An attempt to discuss the art of translation and the history of Israeli theatre with my new penpal D., ended in her assersion that she prefers to discuss beer. "In the immortal words of Philip Sidney," she wrote, "'True, and yet true that I must Stella love.' Oh – what wouldn't I give for a nice cold stella right now…. (sigh)"
Dear sighing D., I love stella so, as well as other brews, that I'll be happy do discuss the subject lengthily here in public. I've already dedicated a post to beer, specifically the wonderful Palestinian Taybeh, and another post to a night spent beer tasting, but there's news in the field and much beer adventuring to recount. Time for a third entry.
First there's Nimrod's place. I don't even know Nimrod's last name. A lot of us just call him "The older Nimrod" since Flashky is the young Nimrod and quirky poet and journalist Nimrod Kamer is the in between Nimrod. The older Nimrod popped into the Prince scene a few months ago, friendly, pennyless and speaking dreamily of opening a bar over the ruins of Tel-Aviv's closing Lesbian joint, "The Minerva". I didn't believe it was going to happen until I was indoors, but he really did open a place, and that place has beer, serious beer.
St Bernardus on tap is impressive enough. Every keg of this lambic is a bustling metropolis of yeast, and at 8% alcohol content. a quart of it would set you straight for the night, but Nimrod is aiming higher. He's got Maredsous tripel on tap, which is even stronger, (10% alcohol content), and while maintaining belgian complexity, manages to be smooth and drinkable enough to be gulped. Though it's true that I must Stella love, Stella's homeland is responsible for much better fare.
Nimrod's place "Harozenet"("the Countess"), also has great food. He recruited the chef of now defunct "Pastis" on Rothschield, who put up a menu fit for the brews he serves. She went on and devised such combinations as a glass of Cava served with a slice of camambert and seasonal fruit that has nothing to do with the place's decor (it still has the Minerva's dungeony quality). This rings more like picnic food to me, which brings me to my next favorite beer source: the Tiv Taam convenienve store on Rotcshield.
Friends and neighboors, come and picnic at night in our summery city. I promise to buy whoever takes my invitation seriously a beer from the Tiv Taam on Rothschield. We'll take it out to the boulevard to sit and shoot the shit and look at the people and the dogs and kids. Looking for rarities? Worry not. They've got France's own 1664, Italy's pleasant Peroni and several good Bavarians. More beautifully still: they've got Strongbow cider, an uncommon treat around these parts and a happy drinking experience galore.
It may sound as though I'm raving hedonistic nonesense about my town's culinary execces, both here and in my previous "Well Fed" post, but in truth I'm writing a love letter to its summertime beauty. I've lived for years in cities where you couldn't bring a beer out to the street or could only get it at 2.50% strength, and in others where anything better than a PBR was difficult to obtain except in specialty boutiques. This town's grocery stores offer malty magic and its fringy bars make no beery conpromises. Bravo.
I will wrap this up, however, with a word of nostalgia to Boston and to "The Sunset Grill and Tap", a bar that used to serve 525 different kinds of beer, 112 of them on tap. Each week its selection would change and a new drink menu, looking like a newspaper, would be published. Though it's true that I must Tel-Aviv love, it still hasn't poured me Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier that tastes like smoked ham, nor New-Mexico chilly beer that's to spicy to drink. Another one I miss is Charles Quint. The best beer I ever drank. My friend Yanki and I were served this in Brussles out of a horse drawn barrel, the size of an SUV. Here in Tel-Aviv horses still mostly draw carts loaded with old electric appliances, but we shall continue to drink and dream, till our drinks come true.