Shmaltz Brewing Releases Death Hoppy Black Ale for Halloween

Shmaltz Brewing death hoopy

Clifton Park, NY — When Shmaltz Brewing Company parted ways with their contract brewing habits and opened their very own Upstate New York brewery, Shmaltz knew the best way to commemorate that moment was to brew an extra special beer. In 2013, Death of a Contract Brewer was born and Shmaltz’s contract brewing days passed. This year’s Death Hoppy Black Ale is an homage to new life and the Jewish tradition of mourning. Seven days are spent mourning in Jewish culture, so when it came time to brew Death Hoppy Black Ale, Shmaltz’s Head Brewer Richie Saunders added 7 hops, 7 malts, and ended up with 7% ABV. Overflowing with characteristics of coffee, dark chocolate, and fresh citrus with a mix of pine, the hoppy black ale’s deep roasted malt flavors provide support for a bold mix of bright and bitter West Coast hops.

Only available through Halloween, Death Hoppy Black Ale features updated packaging design by Shmaltz’s Art Director Matt Polacheck. The award-winning designer notes, “Last year, we introduced the black and white Death sugar skull to honor our past life as a contract brewer. Borrowing elements from our rebranding of the Shmaltz logo (hop eyes and nose, malt mustache and fermenter teeth), the 2016 packaging represents where we are today at our new brewery in Clifton Park, NY. With the addition of bright colors, it further symbolizes our constant pursuit of creativity, fun and uniqueness in both design and brewing exceptional beer.”

Death Hoppy Black Ale won “Best of the Mid-Atlantic/Southeast” with the United States Beer Tasting Championship, and “2014 Products of the Year – Beer Winner” with Drink Me Magazine’s 150 Elite Awards. Death Hoppy Black Ale has a 96 Rating with

Perfectly summing up Death Hoppy Black Ale, DRAFT Magazine comments on the 2014 release, “The hops’ grassy and grapefruit flavors meet dark malts’ quiet chocolate and big roast, for a palatable IPA-meets-dark-beer experience. The key to making this style work is harmonizing the roast and the hop bitterness, while allowing the best of the flavors of both worlds to express in an enlivened way: Death® hits all of those notes with ease.”

Death Hoppy Black Ale release events are happening all across the country, please see the venues and cities where Shmaltz hosts special tastings: Archie’s Iowa Rockwell (Chicago, IL: Oct. 25), Bull and Barrel (Latham, NY: Oct. 28), Flying Saucer San Antonio (San Antonio, TX: Oct. 29), Ama Cocina (Albany, NY: Oct. 29), Barcade Jersey City (Jersey City, NJ: Oct. 29), and College Town Bagles (Ithaca, NY: Nov. 2).

Death Hoppy Black Ale is now nationally available in 35 states through Shmaltz’s extensive distribution network. To find a wholesaler near you, please visit

From the Label of Death Hoppy Black Ale:
Death seems so obvious: the end of life, no mas, kaput. But Humans stand an optimistic animal. Many traditions suggest alternate endings: Resurrection, reincarnation, rebirth, afterlife. Even the atheist view of Eternal Oblivion doesn’t seem quite final. As usual, Jewish tradition prescribes… Food. 7 days of family, community, and bagels (beer!) called, Shiva, meaning “7” in Hebrew. The flip side to the 7 days of Creation with the 7th as a holy day of rest. The first meal of Shiva is “the comfort meal.” And the number 7 provides powerful mojo: 7 Jewish wedding blessings, 7 Liberal Arts, 7 stars of the Big Dipper, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 seas, 007 license to kill, 7 dwarves, 7 deadly sins, Best of 7 finals in NBA, NHL, MLB, 7th Inning stretch. George Costanza yearned to name his firstborn, “7” as a living tribute to #7 Mickey Mantle. The 7 award however must go to the immortal George Carlin for 7 Dirty Words, inspired by another He’brew hero Lenny Bruce. To commemorate our conversion from that “dirty word” in craft to our very own crib in Clifton Park, behold DEATH (of a Contract Brewer) BLACK ALE, our Shmaltz homage to new life. Home sweet home. L’Chaim!

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. 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.

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