One of Israel’s Most Active Homebrewers, Levi Fried of Righteous Brew
Upon my most recent visit to Israel (which has already been five months now), I was able to meet up with one of the most active homebrewers in Israel. Having heard from one of his brothers in Southern California that he was brewing a lot, I knew that I should meet him when I visited Israel. I got in touch with this homebrewer, Levi Fried, and I had the good fortune of visiting his homebrewing operation and drinking some of his homebrews.
To say that Fried homebrews is really quite an understatement. That he brews at home seems to be the only thing that makes it homebrewing, since he brews a lot of beer and is very invested in his project. When I walked over to his house in Modi’in one Tuesday evening – his brewing days – he was brewing collaboratively with two guys who brew at Mivshelet Ha’Am. Mivshelet Ha’Am is where most of the contract brewing in Israel takes place, so Fried is certainly connected in the brewing community in Israel.
When I had approached, it was easy to find, it was the house with the one-car garage open. However, forget putting a car in the garage, the garage’s sole purpose is for brewing beer. His brewing operation has taken over this one-car garage. In this repurposed garage, one notices four huge vats in which the beer ferments, as well as a refrigerator which has been drilled out and had five taps installed on its outside.
One would wonder why he has so much brewing equipment – especially since the vats contain 300 liters. Since he brews about 1000 liters of beer every month, the mass volume is certainly useful! Although I was not around to experience a Friday afternoon and evening while there, he invites neighbors and friends to enjoy some pre-Shabbas (and Shabbas) beer enjoyment. (Perhaps the next time I visit Israel, I will be in Modi’in for such an incredible way of bringing in Shabbas.)
Fried liked beer and knew he was going to be making עליה (immigrate to Israel), but was concerned about the dearth of good beer. So, he learned how to homebrew before moving to Israel. And he became hugely involved with it, since, despite the growth in the Israeli craft beer scene in the last handful of years (cf.), there is still room for growth and options for beer in Israel. Moreover, Fried is no ordinary massive homebrewer, but, owing to his professional training, he also develops different yeast cultures, which is certainly next-level brewing!
In addition to his brewing, under the label, Righteous Brew – which you can follow on Facebook – he has also put on some beer and food pairing evenings in collaboration with his wife, Harmony. On the evening that I dropped by, he and his wife were beginning to get ready for their first upcoming beer and food pairing evening, which, seemed to have gone well, according to one attendee.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Fried continues to do with his brewing operation, especially now that, according to Righteous Brew’s Facebook page, Fried’s doing a tap takeover at a bar in Efrat with his beers. We shall see what Fried will continue to do with Righteous Brew on the Israeli craft beer scene.