It’s exodus time for Shmaltz brewing

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CLIFTON PARK — Closing time is here for what’s been described as the only Jewish beer in the U.S.

After 25 years, Brewer Jeremy Cowan plans to stop producing his Shmaltz line of beers. But the beer won’t go away immediately.

As Cowan phases out his Shmaltz Brewing Co., he’ll be releasing a final version of the beer, Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA in 16oz cans, as well as other varieties from his vault. Additionally, he plans, as a final tribute, to release Exodus 2021 Barleywine Ale brewed with dates, figs, pomegranates, and grapes. 

Shmaltz, started in 1996 when Cowan released his Hebrew, The Chosen Beer, to select customers.

The company grew from there with its products even being served at events in the White House under several administrations.

The distinctive name is a cousin to the Yiddish term schmaltz, or excessive sentimentalism, expressed in music or theater. 

Despite his exodus from Shmaltz, Cowan, though is not leaving the beer business. He plans to focus on his Alphabet City Brewing Company, the 518 Craft tasting room in Troy, and a burgeoning consulting practice.


To commemorate, Cowan is starting a “Farewell to Shmaltz Tour” with nationwide events, including two in Upstate New York with a “25th Anniversary Extravaganza” at Troy Night Out on Friday at their tasting room 518 Craft at 200 Broadway. Troy.

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