Courtesy of Shmaltz Brewing Company

The brewery, known for its "He'brew" line, is once again offering up alternatives to traditional Christmas beers.

Mike Pomranz
October 16, 2017

The beer world has no shortage of Christmas beers. Some people even consider these seasonal offerings to be a style all to themselves – typically strong, malty brews hit with plenty of holiday spice. But Chanukah beers, they've always been a bit harder to come by. However, there's always been one company you could count on to hold down the Chanukah beer fort: New York's Shmaltz Brewing. And this year, the brand that dubs itself "a Jewish celebration craft beer" is once again releasing two seasonal brews for the eight day festival.

Shmaltz is probably best known for its He'brew line of beers, and like that name, fans of the brewery will recognize the name of these two "new" seasonal beers as well: Chanukah, Hunukkah… Pass the Beer and Jewbelation. However, as in the past, both beers have seen their recipes tweaked for this year's release.

The 2017 version of Chanukah, Hanukkah is a golden strong ale brewed with cocoa nibs that takes additional inspiration from the holiday by using eight malts and eight hops to create an 8 percent ABV beer. "The fluffy white head releases notes of honey, chocolate, and harkens back to memories of Holiday gelt coins," the brewery explains. As for the flavor, the malts and hops "balance biscuit and toast with light peach smoothly dancing with the chocolate from the cocoa nibs and a hint of vanilla on the finish."

Meanwhile, this year's Jewbelation is officially named Jewbelation 21. Even though this is only the 14th year of the beer's release, the "21" is meant to celebrate Shmaltz Brewing's 21st birthday, with the brand originally launching back in 1996. The brewery says this doubly special brew is "a big beautiful bouncing barelywine" – clocking in at 12.1 percent ABV – that "essentially stands as a triple brown ale" featuring flavors of "bing cherry, raisins, currants, and figs" as well as "notes of pumpernickel and dark chocolate, coffee roast and cherry wood [that] dance with pounds and pounds of hops leading with citrus and stone fruit up front melding into a grassy earthiness on the finish."

If you're interested in celebrating Chanukah this year with "the only Jewish celebration beer in the country," the good news is that the once small brewer now distributes to 35 states, meaning you shouldn't have much trouble scoring one of these limited seasonal releases before the holiday starts on the night of December 12.

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