Schmaltz Brewing is an odd brewery. They don’t name their beers after their brewery. They have two different types of beers. Their Coney Island series, which acts like a circus of beers, mixing wild flavors with traditional beers. The artwork on the bottles is amazing.
As for the He-Brew (the Chosen Beer) brews, their artwork rivals Coney Island. But they take on more traditional beers. This beer, an ode to Lenny Bruce, is a Rye IPA, a beer that is becoming more popular by the second. It pours a dark brown, and looks like bread crust. There was a foamy head that dissipated quickly.
It smells like rye bread. The rye overpowers the hops, which surprised me. When I’ve had other Rye Beers, the hops have overpowered the rye. The rye was only used to cut the bitterness of the hops. Not here.
My first sip… was bitter. It doesn’t match the smell. The bitterness dissipates into sweetness, but the rye flavor sticks around. Strong and different.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a beer like this one. It’s a big beer. Ten percent alcohol, and you can taste it.
But the thing is, that’s not a bad thing. This is one of the best beers I’ve ever hard. It doesn’t taste like rye bread. It’s not like eating a sandwich. It’s a beer, and it’s complex. The hops are there, burning the tongue on the back end. But the rye… it’s so noticeable.
I can see why they named this beer after Lenny Bruce. It’s in your face and aggressive. The flavors come all at once and they’re hard to decipher at times. But once you do, the drinker is rewarded. There’s so much to enjoy in this beer. So many feelings. The easy alcohol burn at the end really tops everything off.
Once you have 1 sip, you can’t wait for the next.
Schmaltz really lays on the fun in their packaging. The colors, the stories behind the beers printed on the labels. But this is a serious beer.
But in a way, that’s fun. After drinking this beer, it needs to be dissected, talked about, discussed. Enjoyed with a group of friends, each of them discovering something new about the flavor.
I’ll be picking this up again for sure.