Two things in life I know to be true: I like beer and I like finding fun new places. Shmaltz Brewing Company is a brewery with a schtick- finding success serving “Jewish celebration craft beer.” With brews with names like He’brew and Funky Jewbelation, I couldn’t resist the playful spirit and had to stop in.
In a gray industrial complex, among the windy back roads of Clifton Park, New York, at first glance the brewery doesn’t look very exciting. But I’ve been told to never judge a book by it’s cover, so I went inside.
As the door of the tasting room closed I knew I was in for something good. Despite a below zero temperature outside, the tasting room was full of people. The atmosphere was lively with visitors chatting away, playing games, and of course, drinking beer. On the walls were colorful odes to beers past and current offerings. T-shirts for sale hung behind the counter while awards and accolades took up precious wall space across the room. Cases of bottled beers sat waiting to be purchased, taken home and celebrated. A separate game room hosted arcade games for entertainment while board games were also available. High tops, couches, and large bench style tables provided plenty of variety for seating, while some visitors posted up at the bar.
I opted for the $10 flight, where I was given a glass and 4 tokens. Instead of a more traditional flight where all the samples are poured at once, Shmaltz lets you keep your glass as a souvenir using the tokens to keep track of each pour. I started with the Slingshot, an American craft lager, followed by the 518 Pick Me Up Brown Ale and 838 IPA, beers named for the local area codes. The Brewers Wanted Pale Ale and the Messiah Nut Brown Ale rounded out the flight. Usually when I opt for a flight there is at least one beer I love and one I regret choosing, but this time around I can honestly say I enjoyed all 5.
While enjoying my flight, a tasting room employee stopped around the tables, asking guests if they’d like to go on a tour. Pressed for time, we declined the tour. At least we have an excuse to go back again soon!
What would make the brewery that much better is the addition of something we all know and love: FOOD! There were some locally made snacks along the lines of dark chocolate and chips, but nothing to really satisfy that beer-fueled hunger.
Across the parking lot is Yankee Distillers– a destination that is perfectly located for a locally crafted beer and spirits tour. On my next visit to Shmaltz, I’ll be sure to have a designated driver and plenty of time to spend at both locations! Plus, a note for all the runners out there. The brewery is hosting a 5k this May. You can find more information about The Chosen Run 5k here. L’chaim!
Where’s your favorite beer flight from in the Capital Region? Let me know in the comments!
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