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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Shepping (and sipping) Nachas

[For the non-Yiddish crowd, 'shepping nachas' can be roughly translated as a combination of deriving great pleasure from something and being extremely proud of someone... for example; when a friend or loved one does something exemplary.]

I was poking around Israel21c's blog; Israelity (to which I am nominally a contributor) the other day when I stumbled across a nice piece written by my friend Harry about Israel's contributions on the microbrewery front.

Granted, when most people think of Israel, beer is not the first thing that comes to mind.  In fact, IMHO the stodgy old Gold Star and Maccabi brands are only barely palatable when icy cold and on tap... and untouchable when served in a bottle or can.   But in the past couple of years the trend towards small, hand-crafted brews from family-run microbreweries has started to take hold here in Israel.

Zahava and I actually had a little advance glimpse into this eventuality because while we were going through the preparations to make aliyah (over 5 years ago) we met a couple about our age who were also preparing to move to Israel.  The husband, David Cohen, had been a small batch brewer in the states and was planning to open his own micro-brewery after they made aliyah.

[I'll admit... at the time I made a mental note; 'Stay in touch with these people!' ]

Zahava and I bumped into David and his lovely wife at several pre-aliyah lectures and events run by Nefesh B'Nefesh in New York, and were delighted to find that they were scheduled to be on the same flight as us for the permanent move to Israel. 

Most of the other people we knew on the flight had more 'typical' plans for their professional future; accountants, lawyers, doctors, marketing, etc.  But David, the micro-brewer with his hip goatee and signature bandanna, stood out as an individual... even a bit of a rebel... amongst the rest of our tame aspirations.

Once we were settled in Israel (hmmm, let's see if I can write 'settled' without getting trolled?), Zahava and I went about getting set up professionally.  I found a position in Israel's aerospace & defense industry and Zahava established her own Graphic Design company (called Zatar Creative). 

Somewhere along the line David Cohen and Zahava got back in touch because his micro-brewery plans were being fast-tracked and he needed to develop a logo for his new endeavor; Dancing Camel Brewing Company, Ltd.

Obviously I wasn't involved in the creative process that led to Zahava's final design of the cool logo which graces some of the best beer in this part (or any part, for that matter) of the world.  But I found it fitting that the scruffy camel she placed in the logo wore David's signature bandanna:


Now five years down the aliyah road, Zahava and I are (B"H) established professionally and feeling less and less like new immigrants every day.  And I have to admit that when we go into an upscale restaurant and see Dancing Camel beer on the menu, I shep some serious nachas

Obviously I derive a lot of pleasure from seeing a logo my wife designed gracing a quality brand.  But I also love seeing a fellow immigrant living the aliyah dream and making a name for himself here in such a short time.

If you haven't tried Dancing Camel Beer, I highly recommend any of their delicious hand-crafted brews.  And if you are stuck in the 'winery tour' rut when making plans for your next outing with friends or showing family around when they come in from abroad, I suggest you look into a tour at Tel Aviv's Dancing Camel Brewing company, Ltd. instead.

It is located at Hataasiya 12, in Tel Aviv and can be reached at 03-624-2783... or by email at [email protected].

When you run into David, tell him you're friends of ours.  It probably won't get you a free beer (hey, who knows... maybe it will!), but if you tell him that Dancing Camel is the official beer at chez Treppenwitz, it will certainly earn you a smile.

Posted by David Bogner on June 4, 2008 | Permalink


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We met David here in Modiin. This is a case of someone taking a passion and finding a way to make a living out of it. I've never even heard of flavored beer until I met him. Around Sukkot time he even had Etrog-flavored beer.

And the logo is great.

Posted by: Baila | Jun 4, 2008 3:19:15 PM

Love the logo.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 4, 2008 5:52:29 PM

I'm so embarrassed, I love Gold Star. I even have a t-shirt. I actually looked for it just this weekend, after I saw this stuff and was reminded of it -- I don't know if it's even exported.

I'll definitely try Dancing Camel if I have the opportunity, tho. The logo's awesome. Hilarious and pretty at the same time.

Posted by: Tanya | Jun 4, 2008 6:52:07 PM

Hey, I've tried that stuff before. I liked it. I just didn't know at the time that I was so close to the owner, what with him being kind of friends with a blogger that I occasionally read.

BTW, a question for Zahava. How come the camel doesn't fall over?

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 4, 2008 6:57:33 PM

dfb1968: magic! :-)

Posted by: zahava | Jun 4, 2008 7:26:11 PM

See, reading blogs is broadening. There are actually people (Tanya) who like Gold Star! Huh. Must be like a Durian thing.

Posted by: Barzilai | Jun 4, 2008 7:29:15 PM

Is it sold abroad?

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 4, 2008 7:51:46 PM

No shame in liking Goldstar Tanya! It is a decent beer!

I actually met David Cohen a fews of years ago when his brewery was just a dream. Super nice guy. Glad to see his dream fulfilled.

We actually had a keg of Dancing Camel at our last two Israel Independence day celebrations.

The logo is great....really gives the beer personality. Nice to know that Zahava did it.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 4, 2008 7:53:20 PM

I recall Gold Star as being quite the acceptable brew; Maccabi, on the other hand...

Quite impressed with the variety they got... ooh, and they offer more than one stout!

Time to go over that 1,352nd iteration of the NBN application... (*sigh*)

Posted by: efrex | Jun 4, 2008 8:19:14 PM

Maybe the sample in my study wasn't big enough; it was comprised of one can on my recent flight from Israel. The choice was Carlsberg or Gold Star. Going, I picked the former, returning I picked the latter. It was had an off taste reminiscent of a liquid the logo character on the new Microbrew may have produced plus a little carbonation. It may have just been a badly stored can. Could it be that El Al would serve old beer? Nah...

Posted by: Barzilai | Jun 4, 2008 8:31:35 PM

I have unfortunatly not seen it in the stores yet, but it makes me happy to know that I didn't move the the vast alcahol desert with no chance of ever having a quality microbrew again. Now if we could only do something about the cost of scotch in this country.

Posted by: Max Power | Jun 4, 2008 8:38:47 PM

Microbreweries are definitely on our list of places to visit (David has nix the wine tours).

Whenever we vacation somewhere, we always try to find fun factory tours, including the microbreweries. Two of the best ones that the family has enjoyed (the children too) is Yuengling in Pottsville,Pennsylvania, and Anchor Steam in San Francisco.

Thanks for the tip.

Posted by: jaime | Jun 4, 2008 10:24:50 PM

I like the logo because it makes me think of three things I like
1- Betzalel style, as developed by Ze'ev Raban and the Yerid HaMizrach (Levant Fair)
2- the artwork of Mouse and Kelly (think of those concert posters and album art for the Dead along with other bands round 'bout 'Frisco way). They were of course influenced by Mucha.
3- Beer!

As someone who is voluntarily depriving hisself (himself?) of imported produce of all kinds, for eco-reasons, the option of local produce is a boon.

Posted by: asher | Jun 4, 2008 10:50:12 PM

Zahava - Great Logo! What else have you done? David you should be showcasing her on the blog regularly. It would be good advertising, given the number of readers you have.

Wish I'd known about this brand when I was in the Land in January - I love "Real Ale" (as we call them in my parts).

Any chance that you could get it exported to NZ Mr Cohen?

Posted by: Noa | Jun 4, 2008 11:02:11 PM

The name Dancing Camel sounded so familiar then I realized it was one of the team sponsors for the Israel Football League. I didn't get a chance to see a game this year but as they say there's always next year.

As for the bear I wonder where the best place would be to grab one other than at the brewery itself?

Posted by: Jonah | Jun 4, 2008 11:28:17 PM

that would be beer not bear, sorry :(

Posted by: Jonah | Jun 4, 2008 11:29:23 PM

Zehava, I love the camel, I love the design and I love the motto. Now all that's left is to taste the beer. (I love beer, except Goldstar (blech) and Maccabi (uber-blech))!

Posted by: quietusleo | Jun 5, 2008 7:01:55 AM

While I am often hired to assist clients with corporate nomenclature and tag lines, this was not one of those cases. I must say, not only is David Cohen one of the truly nice guys in this world, but he is extremely creative and has great energy. One of my creative partners (the lovely – and talented – Rivka Farkas) and I had a fantastic time collaborating with David on this project! It was the trifecta of professional fun: great client, great product, great team!

Posted by: zahava | Jun 5, 2008 8:09:00 AM

You "shep nachas" over your beer -- in Texas we "shlep nachos" with our beer.

Posted by: Bob | Jun 6, 2008 3:43:44 AM

Zehava, I love the camel, I love the design and I love the motto. Now all that's left is to taste the beer

Posted by: India seo | Aug 22, 2011 10:35:28 AM

The choice was Carlsberg or Gold Star...both have the same taste..and after drinking everything is same..

Posted by: Web Design Company | Aug 31, 2011 2:18:08 PM

I picked the former, returning I picked the latter. It was had an off taste reminiscent of a liquid the logo character on the new Microbrew may have produced plus a little carbonation..

Posted by: Elderly Alerts | Dec 14, 2011 5:21:35 PM

I'll definitely try Dancing Camel if I have the opportunity, tho. The logo's awesome. Hilarious and pretty at the same time.business angels

Posted by: business angels | Dec 18, 2011 10:00:57 AM

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