Beer Jewrnal: The First Night

12/02/2010 5:01 PM |


Dear Beer Jewrnal,

I’m sure every Jewish girl like me has had the same fantasy: I go out to a bar in New York City, grumbling about the lack of good Jewish med school students who can afford to buy a girl a drink these days. I sip my Coors Light, hair getting frizzier by the minute, when I hear a deep voice behind me. I turn to see a tall, dark haired, blue-eyed male handing me a bottle of JEWISH beer. “Shalom,” he says, his voice deep like Vin Diesel’s or Antonio Banderas’. He smiles, I take the beer, and it tastes creamy and sweet, like beer in the old country tastes. I spend the rest of the night drinking this elixir and chatting about med school with the man who gave it to me, and when I wake up in the morning I don’t have a hangover.

Well Beer Jewrnal, dreams really do come true. Last night on the first night of Hanukkah, I picked myself away from my Adam Sandler love songs and went out on the town, looking for a nice Jewish brew to bring home. I found myself at Idle Hands in the East Village for the first of several Shmaltz Brewing Hanukkah Events. There, on the taps, were several of Shmaltz’ award-winning beers; namely the seasonal Jewbilation series that has been re-brewed, set in aging barrels, and blended up to be served at 88 Chosen Bars throughout the Nation.

Each of the beers have the alcohol content of paint thinner (Jewbilation 14 is 14%), but the real danger is that they taste like cream soda. There are eight Jewbilation brews (allowing you to make your own menorah with the bottles), this year’s release, Vertical Jewbilation, is a blend of the other seven. At each of the Shmaltz “Chosen Bars” that are serving Jewbilation from now until Dec 9, $20 will get drinkers four half pints of selected Jewbilation brews all served in a commemorative glass emblazoned with a cartoon Rabbi.

Obviously, there were no tall, blue eyed Antonio Banderas-type med students pouring the brews. At least none that are of the Jewish tradition. But hey, Hanukkah isn’t over, I still may get more gifts.

I’ve always enjoyed Shmaltz’s He’Brew Rejewvenator as a good, ironic drink to have on Shabbat or when I remember I should have gone to synagogue for some holiday or other, but the Jewbilation series is a force to be reckoned with. Last night I stuck with Jewbilation 11; though it’s creamy and dark, it’s not as strong and bitter as a stout, and quite comforting in the freezing weather. You hear that, Bubbe? This should replace Manishevitz wine for all holidays immediately if not sooner.

Tonight, I will venture out of my yarmulke-clad neighborhood to Pony Bar in Hell’s Kitchen to see Shmaltz Brewing Company owner Jeremy Cowan become a man as he signs his new book “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah. I heard there was free food, so I’m bringing Tupperware, like my Bubbe taught me.

Wish me luck!