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A new era for Israeli beer

Israel’s recent beer festival proved that despite the high alcohol tax nd steep price, Israel’s boutique beer market is developing, offering dozens of selections from microbreweries all over the country.

The line for the bathrooms at the Israeli beer fest “Beers 2014” is long — after all, the beer here flows freely and takes its toll. Those in line are a bit unsteady on their feet, but I make use of the time to find out which of the dozens of boutique breweries and premium imported beer stalls are particular favorites. One name keeps coming up in a quick survey: ISIS.

There is indeed an Israeli microbrewery with the same name as the Islamic State terror organization — formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS — but it’s not a public relations gimmick. Ten years ago, its owner Itsik Levy from Dekel, a cooperative farm bordering the Gaza Strip, decided to turn part of his farm into a brewery and named his beer after the Egyptian goddess Isis (who, according to ancient Egyptian mythology, discovered barley).

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