Shmaltz Brewing Company
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|Headquarters||Clifton Park, New York, USA|
Number of employees
Shmaltz Brewing Company is an American Craft brewing company located in Clifton Park, New York, USA, and produces the award winning line of HE'BREW Beers and formerly Coney Island Beer before its acquisition by Boston Beer Co in 2013. Ranked in 2013 as one of the "Top 100 Brewers in the World" by RateBeer.com, Shmaltz won 9 Gold and 5 Silver Medals in the World Beer Championships in 2012. A recipient of the "Distinguished Business Award" by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Shmaltz was also included in the "Top 50 Fastest Growing Bay Area Companies" by San Francisco Business Times.
Founder and owner Jeremy Cowan established the company in San Francisco in 1996 with the first 100 cases of He'brew Beer hand bottled and delivered throughout the Bay Area in his Grandmother’s Volvo. He'brew now sells across 37 states, through 40 wholesalers and nearly 5,000 retailers. In 2007, Shmaltz released a new line of craft brewed lagers under the Coney Island banner. The Coney Island brand was recently acquired by Alchemy and Science, a craft beer incubator, owned by Boston Beer (Sam Adams).
After 17 years of being an outspoken cheerleader for contract brewing, Shmaltz broke with tradition and opened its own New York State production brewery in Clifton Park, NY, 10 minutes north of Albany's capital district. Shmaltz's new home boasts a 50-barrel brewhouse with 30,000 barrels of annual capacity. The new brewery packages 12 and 22 ounce bottles and kegs of their diverse core and seasonal favorites, and hosts fans and beer tourists in their new tasting room for tours, barrel-aged previews, and special releases.
- 1 Shmaltz Brewery
- 2 HE'BREW Beer
- 3 Barrel-Aging Projects
- 4 Collaboration Projects
- 5 List of beers brewed
- 6 Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah
- 7 Coney Island Craft Lagers
- 8 Marketing
- 9 Coney Island Brewing Company
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
After 17 years of contract brewing, Shmaltz decided to break with tradition in 2013 by opening their own 20,000 square foot brewery in Clifton Park, New York. The new brewery boasts a 50-barrel brewhouse with 30,000 barrels of annual capacity. Within a year, the brewery has already added additional equipment to boost capacity from 20,000 barrels to 35,000 barrels.
The new brewery packages 12 and 22 ounce bottles and kegs of their diverse core and seasonal favorites. Several new releases and collaborations are on tap for 2016, and Shmaltz will continue their acclaimed exploration of barrel-aging with a current inventory of more than 300 bourbon, rye whiskey, and tequila barrels.
The 1,700 square foot tasting room is a place where "visitors can sample a variety of fresh Shmaltz beers, tour the facility, and learn about the beer-making process. They also can witness Shmaltz’s signature borscht belt humor: in the tasting room there’s a beer menorah display featuring empty bottles from the gift pack and T-shirts with the slogan “Don’t Pass Out, Pass Over” hanging on the wall".
HE'BREW Beer began as a Chanukah experiment in 1996 when founder and proprietor Jeremy Cowan and friends squeezed pomegranates to produce juice for the first HE'BREW beer. Early distribution for this beer was done by Cowan himself out of the trunk of his grandmother’s car in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1997, Anderson Valley Brewing Company began brewing HE'BREW Beer and its distribution expanded to small craft beer wholesalers in California, Chicago and New York. 2003 marked the year Shmaltz began packaging Genesis Ale and Messiah Nut Brown Ale in six-packs and moved production to Mendocino Brewing Company's facility in Saratoga Springs, NY. Four beers currently make up the HE'BREW Beer year round line: Slingshot American Craft Lager, Hop Manna IPA, Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., and Messiah Nut Brown Ale. All HE'BREW Beers are certified Kosher by the Kosher Supervision of America.
HE'BREW Beer is widely recognized for its playful yet earnest study of Jewish, world, and pop cultural histories. Each label of HE'BREW Beer lists facts and quotations related to the beer’s inspiration and its ingredients. For example, Origin, an imperial amber pomegranate ale, pays tribute to the original 1996 HE'BREW beer made with pomegranates, and its label contains facts, ancient mythology, and pop cultural references to pomegranates. Another component of HE'BREW’s marketing is its “shtick”, which incorporates Jewish religious references into the beers’ names and slogans. Genesis Ale is aptly named because it was the first HE'BREW creation, and the tagline to Messiah Nut Brown Ale is “the beer you’ve been waiting for,” which alludes to the Jewish belief that the promised savior of the world has yet to come.
