Shalom Life | April 10, 2014

The Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide: Shmaltz Brewing Company [GIVEAWAY]

As we embark on Day 2 of our 8-day-long Gift Guide, we suggest taking a gander at the world's most successful Jewish-themed brewing company

By: Daniel Koren

Published: November 12th, 2013 in News » World

Put on your yarmulke. It's time.

As Hanukkah draws nearer, Shalom Life is proud to continue with our Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide: 8 crazy nights of amazing gift ideas, and 8 crazy nights of free giveaways, poised to make this year's holiday a bit easier, a bit less stressful, and a bit lighter on your wallet.

Join us as we list the essential gifts for this year's Hanukkah season, and highlight those companies who are making every effort to bring them directly to your doorstep.

For Day 2 of the Guide, Shalom Life is proud to partner with Shmaltz Brewing Company, an American craft brewing company based out of Clifton Park, New York which distributes its famous line of HE'BREW - The Chosen Beers across the United States, Canada, and even England. Shmaltz has become famous for its hilarious Jewish-themed beers that are topical, creative, and also, absolutely delicious. We all know us Jews like to drink; naturally, a 6-pack of Genesis Dry Hopped Session Ale or a 22 oz bottle of Jewbelation Reborn would be the perfect gift for a parent, sibling, spouse, or best friend.

Or you can go ahead and treat yourself to one.

GIVEAWAY: As part of the Essential Gift Guide, Shmaltz Brewing Company is pleased to offer a limited edition He'Brew Beer T-shirt, and a customized beer glass to ONE lucky winner. To enter, share this story via Facebook and/or Twitter and LIKE both Shmaltz Brewing Company and Shalom Life on Facebook. Then send an email to contests@shalomlife.com with the headline SHMALTZ. Happy Holidays!


Make sure to check back here tomorrow for more gift ideas and free giveaways as we move forward with our 8-day Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide.

Break out the latkes, turducken and HE'BREW Beer, it's time to celebrate Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving, with Shmaltz Brewing Company

Established in 1996 by proprietor Jeremy Cowan, Shmaltz is the world's only Jewish-themed craft brewing company.

Speaking to Shalom Life, Cowan describes the project initially as using beer as a vehicle to promote Jewish content, history and shtick. Since then, Shmaltz's successful line of HE’BREW Beer has become an internationally acclaimed venture. Just this year, they were ranked as one of the "Top 100 Brewers in the World" by RateBeer.com, and won 9 Gold and 5 Silver Medals in the World Beer Championships in 2012.

They've also been included in the "Top 50 Fastest Growing Bay Area Companies" by San Francisco Business Times.


"When I started Shmaltz, it was really just an experiment. I just thought it would be fun and funny to make this country's first and only Jewish celebration beer," says Cowan. "And so, I went to a tiny brewery in Northern California and did exactly what I do now, which is say, "Hey I have an idea for a project and I'm wondering if you could help me." We brewed 100 cases of Genesis Ale, our flagship for Hanukkah 1996. It was all hand bottled and hand labeled, and I delivered it around Northern California to a handful of retail stores myself. Now, 17 years later, we're distributed in 35 states. We probably have about 40 wholesalers, and 4,000 retailers around the country."

After the first eight years of operations, Cowan decided that, for Hanukkah (and the company's anniversary), Shmaltz would release a special edition beer. That year, the beer contained 8 malts, 8 hops, and was 8% alcohol.

Now, 17 years since that first batch of HE'BREW's, and Cowan's still at it, with this year's Holiday beer, the Jewbelation Reborn, crafted with 17 hops, 17 malts, is 17% alcohol, and is a 'complex, enormous brown ale with a dynamic labyrinth of multi-layered flavours.'

That sounds like one strong and delicious beer.

Also in anticipation of the anniversary, and of Thanksgivukkah, which the brewing company notes has only occurred once before in history, they are also releasing their 4th Annual He'Brew Holiday Gift Pack, and their first-ever Black IPA, the Death of a Contract Brewer. These beers, Cowan notes, are being crafted at Shmaltz's brand new 20,000 square-foot brewery in Upstate New York.


Shmaltz's 4th Annual HE'BREW Holiday Gift Pack features eight 12 oz. bottles of beer including the World Beer Championship Silver Medal winning Messiah Nut Brown Ale and Gold Medal winner Rejewvenator. The Gift Pack features a custom glass, Chanukah candles and instructions on "How To Build Your Own Beer Menorah."

"It's a kind of a fun, playful way to celebrate the holidays for adults," Cowan says.

"We focus creating high end craft beer," he explains to me, "bringing together the best of both worlds. We make beer that highlights the Jewish experience, but just like you don't have to be Irish to drink Guiness, as long as beer is delicious and super high quality, we make delicious craft beer that everyone can enjoy."

Cowan also notes that he's come up with all the clever beer titles (puns galore) himself.

In 2010, Cowan published his small business memoir, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah: How It Took 13 Years, Extreme Jewish Brewing, and Circus Sideshow Freaks to Make Shmaltz Brewing Company an International Success. A free sampling of Chapter One and suggested beer pairings, can be viewed at www.craftbeerbarmitzvah.com.


Over the past 17 years, Shmaltz Brewing Company has grown into a 200,000 case per year operation (over 12,000 barrels), grossing $3.9 million in sales in 2012, a 42% increase over 2011.

Essentially, Cowan, who is an active member of the Jewish community, has started a movement in craft brewing, and one that Jewish beer pundits can seriously get involved with. While stereotypes may dictate that Jews should only drink Manischewitz during high holidays, Cowan has provided us with kosher, fun, and delicious He'Brews that's fun for the whole family (that is, if all the members of your family are over 19 in Canada, and 21 in the States).

Shmaltz's various gift packs and Hanukkah themed beers are the perfect gift for Jews and non Jews alike; and if you're a fan of memorabilia, and hilarious gift ideas, be sure to enter our contest (details mentioned above) to win some free swag from Shmaltz.

Hag Sameach, and make sure to tune in to Shalom Life tomorrow as we continue our 8-day Essential Hanukkah Gift Guide.

L'chaim!!!!

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