But the success of places like Jem's Beer Factory in the unfashionable industrial zone of Petach Tikva is symptomatic of a growing awareness among Israelis of hand-crafted beers.
This cavernous building serves as brewhouse, restaurant, bar and concert venue. Brewer Jem Welfield turned his back on an amazing job as White House events manager to swear a new allegiance to beer. He studied hard before going hands-on with Baltimore's Oxford Brewing Company, and moving to Israel with $5,000, his family and a dream.
It was a risk, but Jem's Beer Factory is a major success; 300,000 litres have been downed in two years. "Craft brewing has really taken off in the US," he tells me. "Israel usually follows about 10 years behind."
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