In 2006 HE'BREW debuted Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A., a rye double IPA dedicated to the late Jewish comedian Lenny Bruce. This beer is brewed with an "obscene" amount of malt and hops, including three kinds of rye malt and seven different hop varieties. Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. is the first in a series of “Tributes to Jewish Stars” and is available year-round. Following the release of Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A., Shmaltz sponsored an "Homage to Lenny Bruce & Free Speech," a fundraising event that featured Sarah Silverman and Lewis Black. The barrel-aged version of Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., R.I.P.A. on Rye, took home the Silver Medal in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.
Shmaltz offers the Rejewvenator and Jewbelation series as limited seasonal releases. Rejewvenator is a half-doppelbock, half-Belgian-style dubbel that takes inspiration from the German custom of brewing strong, dark lagers (bocks) for springtime consumption and adding the suffix “-ator” to the beer’s name. Rejewvenator's spring-to-fall availability coincides with the barley harvest in the spring and the hop harvest in the fall, as well as with the spring and fall new years in Jewish tradition. The beer itself is a lager-ale hybrid, fermented by both a lager yeast and Trappist and abbey ale yeasts, and each year a different sacred species fruit is added to the fermenting wort. The 2008 Rejewvenator, for example, featured fig juice, while the 2009 Rejewvenator was made with California date juice and 2010 Rejewvenator, with Concord grapes. The Beverage Testing Institute awarded both Rejewvenator 2009 and Rejewvenator 2010 a gold medal at their 2010 and 2011 World Beer Championships, respectively.
Inaugurated as an eighth-anniversary ale called Jewbelation 8, Shmaltz commemorates their anniversary with each subsequent edition of Jewbelation by using the same number of malts, hops, and alcohol-by-volume value as the number of years they have been brewing. Numerology is integral to the Hebrew alphabet and Judaism, and in recognition of this aspect of its Jewish heritage, Shmaltz features religious, scientific, and cultural facts and quotations involving the special anniversary number on the Jewbelation label. This extreme beer is released in the fall, and Chanukah 2011 marked the 15th anniversary of Shmaltz and the release of Jewbelation 15. In keeping with the Jewbelation tradition, this beer contained 15 malts, 15 hops, and 15% ABV. In the fall 2011 Shmaltz also released Genesis 15:15, a barrel-aged Harvest Barleywine brewed with pomegranates, figs, dates, and Concord grapes, to commemorate its anniversary. The series is on its 18th iteration as of 2014.
In February 2012, Shmaltz released Hop Manna IPA the first IPA in the HE'BREW line. The name refers to manna, the sacred food that fell from the sky to the desert to feed the Israelites following their exodus from Egypt. Hop Manna was slated to be released in 2011[needs update] only on draft, with a full national launch of bottles and draft in 2012.
The Hop Manna premiered at SF Beer Week in February 2012. The brew went on to take the gold medal at the 2012 World Beer Championships and maintains a 95 rating on Ratebeer.com. Hop Manna features six hops (Warrior, Cascade, Citra, Amarillo, Crystal, Centennial), three dry hops (Centennial, Cascade and Citra), and is balanced out with five malts (Specialty 2-Row, Wheat, Munich, Vienna, CaraMunich 40). At 65 IBUs and 6.8% ABV, Hop Manna became nationally available in 22 oz. bottles and a limited amount of draft at select bars. In 2014, the brand became available in 4-pack, 12 oz. bottles, as well.
To commemorate the transformation from 17 years as a contract brewer to their new life as their own brewery, Shmaltz released a new year-round offering Death of a Contract Brewer Black IPA. Death of a Contract Brewer is brewed with 7 Malts (specialty 2-row, munich, wheat, crystal rye, chocolate, pale chocolate, kiln coffee) and 7 Hops (cascade, citra, summit, crystal, amarillo, ahtanum, chinook), and comes in at 7% ABV.
After 18 years, in November 2014, Shmaltz decided to release their first ever Hanukkah beer - Hanukkah, Chanakuh: Pass the Beer. "Isn't it fitting, that on our 18th anniversary, Shmaltz Brewing would finally come out with our very first Chanukah beer?" says Jeremy Cowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing Company. No matter how you spell the festival of lights, Shmaltz Brewing was proud to debut its first-ever limited-edition release specifically celebrating all the miracles of the 8 crazy nights: Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer. 8 is a miraculous number in Jewish life. Its cultural/religious significance runs the gambit with several holidays spanning 8 days (Chanukah, Passover, Sukkot), a bris (circumcision) taking place on the newborn's 8th day, and Seinfeld running for 8 years (for more deep shtick, see the 4-pack label listed below). The official Chosen Beer of this holiday season, Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer is a Dark Ale brewed with 8 malts, 8 hops, and heats up at 8% ABV.
