for 88. Unsurprisingly, I elected to go with 8 and try all of them. However, they were out of one of their beers, Leche del Diablo (a Chili Pepper Wheat Beer, which seemed interesting, so it was unfortunate I was not able to try this beer), so I ended up only having 7 beers.
I started off with the Hefe-wit – usually, I’m not into such beers, but this was good for the style. Light-colored, smooth, pleasantly lightly carbonated, and a muted banana (think Laffy Taffy) flavor. Next up, I had the Eve, which is a traditional blond ale; I think the description on the menu captures it well: “light, summery, refreshing, and fun.” Next up in the light ales was the Chailander, their scotch ale (get it – “Highlander” & “Chai”?), which I found to be be effortlessly pleasant to drink.
I then had the Patriot, which is their pale ale, which seems fine, but more malty and less hoppy than I expected in a pale ale. Next up, I am not totally sure what I had: the bartender told me that it was their IPA, but he also told me it was the Olde Papa. My confusion arises from the Olde Papa’s description as “An English-style Strong Ale brewed with Israeli date honey and balanced with English hops. Hearty and filling”, whereas the beer was nothing of the sort. I think the bartender was, himself, confused as to which beer he was serving me (he stated the Olde Papa was their IPA…). In any event, this IPA had pleasantly piney hops and I found it to be enjoyable – the Israeli beer market should be happy to have such a solid IPA (which I imagine is not so common).
Finally, the two dark beers: I thought their Midnight Stout was a sturdy and solid stout. Lastly, I had the Downtown Brown, which, despite not being a fan of brown ales (nut brown ales are very low on my list), however, this brown ale was actually quite drinkable for me, with some pleasant wintry spices included (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger).
By the time I was finishing up, the stand-up comedy acts began and the place swelled with customers who had packed themselves into the bar. Overall, I thought all of the beers had a pleasant feel as far as the carbonation went and had good textures to them. I also thought they all did solidly (with, pehaps, the lone exception of the Patriot pale ale). I was disappointed that they were out of the Leche del Diablo, which sounded intriguing, and that the bartender confused the IPA with the Olde Papa (which I was unable to try). Nevertheless, I was glad I went and got to try the various beers at Dancing Camel.