The Scot bringing Israel beer

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2010
All the beer made at the brewery is kosher

All the beer made at the brewery is kosher

A Glasgow-born Israeli has opened a brewery to change the way Israeli drinkers see beer.

David Shire, who moved from to Israel from Scotland in 1983, set up the kosher Lone Tree Brewery with an American neighbour near his Gush Etzion home.

Mr Shire told the Ha’aretz newspaper that the project had come about because he wanted an alternative to Israeli beer, which is “just for 16-year-old kids who want to get drunk.”

He said in Scotland, “good beer is appreciated like good wine and good cheese."

Now, after just a few months of experimentation, Mr Shire and his business partner Susan Levin, from Maryland, produce more than 250 bottles a week.

The beers are sold to restaurants and in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market.

They make seven types of beer out of one trailer, including English Northern Ale, Belgium Piraat and Oatmeal Stout.

Mr Shire, 50, hopes to expand the company enough to give up his main job as a landscaper within three years.

He admitted that finding the perfect recipe wasn’t always easy. He said: "We dumped hundreds of gallons of beer. I treated it like a research project in biology.”

In the last four years 30 other small breweries have opened in Israel. But convincing Israelis to drink beer may be an uphill struggle. Figures show that Israelis have one of the lowest beer-drinking rates around the world.

Last updated: 10:41am, July 20 2010