In connection with each Chanukah season, Shmaltz hosts an annual beer challenge “Chanukah vs. Christmas: The Battle Royale of Beers” in national markets including NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore and others. Shmaltz handpicks several "Chosen Bars" from the East Coast to the West Coast to "feature a very special array of Shmaltz’s current holiday releases, vintage seasonals and award-winning year round favorites". From 2009 to 2014, Shmaltz produced a "He'Brew Gift Box", which Shmaltz favorites, a custom glass, Hanukkah candles, and an image with instructions for a "Build Your Own Beer Menorah Contest".
Beginning in April 2015, Shmaltz Brewing began offering Slingshot a American Craft Lager in six-packs to their year round lineup. Slingshot, previously offered as David's Slingshot Hoppy Summer Lager was only available in the springtime variety pack, Hops in He'Brew beginning in 2013. Slingshot was "purposefully created to stand up to the big beer Goliaths of the world. Boasting a bright, citrusy hop aroma, supported by touches of wheat and rye. Cowan, says, “Craft brewers are now releasing a slew of 5% abv lagers and ales – true session beers – across their entire production in order to storm the shelves and taps held in the past so securely by the largest competitors. These fizzy golden beers perhaps appear similar to the mass produced distant relatives – but with a level of craftsmanship, detail, innovation found only in the small batches and risk taking of the family of passionate small business artisans. Although Shmaltz brews a wide variety of inventive craft ales and lagers, Slingshot, steps into the mainstream action – with an obvious signature Shmaltz style – our chosen shtick!” 
2015 was also the year of two new releases - Wishbone, a "sessionable" double IPA and Bock Bock, a new barrel-aged imperial bock. Wishbone debuted in the Hops in He'Brew Spring Variety pack and will clock in at 8% ABV. It will be a "delightful “sessionable” option for any summer occasion.
Like many of its craft brewing counterparts, Shmaltz Brewing has begun aging several of its more complex and higher alcohol beers in various barrels previously used to store whiskey and bourbon whiskey. HE'BREW R.I.P.A. on Rye, Vertical Jewbelation, and Genesis 15:15 were all aged in Sazerac 6-year Rye Whiskey barrels, while Barrel-Aged Coney Island Human Blockhead was the first Shmaltz beer to be aged in Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrels. While the beers in the barrel-aged series are Shmaltz's most limited offerings, they are also the most award-winning: R.I.P.A. on Rye was the Silver Medalist in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival and the Beverage Testing Institute awarded Vertical Jewbelation a gold medal at its 2011 World Beer Championships.
Beginning in 2012, Shmaltz released for a limited engagement Funky Jewbelation. Funky is a blend of several ales and lagers, and dances in at 9.8% alc. Funky Jewbelation celebrates its 5th annual release in 2016 and offers 9.4% ABV. Funky Jewbelation is an expert mashup of Jewbelation 15 (aged three months), Vintage Jewbelation (aged nine months), Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. (aged one month), Origin Pomegranate Strong Ale (aged 14 months), Reunion Ale '11 (aged seven months), and Messiah Nut Brown Ale (aged 14 months). As of March 2016, Funky Jewbelation is in its fifth annual release. Still a blend of several ales and lagers: Jewbelation Reborn (Jewbelation 17); Messiah Nut Brown Ale; Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.; Winter Lager 2013; Rejewvenator '14; and Death of a Contract Brewer Black IPA. All of which, were aged in 65% bourbon barrels and 35% rye whisky barrels.
Scheduled to be released in May 2016, Bock Bock an imperial barrel-aged bock beer will be offered as a limited release. Bock Bock is a burly Imperial American Bock aged over 3 months in half Jim Beam and half Heaven Hill whiskey barrels.
In 2011, Shmaltz joined up with Terrapin on their annual Reunion Ale, which is brewed annually in memory of Virginia MacLean, a dear friend of Alan Shapiro (founder of SBS Imports) and Pete Slosberg’s (creator of Pete’s Wicked Ale™) and a dedicated cancer research supporter who lost her own battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, and a portion of the proceeds from Reunion Ale '11 is donated directly to the IMBCR. Reunion is a unique beer because each year a new ingredient is added. Reunion Ale ’15 is a dark Imperial Brown Ale brewed with toasted coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted coffee from Creekside Café in Burnt Hills, New York and cocoa nibs from Nashville, Tennessee’s Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company. Following its initial release in 2007, the Reunion project has raised more than $130,000 for the IMBCR through bottle and draft sales of Reunion, retailer fundraising events, and private donations. Beer lovers can also donate money directly through the Reunion website or the IMBCR website.
