National Brewery, Netanya. Part II.

My post on July 31, 2020, National Brewery, Netanya, was a coda to my multi-part series on beer and brewing in British Mandate Palestine.

I’ve found interesting photos of National Brewery in its earlier years, which emphasize points in the coda, hence this post serves as a coda to the coda.

For clarity, my intention was and is not to trace brewing history in modern Israel, i.e., from and after 1948. Not that this wouldn’t be a valuable exercise, but lacking Hebrew makes it problematic.

I did the first National Brewery post as an epilogue, a summing up of the history I delineated to ’48. Its first beer, brewed by a Czech, was typical of the quality pilsener style that had prestige in the Thirties. Even its equipment was 1930s plant or earlier, fetched half a world away in New York where once it powered the storied Fidelio Brewery.

This is an image, via Wikipedia Commons (public domain), that shows aging tanks at National Brewery in 1964. The tanks appear to hold 177 hl.



Note the handsome wood construction, which appears well-maintained. The stray planks on the right may be for maintenance. The iron cradles look venerable, and I’d think it’s a safe bet that these tanks once served Fidelio Brewery, possibly originating before Prohibition.

1964 is only a dozen years after National Brewery was founded, on the plain between Netanya and Tel Aviv. The tanks are probably those installed in 1952.

(The piece of wheeled equipment in front of the tanks is not known to me, any ideas? I thought perhaps a carbonating unit).

To see the brewery shortly after construction, this Facebook link contains a rare image. As discussed in press stories I linked in the earlier part, the brewery is mostly one level. In this respect it reflected the future, as newer technology permitted to dispense with the tall designs of earlier that took advantage of gravity.

Nonetheless, there are upper stories, possibly used for storage, or offices, as all production functions (mashing, boiling, fermentation) were apparently on the main floor.

The site outside the main building is crowded with what appears be packaging inventory: cases, probably bottles, and kegs among the stock. In the background some details of topography may be noted.

Finally, this Ebay link shows a colourful label from the brewery that appears to be late 1950s, early 1960s vintage. It is for a “British Shandy”. This is another inheritance of prewar habits, no doubt installed by the British when they ran the show under the Mandate.

It may be too that the tourist market was primary for this beer, as British tourism to Israel started to burgeon in the 1960s.

National Brewery merged, according to numerous sources, with Palestine Brewery and Galilee Brewery in 1973. Incidentally, I found very little on Galilee apart a few labels. There is a modern craft brewery of that name, not connected to the earlier one, to my knowledge.

Today National Brewery is part of Tempo Industries as I mentioned earlier, a publicly-traded integrated drinks company. Tempo is partly owned by Heineken, as confirmed in a recent news story (Times of Israel).

Note re image: Image above was sourced from the link identified and stated in text. All intellectual property therein belongs solely to the lawful owner, as applicable. Used for educational and research and purposes. All feedback welcomed.






1 thought on “National Brewery, Netanya. Part II.”

  1. Chatting with a professional brewer, he said the tank may be a press or filter of some kind, as the top shows (when magnified it’s clearer) a wheel and screw apparatus.

    I’m thinking, with benefit of this insight, that perhaps samples were drawn from each lagering vessel and filtered for lab analysis and tasting.

    Anyway nothing to do with gas injection, it seems, and not a traditional vessel used in brewing itself.


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