When people think of Hanukkah they general think of menorahs, dreidels and latkes, but it is a little more than that. Its a festival of light celebrating the Jewish culture regaining the holy city of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Holy Temple. Now during this special time of year, the brewers at Shmaltz Brewing Company, based out of New York and San Francisco, release a series of brews called Jewbelation to help commemorate this holiest of holidays. The two new brews in the Jewbelation series this year are the Jewbelation 14 and Vertical Jewbelation.
The Shmaltz Brewing Company started back in 1996 in San Francisco by owner and head brewer Jeremy Cowan and has now grown from making its original one hundred cases of HeBrew to being one of the most recognizable craft beer companies in the world. They have two different brands of beers the HeBrew series and the sideshow-inspired Coney Island series. The Coney series includes brews such as the Human Blockhead, Sword Swallower and the Albino Python. Proceeds from the Coney series goes to help Coney Island USA and helps keep that offbeat part of American culture intact and thriving.
Jewbelation Fourteen - 14% ABV
This being the fourteenth installment of the Jewbelation series, it has a lot to of hype to live up and it does not fail to deliver. This brew is made with fourteen types of malts and hops and at fourteen percent ABV is sure to leave one feeling a little ferschnoshked (Yiddish for "drunk"). It is considered to be a barleywine style ale and pours a nice deep mahogany color. The aroma is full of sweet malts, caramel with a small hint of hops and alcohol (not surprising with its high ABV). This is a big beer that is surprisingly easy to drink, imparting lots of sweet malt flavors, sugar, caramel, followed by some floral-citrusy hops, with a nice clean not to boozy finish. This beer could be paired with food but would be most enjoyable savored alone.