Coined "The Immaculate Collaboration", 2013 saw the beginning of a new brewery and a new collaboration with Shmaltz and Cathedral Square. The original 2013 St. Lenny's was a "monk-inspired version of our beloved Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A. with Belgian yeast".
2015 brought the return of “The Immaculate Collaboration” — a labor of personal history and love of beer and shtick between two longtime friends and colleagues from Shmaltz and Cathedral Square. The first in the "Immaculate Collaboration" was the original St. Lenny's. In the true spirit of collaboration, Cathedral Square’s Brian Neville joined the Shmaltz brewing staff to concoct the second recipe of St. Lenny’s (Belgian Style Rye Double IPA). St. Lenny’s flips the award-winning rye double IPA on its head using a custom Belgian yeast blend (2 Trappist and 1 Abbey) with the original R.I.P.A. recipe. With a spicy punch of rye and caraway, fruity clove and anise flavors, and a gorgeous Belgian character, St. Lenny’s is destined to intrigue hop heads and Belgian beer fans alike.
In January 2015, Shmaltz released with Cathedral Square Saint Jewbelation Belgian Style Imperial Sour Rye. Saint Jewbelation is a re-interpreted recipe of Shmaltz's Monumental Jewbelation- brewed and fermented with Belgian yeast in the Show Me State of Missouri by the expert hands of Cathedral Square Brewery - and aged in the treasured barrels previously inhabited by 2014 Funky Jewbelation.
On Sunday, March 8, 2015, Shmaltz brewed the very first "She'Brew" beer in collaboration with the 2nd Annual International Collaboration Women's Brew Day. The singular brewing effort was coordinated by the Pink Boots Society to empower female brewers and help women further their careers in the craft beer industry through scholarships and educational programs. Women around the world will suit up in their pink boots to brew variations of a single recipe. Proceeds from beer sales will be donated to the Pink Boots Society and a select charity, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region (Albany, NY), whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Shmaltz celebrates their sisters in brewing with the debut of She’brew.
“The first She’brew Beer is an exceedingly delectable Triple IPA that will pour a rich blonde with a silky white head,” says Richie Saunders, the lead brewer at Shmaltz Brewing. “The bouquet of She’brew will have distinct high alpha hops, complete with subtle pine notes. Yet, the focus will be on sultry fruit perfumes from a collection of specifically selected hops, such as Calypso, Citra and Amarillo. At a modest 12% ABV, She’brew will pack a wallop, but behind the numbers you will find a silky beer with a mild mouthfeel and softer body than what would be expected. She’s hoppy, she smells great, she’brew!” 
List of beers brewed
|Brand||Name||Original Release Date||Availability||Style||ABV%|
|He'brew||Slingshot American Craft Lager||2011||'11-'14 Seasonal; Year Round||Hoppy Rye Lager||5.3|
|He'brew||Hop Manna IPA||2011||Year Round||IPA||6.8|
|He'brew||Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A.||2006||Year Round||Rye Imperial India Pale Ale||10.0|
|He'brew||Messiah Nut Brown Ale||1999||Year Round||Nut Brown Ale||5.2|
|He'brew||Genesis Dry Hopped Session Ale||1996, Dec||Limited||Dry Hopped Session Ale||5.6|
|He'brew||St. Lenny's Belgian Rye Double IPA||2013||Limited||Belgian style rye Double India Pale Ale||10.0|
|He'brew||Origin Pomegranate Ale||2006||Vintage||Imperial Amber Ale brewed with pomegranate juice||8.0|
|He'brew||Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel||2008, May||Seasonal||Belgian-style dubbel/doppelbock hybrid brewed with figs (2008); dates (2009); Concord grapes (2010); Merlot grapes (2014)||8.0|
|He'brew||Jewbelation Anniversary Ale||2004, Dec||Seasonal||American Strong Ale/Imperial Brown Ale - number of malts and hops used and ABV corresponds to anniversary||8-17|
|He'brew||Genesis 10:10||2006||Limited||Imperial Amber Ale brewed with pomegranate juice||8.0|
|He'brew||R.I.P.A. on Rye||2010||Limited||Rye Imperial India Pale Ale aged in Rye Whiskey barrels||10.0|
|He'brew||Vertical Jewbelation||2010, Dec||Limited||A blend of all seven recipes of Jewbelation aged in (Sazerac 6-year Rye Whiskey barrels) Jewbelations 8-14||10.5|
|He'brew||Funky Jewbelation||2012||Limited||Barrel-Aged Strong Sour Brown Ale, a blend of 6 ales aged in Rye Whiskey and Bourbon barrels Funky Jewbelations '12-'15||9.4-9.8|
|He'brew||Death Of A Contract Brewer Black IPA||2013||Year Round||Black India Pale Ale||7.0|
