'If Tomer were not there, we would all be dead'

Family of fallen Oct. 7 hero Tomer Nagar commissions line of beers in his honor

IDF soldier who singlehandedly fought back against rampaging terrorists at Kissufim base until his last bullet, saving others, is memorialized for his deep fondness for brews

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Undated photo of Tomer Nagar drinking beer. (Courtesy Nagar family)
Undated photo of Tomer Nagar drinking beer. (Courtesy Nagar family)

Family and friends of an Israeli soldier who fought heroically against Palestinian terrorists before being killed during the devastating October 7 assault have found a unique way of memorializing him — a line of beers named in his honor.

The family of Tomer Nagar and Glentz brewery told The Times of Israel on Thursday that the newly branded Tomer Beer is “a rough, Israeli, unfiltered beer, one that leaves a taste for more. Just like him.”

Nagar refused to leave his guard post at the Kissufim army base for safety during the murderous Hamas assault, instead fighting against waves of attackers. He was eventually killed when his ammunition ran out.

Nagar had a deep love for beer, even embarking on a six-destination European tour that was arranged around tasting brews before he joined the army. His favorite was the Irish icon Guinness.

In 2022, Nagar joined the Golani Brigade’s 51st battalion and his role was to operate a Negev light machine gun.

On the morning of October 7, as thousands of Hamas terrorists burst into Israel under the cover of a massive barrage of rockets fired at Israel, Nagar was alone guarding a storage bunker 150 meters from the Kissufim base.

Undated photo of IDF soldier Tomer Nagar. (Courtesy Nagar family)

Army lookouts who spotted the terrorist invasion told soldiers at the base, including Nagar, to enter shelters. Nagar refused the instruction, insisting on staying at his post, alone, so that he could provide covering fire for other soldiers, according to multiple eyewitnesses and fellow servicemen.

He kept fighting for 50 minutes until he had used up his entire store of 675 bullets. The cases of spent ammunition were found all around him. That he was able to keep the weapon working and not jam despite firing such a large amount of ammunition was seen as testimony to his professionalism. Eyewitnesses said he killed dozens of attackers before he was eventually fatally wounded.

By holding back the terrorists, he enabled those in the base to better organize their defense. Kissufim was the only military post in the area that was not overrun by the attackers.

Nagar’s brother Eden told the Times of Israel that soldiers who were at the base on the day of the attack all told the family the same thing: “If Tomer were not there, we would all be dead.”

After his death, the family came up with the idea of a beer in his name. They contacted a beer company that agreed to produce 240 bottles, which are not for sale. However, an army friend of Nagar wanted to take it further and, together with the family, contacted the Glentz brewery in Yeruham, which agreed to produce a line of beers, for sale, in memory of Nagar.

Brewery owner Moshe Glantz said that after meeting the family and hearing Tomer’s story, he understood that the soldier is truly an Israeli hero worthy of memorialization.

He used his brewing experience to come up with the three blends for the new beers.

Bottles of Tomer Beer, produced in memory of IDF soldier Tomer Nagar who died fighting terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy Glentz Brewery)

An initial beer, simply called Tomer, was produced with the kind of strong taste that Guinness carries. However, the family realized that the Israeli palate prefers lighter beers so Glantz came up with two additional lines of blonde and amber beers.

Eden Nagar said that although he is not a beer drinker, he does like the taste of the blonde and amber brews.

Labels on the bottles feature an image of Tomer and a brief account of his battle against the terrorists. They also have a slogan — “It will flow in my blood forever” — a play on his Golani Brigade company’s motto, “In my blood, you will live forever.”

Tomer Beer was released for purchase in the second week of December — the same week as Nagar’s birthday. Since then, 3,000 bottles have been sold with orders coming from across the country, Glantz said.

The beers are available for order online at the Glentz Beer website. A crate of eight bottles costs NIS 145 ($40). Anyone who orders a crate of the beers gets two tickets, worth NIS 100 ($27), for a series of planned beer workshops with the Nagar family. While deliveries are not currently available outside of Israel, people overseas can make orders to be sent to loved ones in the country.

The Hamas onslaught in southern Israel killed over 1,200 people, mostly civilians. At least 240 were taken captive as hostages in the Gaza Strip.

Israel responded with a military campaign to destroy Hamas, remove it from power in Gaza, and free the hostages.

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