Daily Tedium

Pass Over The Beer

A hummus-flavored beer from Israel came about because its maker was on the hunt for a gluten-free brew. (For some Jews, it’s also kosher beer for Passover.)

By Ernie Smith

I'm not a very good cook, though I've gotten better over the years. One of the best examples of my culinary struggles involved an infamous attempt to create a concoction I called "French toast hummus," an idea that started as an inside joke with my friends that I for some reason attempted to follow through with in an attempt to make the joke even funnier. Problem was, the joke was on me. (I would have had better luck creating hummus-flavored French toast, for what it's worth, as the juice from chickpea cans has gained fame as a vegan egg and whipped-cream substitute called aquafaba.)

So it's in solidarity that I share the tale of a hummus-flavored beer from Israel, which may be the most unusual brew I've ever heard about.

The idea comes from Meadan Craft Brewing, a firm whose founder, Bryan Meadan, had a unfortunate problem for a beer fan: He was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2006, which meant that he had to avoid gluten, generally a key beer ingredient.

That led him to experiment with different gluten-free ingredients for homebrewing, including buckwheat and quinoa. That led him, unusually, to chickpeas and hummus.

“Hummus can definitely be malted,” Meadan told the Times of Israel in 2014. “It took me awhile before I got the process down pat. It’s not easy, and actually can be quite problematic. It only works if you do it right.”

The odd roots of this one, admittedly, have turned off some beer drinkers. More than one reviewer on RateBeer has called the brew “undrinkable,” though the reviews are slightly more positive on Untappd.

Fortunately for Meadan, he has something of a captive audience each spring, as traditional beer isn't kosher, meaning he can market his offbeat brew as a Passover beer for Sephardic Jews. (But not for Ashkenazic Jews, however—fortunately, Meadan also produces a date-flavored beer that works for everyone.)

Good luck getting any outside of Israel, though. But next time you're in Jerusalem, look it up!

Ernie Smith

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Ernie Smith is the editor of Tedium, and an active internet snarker. Between his many internet side projects, he finds time to hang out with his wife Cat, who's funnier than he is.

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