|He'brew||Reunion Ale||2011||Limited||Ale Brewed with Toasted Coconut, Coffee, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Chocolate & Cocoa Nibs||7.3-8|
|He'brew||Genesis 15:15||2011, Sep||Limited||Harvest Barleywine brewed with pomegranates, figs, dates, and Concord grapes and aged in Rye Whiskey barrels||13.4|
|He'brew||Hanukkah Chanukah Pass The Beer||2014, Nov||Seasonal||Dark Ale||8.0|
|He'brew||Wishbone Session Double IPA||2015, June||Seasonal||American IPA||8.0|
|He'brew||Bock Bock||2015, May||Seasonal||Imperial Barrel-Aged American Bock aged in half Jim Beam and half Heaven Hill whiskey barrels||9.2|
|He'brew||She'Brew||2015, April||Limited||Triple IPA; brewed originally for International Women's Collaboration Brew Day (IWBCD) on March 8, 2015||11.0|
|He'brew||Vulcan Ale||2016, January||Limited||Red Session IPA||5.4|
|He'brew||Rejewvenator 2013||2013, April||Vintage||Belgian-style dubbel/doppelbock brewed with figs and dates||8.0|
|He'brew||Circum Session||2016, April||Limited||Barrel-Aged Tart Pomegranate Wit||5.5|
|He'brew||Brewers Wanted Pale Ale||2015||Limited||Pale Ale||5.5|
Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah
In September 2010 owner Jeremy Cowan published a small business memoir, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, that chronicles Cowan's upbringing in the Northern California suburbs and describes how HE'BREW Beer evolved from an inside joke with high school friends to a nationally distributed craft beer brand under Shmaltz Brewing Company. The book was launched at Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, and a second edition was released in December 2010. "Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah" was written with help from friend and journalist James Sullivan and is published by Malt Shop Publishing.
National distribution of Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah began in September 2011 through Small Press United. It is available at bookstores across the country, as well as at major digital retail outlets including Amazon.com. Detailed information on Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, including a free sampling of Chapter One and suggested beer pairings, can be viewed at here
Coney Island Craft Lagers
Summer 2008 marked the official launch of Shmaltz's Coney Island Craft Lagers line. This brand was released in partnership with the arts organization Coney Island USA, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit, and a portion of the proceeds from Coney Island Craft Lagers directly benefited Coney Island USA. The line includes the flagship Coney Island Lager, which was first released in June 2007, and five experimental lagers: Sword Swallower, Albino Python, Mermaid Pilsner, Human Blockhead (Winter), and Freaktoberfest (Fall). In 2010 the brand was awarded "Best Craft Brewer" and "Best in Show" at industry publication Beverage World Magazine's BevStar Awards for product quality, brand marketing, and overall creativity in "pushing the limits of lager."
The artwork for Coney Island Lagers was the creation of Shmaltz’s art director Matt Polacheck and Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Dave C. Wallin, whose original illustrations spotlight Heather Holliday (Sword Swallower) and the MC of the sideshow, Donny Vomit (Human Blockhead). The logo for the brand and for Coney Island Lager is based on the iconic "Tillie" face that graced the entrance of George Tilyou's Steeplechase Park in Coney Island.
Coney Island Brewing Company
In May 2010 Shmaltz launched its first brewing location in Brooklyn, New York. At one gallon of beer per batch, Coney Island Brewing Company was officially the smallest commercial brewery by volume in the world. In August 2011 Coney Island Brewing Company registered as a fully licensed brewery with the state of New York, and within its 175-square foot space brewery staff began bottling its nano-batches of beer for sale to the public, including a Pumpernickel Bagel Porter and a Cotton Candy Wit Ale.
Boston Beer Co. Acquires Coney Island
On August 26, 2013, A&S Brewing Collaborative LLC, d/b/a Alchemy & Science (“A&S”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM), acquired all rights to the Coney Island brand from Shmaltz Brewing Company, LLC (formerly known as Coney Island Brewing Company, LLC) (“Shmaltz”), as well as some brewery equipment and other assets related to the Coney Island brand. In connection with the acquisition, A&S entered into a two-year brewing services agreement with Shmaltz for Shmaltz to brew all of the Coney Island Beers.
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