Malts: 2-Row, Victory, Special Roast, Brown, Dark Crystal, Chocolate
Hops: Warrior, Summit (plus cocoa nibs, vanilla, chili pepper)
Founded by former Pete’s Brewing Co. (Pete’s Wicked Ale) coworkers Pete Slosberg and Alan Shapiro, as well as Virginia MacLean, who passed away from Multiple Myeloma in 2007, “Reunion – A Beer For Hope” was begun that year to raise money for The Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. Brewed now in Virginia’s memory, each year’s beer is a different recipe and features different brewing company partners. This year, Georgia’s Terrapin Brewing Co. returns for their third year, joined by newcomer, Shmaltz. 100% of profits go to the IMBCR. To learn more or make a donation, visit www.reunionbeer.com.
This year’s brew is wonderfully adventurous: an imperial brown ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla, and chili peppers. On the pour, it offers a deep, dark brown with ruby highlights and a voluminous tan head. Look for a lightly bready malt character on the nose, with a mildly sweet and creamy vanilla note accompanied by a hint of dark chocolate and a light soil-like impression. On the palate: Bam! The cocoa nibs make their appearance right away, contributing a beautifully pure chocolate flavor with prominent supporting vanilla notes – leading to a dessert-like impression. The chilies provide a delightful heat that offers an intriguing extra dimension of sensation. A spicy hop note offers moderate bitterness and plays very well with the chili heat, carbonation, and a touch of alcohol to bring a counterbalance to the beer’s sweet, malty, chocolatey-ness. Richly flavored, this medium-bodied brew would make an interesting accompaniment to chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, where the cocoa and vanilla can complement while the chili heat can contrast. Cheers to this superbly creative brew and the great cause it supports!
Not many brewing companies have the chutzpah to market their beers with the irreverent humor that the Shmaltz Brewing Company (based in San Francisco; brewed in Saratoga Springs, NY) has with their HE’BREW brand. From the slogan accompanying each of their brews, “The Chosen Beer,” to the name of their “Jewbelation” anniversary beers, it’s clear they approach the marketing with tongue firmly planted in cheek. But make no mistake, that’s where the joke ends; the beers themselves are the real deal, well-crafted by creative brewers whose passion is apparent with each sip.
The idea for HE’BREW beers began one night in 1987, when founder Jeremy Cowan and friends were drinking and brainstorming wild ideas for Jewish-themed products. It was then that the idea was born for a Kosher, high holy days celebratory brew to be called “HE’BREW,” and boasting the slogan “Don’t Pass Out, Passover!” In 1996, the dream became a reality; Cowan brewed up his first commercial batch of HE’BREW Genesis Ale for that year’s Hanukah celebration. After selling all one hundred cases of Genesis Ale out of the trunk of his grandmother’s Volvo, he decided the next year to quit his day job and focus his energy into building the company. By 2001, Shmaltz was selling 5,000 cases of HE’BREW beers annually, and around 2007, they launched the Coney Island brand of craft lagers (a bold move in a craft beer environment dominated by ales).
To learn more about Shmaltz and their HE’BREW and Coney Island beers, visit www.shmaltzbrewing.com.
Unmatched Variety by style, brewery & country
Choose from Five different Beer Clubs offering unmatched variety by brewery,
country of origin, and beer style to suit your specific tastes.