L’chaim! Shmaltz Grows Production 42 Percent in Clifton Park

One year after ditching a contract brewing business model for a shiny new brewing facility in Upstate New York, Shmaltz Brewing has grown its business nearly 50 percent.

The company, which produces and markets a line of craft beers with tongue-in-cheek Jewish themes, had been producing its beers under contract for 17 years when it decided to open its own brewery last July. At the same time, Shmaltz owner Jeremy Cowan sold his smaller Coney Island Lager brand to Boston Beer Company, in an effort to help finance its new Clifton Park, NY brewing facility.

Through the first six months of 2014, production has increased 42 percent over 2013 and, with the addition of Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, and Iowa, the company has extended its total distribution reach to 37 states.

After laying down roots in Clifton Park, Shmaltz was also able to establish a strong local foothold for its brands — sales are up 700 percent in the Capital Region of Upstate New York and its beers are now sold at more than 100 area bars, restaurants and off-premise accounts.

“After investing in our new $4 million brewery in Clifton Park, we now have total control over our top shelf quality processes and our own production capacity, allowing us to brew what we want, when we want,” Cowan said in a news release. “The creative possibilities for what we can brew are endless and our growth in production, sales and distribution is proof that the investment is paying off.”

And more growth is on the horizon. This August and October, the brewery will add four 200 barrel fermenters which will grow capacity to “nearly” 40,000 barrels.

With growth comes job creation. Shmaltz current has a staff of 24 and plans to hire for three new positions: accounting manager, lead second shift brewer, and lab technician.

“We have a great team in place and we look forward to our continued expansion here in Clifton Park,” added Cowan.

The full release is below.

Clifton Park, NY — With a first year under its belt at the new Upstate New York brewery, Shmaltz Brewing Company exceeded growth expectations and is already expanding brewery capacity and staff going into its second year. From the time Shmaltz opened their new 50-barrel brewery in July of 2013, sales of Shmaltz’s hand crafted beers have grown over 700% in the Capital Region of Upstate, NY. Shmaltz’s line of He’brew Beers┬« continue to appear throughout the local area, now placed in over 100 upstate New York bars, restaurants, and off-premise accounts. Total brewery output has increased 42% over 2013, about twice the national average. In August and October 2014, Shmaltz will increase its tank farm by 65% with the purchase of four new 200 barrel fermenters for a total brewing capacity of nearly 40,000 bbls. Shmaltz has also increased its staff to 24 employees, 12 of whom are new hires from the Upstate, NY area, including a full time Brewmaster, Director of Marketing, 3 brewers and cellermen, 5 packaging line and maintenance staff, and 2 tasting room personnel. Shmaltz is currently hiring three new positions for an accounting manager, a lead second-shift brewer and lab technician.Since opening the new brewery, Shmaltz’s national wholesaler network expands to 37 states with newly acquired territories such as Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, and Iowa. He’brew — The Chosen Beer┬« is also available internationally in both Canada and Hong Kong.Shmaltz’s most innovative limited-edition seasonal and barrel-aged offerings (as well as newly added core annual releases) to date have been brewed at the new facility, and several have won top accolades at renowned craft beer festivals:

*Grand Champion (Giant Beer Category) — Jewbelation Reborn┬« — United States Beer Tasting Championship

*Best Winter Seasonal — Jewbelation Reborn┬« — Great Alaska Beer & Barely Wine Festival

*Silver Medal (Sour & Barrel Aged Category) — Funky Jewbelation┬« — World Beer Cup

*Silver Medal — Death of a Contract Brewer┬« — Calgary Beer Fest

Jeremy Cowan, owner and proprietor of Shmaltz Brewing Company says, “After investing in our new $4 million brewery in Clifton Park, we now have total control over our top shelf quality processes and our own production capacity, allowing us to brew what we want, when we want. The creative possibilities for what we can brew are endless and our growth in production, sales and distribution is proof that the investment is paying off. And, most importantly, the flavors and aromas of our beers have never been better! We have a great team in place and we look forward to our continued expansion here in Clifton Park, NY — and with our growing tribe of Shmaltz beer lovers around the country.”

Over the past year, Shmaltz attracted a regional following of more than 7,000 customers to the new 1,700 square feet Tasting Room for notable events including the special collaboration with 17 New York State breweries for the Beer Gangs of New York – Shmaltz 1st Anniversary Bash for American Craft Beer Week, Black Friday Black Beer Fest with Adirondack Brewing, Father’s Day Bash with Terrapin Brewing Co.’s brewmaster Spike Buckowski, Toga Party celebrating the release of Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel┬« (brewed with grapes from NY and CA), exclusive seasonal release parties for its coveted barrel-aged blend, Funky Jewbelation┬«, and the upcoming Monkfest for the release of St. Lenny’s┬« Belgian Rye Double IPA (Friday, July 11; 6pm – 9pm).

This summer, Shmaltz hosts a series of renowned craft beer authors with “Books on Tap — the Craft of Writing About Craft Beer,” which is moderated by Shmaltz owner and Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah author Jeremy Cowan. The series kicks off on Sunday, July 20 with John Holl, author of the American Craft Beer Cookbook. The Ruck of Troy, NY is set to prepare select recipes from Holl’s cookbook to be paired with several Shmaltz offerings. The moderated discussion and book signing is followed by a tour of the 50-barrel brewery. Three additional events are planned for the series continuing in August 2014, including Giancarlo and Sarah Annese, Beer Lovers New York (8/3), Ben Keene, The Great Northeast Brewery Tour (8/10), and Tom Acitelli, The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution (8/17). More information is available on shmaltzbrewing.com.

According to the Brewers Association (State Craft Beer Production & Sales Data, 2013), New York State ranks 3rd in national economic impact as they cultivate more than $2 billion per year in craft beer sales. Shmaltz is among one of the newest brick and mortar breweries to join the additional 165 craft breweries in the state. In just a little over a dozen months, Shmaltz’s transition from contract brewing to operating its own brewing destiny has been a hard-earned success. For more information on their upcoming 2014 releases, please download Shmaltz’s 2014 Product Planner PDF.

About Shmaltz Brewing Company

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 recently 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 20,000 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.

In 2010/11, 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. In 2012, Cowan spearheaded the creation of the non-profit New York City Brewers Guild (which manages NYC Beer Week) and served as its Founding President.

Cowan also has presented at the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference, as well as previous Great American Beer Festivals, BevNet’s Brewbound conference, Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Festival, the Atlanta and the St. Louis Jewish Book Fairs, and the San Francisco and New York Jewish Museums.

Shmaltz Brewing beers have appeared in such distinguished media outlets as The New York Times, CNN Headline News, Beer Advocate Magazine, NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” Fox Business News, Men’s Health, San Francisco Chronicle, The Jerusalem Report, New York Jewish Week, and Washington Post.