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The Latest Wonders In the Freak Show Lineup from Shmaltz Brewing

While most of the craft beer world has been exploding the boundaries of ale brewing, New York’s Shmaltz Brewing has been de- and reconstructing the world of craft lager though their sideshow-inspired Coney Island Lagers. Most lagers enjoyed in the US are known for their light and crisp styles, but Shmaltz has been creating a riotous freak show lineup and this latest two-headed lovechild is the progeny of their Human Blockhead lager and some Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

The grain bill for Human Blockhead already included Specialty 2-row, Munich, Vienna, Wheat, Crystal Rye, Rye Ale, and Pale Crystal malts as well as flaked Oats and was bittered with Warrior, Tettnang, Crystal, Liberty and Cascade hops. What else can they do? How about melding the flavors together in a barrel?

Shmaltz has taken Human Blockhead, what they call their “Imperial American Bock,” and aged it for four months in first use Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Barrels. But before you think this beer is only a side-show sham, know that the earlier, non-barrel aged version was awarded a gold medal at the 2009 United States Beer Tasting Championships and was named Bock/Doppelbock Grand Champion in 2010 at the World Beer Championships. For all their antics, these guys make great beer.

Shmaltz has bottled 500 cases of bombers and some kegs with the expectation that it will sell out by October. I checked Beer Menu’s site and the only local spot showing the beer is Healthy Spirits. 

But if you miss this limited release, you might find solace in Shmalts’ next brew: HE'BREW Genesis 15:15, a 15% ABV barleywine brewed with grapes, figs, dates, and pomegranates, which is scheduled to hit local pallets and palates this fall. And for those of you who are rusty on your chapter and verse: “And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” Amen to that.