How am I, raised a Catholic kid, going to write successfully about a beer with heavy Jewish ties? “Very carefully,” was the response from our accounts manager, James. Very carefully, indeed.
Which way should this article go? Do we discuss the history of Judaism? Its origins in the Middle East? How practitioners of the faith were scapegoated for usury throughout the centuries of European development? Do we poke a little fun at the funny beards or the whole snip-snip thing they do to little men? Ponder over the reasons why they can’t mix dairy and animal in the same dish?
Probably best to stay away from anything that smacks of making light of religion. We can, instead, examine the historical ramifications of the bonus ingredients in the beer which, by the way, happens to be called Rejewvenator. Yes, Rejewvenator.
The fig tree is the third tree mentioned by name in both the Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament. In the Olivet Discourse from the New Testament Synoptic Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, Jesus refers symbolically to the fig tree in description of both the destruction of Herod’s Temple and his return on Earth. Many religious scholars suggest that these gospels echo the Jewish Book of Zechariah in which the location of a battle between the Jewish messiah and his opponents would take place.
Dates and their corresponding Palm trees are mentioned all throughout both Jewish and Christian text, first appearing in Exodus and Shemot. The date’s role was as a staple food throughout the Middle-East. The Palm itself was important as both a textile and building material used for anything from baskets, clothing and dwellings. Many believed that eating dates protected one from illness and poison.
Enter Schmaltz Brewing Co. They created a beverage that pays homage to many things at once; religious monks who made much of ancient history’s beer and the myriad ingredients referenced in the world’s religious writings. Throw in a dose of Jerry Seinfeld humor and a lot of chutzpah and you have the He’Brew Rejewvenator.
An ultra-malty hybrid of Belgian dubbel and German dopplebock – interestingly enough both words meaning “double” – Rejewvenator doses their beer with dates and figs to bring a natural earthiness and sweetness to enhance the sugars already found in the grain. This is a pretty copper-red brew with a bubbly, tall head that takes its time receding. The list of flavors and scents this beer possesses rivals the size of Abraham’s lineage and all whom he begat; toffee, fresh bread, dried fruit, cinnamon, cocoa, caramel, biscuit, nuts, raisins and the already-mentioned figs and dates.
This incredibly abundant beverage is equal parts manna and Promised Land. L’Chaim!