While the beer brand HE’BREW has surely made a lot of people laugh with its pun-oriented name, the success of its parent entity, the Shmaltz Brewing Company, is nothing to laugh at. Now an employer of 30 staff members with over 40 awards to its credit, Shmaltz has accomplished a lot in its 21 years. Beyond HE’BREW, the Clifton Park, New York-based brewer was once included in the “Top 50 Fastest Growing Bay Area Companies” by San Francisco Business Times and has been to known to produce up to 30,000 barrels annually.
Just in time for Hanukkah 2017, the Shmaltz Brewing Company unveiled three new holiday-related offerings. Chanukah, Hanukkah…Pass the Beer is a Golden Strong Ale with Cocoa Nibs, offering 8 percent ABV. Its Jewbelation 21 is a Dark American Strong Ale with a very high alcohol percentage of 12.1 percent. Shmaltz’s Shtick in a Box is perhaps the more gift-oriented selection of the three, a Holiday Variety 12-Pack.
Also unique about Shmaltz, beyond its seasonal beers, is its on-site tasting room, at which various Shmaltz products can be sampled. When interviewed for The Hype Magazine, Schmaltz Brewing Company founder Jeremy Cowan explained plans to expand this area of its business.
“Participating in the evolving craft beer scene in Upstate New York has encouraged us to brew more sessionable beers as well as invite brewers from around the region to our anniversary parties and seasonal beer fests,” Cowan said. “Next phase is the new tasting room in Troy, New York, opening in early 2018.”
Tomorrow we’ll be at the @TheCraftsman for 8 Crazy Flights! We’ll be featuring:
-Death Hoppy Black Ale
-Hanukkah in Napa
-Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA
-Slingshot American Craft Lager
-Reunion Ale 17 pic.twitter.com/Fz9Q8laP6Q
— Shmaltz Brewing Co. (@ShmaltzBrewing) December 14, 2017
Beyond its notoriety with HE’BREW, the Shmaltz Brewing Company gained a lot of attention with its Coney Island Craft Lagers line, as launched in the Summer of 2007. Initially launched in partnership with the arts organization Coney Island USA, Coney Island Craft Lagers included the flagship Coney Island Lager, Sword Swallower, Albino Python, Mermaid Pilsner, Human Blockhead, and Freaktoberfest. The Coney Island brand was awarded “Best Craft Brewer” and “Best in Show” at the 2010 Beverage World Magazine’s BevStar Awards.
Then the smallest commercial brewery due to its 175-square foot space, the Coney Island brand was acquired by the Boston Beer Company Inc. — parent company of Sam Adams — in August, 2013, leading to Boston Beer subsidiary A&S Brewing Collaborative LLC to become the producer of Coney Island beers.
Other recent popular HE’BREW seasonals have included 2011’s Genesis 15:15, 2016’s Star Trek 50 Golden Anniversary Ale, and 2017’s Star Trek Klingon Imperial Porter. Cowan notably celebrated the “bar mitzvah” of the Shmaltz Brewing Company in 2010, as detailed in his small business memoir Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah.