If you feel like refreshing the familiar taste to which you’ve become accustomed, or just embarking on a nighttime drinking adventure in Tel Aviv – these are some of the beers on tap that will provide an unforgettable experience.
Best bargain: Alma at Salon Berlin
Welcome to the cheapest tap in Tel Aviv. Where else can you find two drinks for the price of one? And a pair of Courvoisier chasers for 40 shekels? Probably only here, at one of the longest happy hours in the city (every day from 11 A.M. to 10:30 P.M.). A Red Pilsner with 4.7 percent alcohol called Alma, which is actually manufactured in Brazil. It’s a tasty beer that’s easy to drink, and in Salon Berlin they serve it cold and in classic pint glasses along with olives or lupini beans.
What else: Another 14 beers on tap, about the same number of bottles at various prices and discounts, and an impressive variety of whiskeys and cognacs that suddenly become accessible.
Side dishes: Shakshuka, salads, a cheese platter, and one of the best platters of salted fish.
Salon Berlin, 15 Najara
The veteran: Guinness at Amiram Pub
No article about beer would be complete without mentioning black beer, the kicker of beers, the one that you either love or hate. Guinness is a wonderful beer when it’s good – thick and rich in flavor, round and easy to drink. But sometimes it’s also vengeful – when it’s bad, it’s merciless, without the forgiving nature of lager.
So if you feel like a high-quality Guinness, you’ll find it near the Tel Aviv Port at the Amiram Pub; the moment the door closes the world outside disappears and you’re back in the 1970s. Here you’ll find the first Guinness tap in Tel Aviv, from which you’ll probably get the perfect pint.
What else: Tuborg and Carlsberg from lovely old pewter taps, a variety of anise drinks, whiskey and other good things from very old bottles.
Side dishes: Cheeses and sausages, vegetables, fried and pickled fish – everything fresh and lovingly prepared.
Amiram Pub, 8 Hata’aruha
Tastes like bacon: Schlenkerla Marzen at Porter and Sons
Why not try a beer in a place that takes the whole issue very seriously? Porter and Sons, the beer empire on Ha’arba’a Street, displays a wide, polished battery of 50 taps affixed to the wall, from which you can choose something you’ve never drunk before.
If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend the Schlenkerla Marzen, a dark, smoky lager beer that has been produced in Bavaria for over 200 years. The malt in the drink is grilled over an open fire,giving it a deep smoky flavor unlike anything else – except bacon, perhaps.
What else: 49 additional types of beer on tap – all kinds and from all over the world. Happy hours in the early evening.
Side dishes: An entire menu of goodies that go well with beer; with Schlenkerla, the best choice is a plate of charcuterie, frankfurters or spare ribs.
Porter and Sons, 14 Haarba’a St.
The pioneer: Fat Cat at Beer Bazaar
Before it became an empire with four branches in Tel Aviv (including one on Yishkon Street, on the end of the Carmel market) the Beer Bazaar was just a small stall at 1 Rambam Street, with three taps and lots of bottles, seven seats and one fat cat. The place was the fulfillment of the owner’s dream – to establish a stall in the marketplace that would serve only Israeli beers.
After it opened they decided to serve a house beer too, and that was the origin of Fat Cat, a local ale that’s bitter, sweetish and wonderfully refreshing, perfect for drinking on a hot summer day. The beer is named after a fat cat that used to wander around the area, but which has lost weight since.
What else: Another two taps in the stall branch (and many more in the others) and a huge collection of bottles.
Side dishes: Salted fish, roast beef and frankfurters.
Beer Bazaar, 1 Rambam
The divine: Chimay at Norman
On the outskirts of the Carmel Market, there’s another veteran beer corner, beloved by residents of the Kerem Hateimanim neighborhood and the whole area. It seem as though Norman has always been there, in one of the more attractive corners of the Kerem. A small hotel hides a tiny bar, with more beer than seating capacity. Belgian beers have always been favorites here, and this is obvious in the barrels, the bottles and the souvenirs on the wall. Chimay is apparently the ultimate choice.
Chimay is a Trappist beer produced only by monks inside the monastery, the most famous of the few such beers being made today. As befits a traditional Belgian ale, expect a rich flavor, weight on the tongue, sweetness, a strong taste of hops, and a high percentage of alcohol of course. The beer is served in the traditional pottery mug that will help you (especially after a few cups) to feel like a character from “Game of Thrones.”
What else: A wide range of elite beers from all over the world, along with a strong affection for Belgium, on tap and in the bottle.
Side dishes: Basic snacks, French fries, pizza, grape leaves and edamame (green soybeans).
Norman, 8 Hillel Hazaken
Tel Aviv pub: Patriot at Dancing Camel
There are few things more satisfying than a bar inside a brewery, because it’s like coming to the beer’s own home. Dancing Camel is one of the oldest breweries in Israel, and the only one that brews beer in Tel Aviv. At the bar you can taste some of the many creative varieties brewed at the site, one of the oldest and best of which is Patriot. This is a light bitter ale, refreshing and with tropical aromas, and there’s nothing nicer than a super-fresh beer that came from right around the corner. Tours of the brewery can be booked in advance.
What else: Eight taps of beers produced by the brewery.
Side dishes: American bar snacks, and a few local ones: grape leaves, nachos with homemade salsa, huge pretzels, tahini, edamame, garlic bread, and sandwiches of roast beef, pastrami or a frankfurter.
Dancing Camel, 12 Hata’asiya
A surprise: Paulaner Marzen at Beer Garden
What can be surprising about beer, you ask? The first surprise is that in the Sarona Market, designed mainly for macchiato drinkers, you can find such a place. The second is that the beer of choice in this temple to wheat beers, is a lager by the same brewery, Paulaner. One of the largest and most famous producers of wheat beers, its Marzen is a unique lager, amber and slightly sweet. The beer garden is among the most elegant in town, with lots of decorative elements popular with beer lovers – wood and copper. Some are on the bar and some in the pipes branching out from it.
What else: Six different kinds of Paulaner on tap; you probably won’t find them anywhere else. Some are seasonal.
Side dishes: Frankfurters, pickled fish, meats, sandwiches – everything you need to absorb lots of beer.
Beer Garden, 3 Aluf Albert Mendler, Sarona Market