Clifton Park, NY — In 2017, Shmaltz Brewing Company turns 21 years old and kicks the year into gear with a new recipe of their famed barrel aged sour, Funky Jewbelation. The lauded Funky Jewbelation series (2012-2017) has brought home some impressive honors, including a Gold Medal with the World Beer Championships, being awarded the Grand Champion (Giant Beer Category) at US Beer Tasting Championship, a Gold Medal in packaging with Beverage World’s “BevStar Awards,” a silver medal at the prestigious World Beer Cup 2014, and consistent 94-98 ratings from RateBeer.com.
A Salvage Job Results in Success
Since its inception in 1996, Shmaltz has constantly adapted to the ever-evolving craft beer world. Funky Jewbelation® is a great example of the creative spirit Shmaltz has pioneered for the past two decades. For 17 years, Shmaltz was a proud cheerleader of contract brewing, which can present its own advantages and challenges. While they almost never ran into any quality issues, the beginning of Funky Jewbelation® happened to be just such a time.
What was supposed to be their most beloved seasonal of 2008 (15th Anniversary Jewbelation Ale®), it turned out to be a total catastrophe. A fermentation failure happened, and Shmaltz had almost 300 barrels worth of beer they thought they’d have to dump. The beer was expected to finish at 15% ABV and it barely made it to 11%, no matter what kind, or quantity, of yeast they threw at it. It was overly sweet, and lacked the flavor and complexity consistent with the brewery’s Jewbelation® series. The production costs were through the roof, and Shmaltz had to find a way to fix the situation. Jeremy Cowan (Founder, Shmaltz Brewing Company) was struck by the idea of blending this batch with a few other Shmaltz beers.
“A few years prior to this, we were at GABF next to Firestone Walker, and they were pouring their Anniversary Series, which was a beautiful blend they’d put together,” says Cowan. “Additionally, I had recently done a collaboration project with Scott Vaccaro (Captain Lawrence) and Jeff O’Neil (then at Ithaca Brewing) for NYC Beer Week, blending two of their sour beers with two of our barrel-aged beers. We called it Geektoberfest and it was a wildly interesting beer.”
Shmaltz did the only thing they could do at this point, use the off-batch of beer as a base and blend in additional beers from the rest of their portfolio that were placed into any available barrels they had at the time. After barrel-aging beers such as Messiah Nut Brown Ale®, Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A.®, and Origin Pomegranate Strong Ale® in various bourbon and whiskey barrels, Shmaltz churned out their first ever Funky Jewbelation®. A salvage job turned into a brilliant opportunity with the brew taking home two consecutive gold medals at the 2012 and 2013 World Beer Championships, and a silver medal at the prestigious World Beer Cup 2014 behind Rodenbach Vintage.
The Funky Is Reborn in 2017
For the 2017 release of Funky Jewbelation®, Shmaltz loaded eight individual ales and lagers from across their acclaimed craft beer portfolio for ten to thirty months into bourbon and rye whiskey barrels from Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Willett, Redemption, Sazerac, and Wild Turkey. Funky Jewbelation® glistens a deep, rich, ruby color with tart flavors of dark fruit, raspberries, blueberries, fig, and complex malts — caramel, toffee, and rye. Aromas bounce between bittersweet chocolate, farmhouse funk, and tart peach and apricot. A mouthwatering puckering is complemented by pronounced hits of bourbon, charred wood, molasses and light notes of bing cherry, ending with a wine-like mouth feel.
This year’s hand blended recipe of Funky Jewbelation® is an expert mash-up of Jewbelation 19® (test batch brewed as the base of Funky, 11 months in advance of blending) and Jewbelation 20®, Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer®, Messiah Nut Brown Ale®, St. Lenny’s®, Rejewvenator® 2014, Origin Pomegranate Strong Ale®, and Genesis 20:20®.
In advance of NYC Beer Week, Shmaltz debuts the 2017 recipe of Funky Jewbelation® at its early Valentine’s Day get down, Pucker Up Fest, in the Shmaltz Brewing Tasting Room on Saturday, February 11, 2017 (2pm – 6 pm, $25). For lovers of sours, chocolate and fruit, don’t miss this special Valentine’s Day weekend hook up!
Tickets to the Pucker Up Fest are now available via Eventbrite.
Funky Jewbelation® will also be featured at the following events:
February 8 — Shmaltz Happy Hour @ Keg Stand, West Des Moines, IA
February 9 — Funky Klingon Orgy @ El Bait Shop, Des Moines, IA
February 10 — Shmaltz Sampling @ Beer World, Kingston, NY
February 16 — Product Sampling @ CBC Fenway, Boston, MA
February 17 — Funky Klingon Party @ Five Star Bar, Chicago, IL
February 17 — Funky Beer Dinner @ Aroma Thyme Bistro, Ellenville, NY
February 18 — Product Sampling @ Binny’s, Lincolnwood, IL
Stayed tuned for announcements regarding Shmaltz Brewing’s Funky Jewbelation® launch events taking place throughout NYC Beer Week, from February 24 – March 5, 2017.
About Shmaltz Brewing Company
Founder and owner Jeremy Cowan established Shmaltz Brewing in San Francisco in 1996. The first 100 cases of He’brew Beer® were hand-bottled and delivered throughout the Bay Area from the back of his Grandmother’s Volvo. Shmaltz Brewing now sells He’brew Beer across 35 states, through 40 wholesalers and in nearly 5,000 retailers.
After 17 years of being an outspoken cheerleader for contract brewing, Cowan and staff opened their own New York State production brewery in 2013 in Clifton Park, 10 minutes north of Albany. Shmaltz’s home boasts a 50-barrel brewhouse with 30,000 barrels of annual capacity and packages a diverse and tasty variety of core and seasonal favorites in 12 and 22-ounce bottles and kegs. The Shmaltz Tasting Room is open five days a week (Wed-Sun) and offers tours, barrel-aged previews, beer-to-go, and special releases.
RateBeer.com ranked Shmaltz as one of the “Top 100 Brewers in the World” in 2013, and the brewery brought home 10 gold and 6 silver medals from the World Beer Championships in the past several years.