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.
“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.”
– Shmaltz’s Art Director Matt Polacheck
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 RateBeer.com.
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 for 2016, 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, visit ShmaltzBrewing.com/Distributors.