Since everything else has failed to bring peace to the Middle East, maybe beer will work.
That’s at least what Israeli brewmaster Ori Sagy suggested last week at the official launch of a new sort of beer he created with a colleague from Germany. The fresh brew, called “70,” was not an Arab-Israeli coexistence project, but rather an German-Israeli collaboration to celebrate the Jewish state’s 70th birthday.
“The friendship between Germans and Israelis is known. It’s not big news. I would like to look forward and think that if people in the Middle East will drink some more beer, friendship will come to this area sooner,” he said Thursday evening at the Herzliya residence of Germany’s ambassador to Israel.
“So I encourage all of you to have collaboration beer and other good beers, and let’s make peace. Cheers!”
The German embassy in Tel Aviv spent the last few months thinking about how it could mark Israel’s 70th, Germany’s outgoing ambassador to Israel, Clemens von Goetze, recalled Thursday night, holding a glass of the new brew.
“Just handing over presents is not enough. One has to do things together,” he said. “This beer is a very good example of how strong we can be when we work together and if we not only cooperate but also combine forces, in this case even in a single malted liquid.”
The German embassy initiated “and enthusiastically supported” the creation of “70,” beer coasters given out at the reception read.
But even at a lighthearted reception solely dedicated to the new “beer of friendship,” during which various diplomats and other dignitaries were served “70” on tap, von Goetze briefly referred to the Holocaust.
“No countries are separated and bound together by a catastrophe like the Shoah — we are,” he said. “And what we have developed between our two nations in the last 53 years of diplomatic relations and in the last 70 years since the Shoah is remarkable, is a miracle in history.”
In late June, Sagy, of the Alexander Brewery in Emek Hefer, hosted his colleague Cornelius Faust from the German Faust Brauhaus, located in Miltenberg, Bavaria, to create a special lager in honor of the Jewish state.
“70” is a a beer that invites us to “celebrate good relations, happiness and friendship,” Faust said, speaking in English with a heavy German accent.
“Let’s enjoy it here and now. Let’s us communicate and talk with each other through this beer and the spirit involved in brewing it.”