The owner of Schmaltz Brewing Company, Jeremy Cowan, is the kind of guy you’d want to have a few beers with. Last night, at the Kickback’s beer dinner, all 165 attendees of the sold out sitting, had more than a few. There were 27 delicious beeers from both the He’Brew and Coney Island brands.
That’s right, 27 beers. That’s the largest number of Schmaltz beers that have ever been in one place on tap at any one time!
Paired with such culinary delights as grilled gouda cheese sandwiches on rye with carmelized onions and apple spread, bratwurst muffins — bratwurst, swiss cheese, peppers, onion and mustard inside a puff pastry. And a creation by “resident guest chef” Michelle Ugart of the Ritz-Carlton’s Salt resaurant — mock funnel cake of breaded and fried sweet breads with powdered sugar.
Cowan, who was a literature major, described the philosophy of his brewery as a desire to make, “Totally whacked out and irresponsible beer.” And it shows in his beers, full of unusual flavors and deep complexity. Beers such as the Jewbalation series and Rejewvenator which push the limits of brewing and truly make you sit up and take notice.
Some of my favorites of the evening were:
1. Coney Island Lager
2. He’Brew Jewbelation #11
3. Coney Island Sword Swallower
4. He’Brew Rejewvenator 2008 (Year of the Fig)
5. He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. on Rye
The staff at Kickback’s was awesome in keeping the beer flowing and the food moving. And Steve Flores, owner of the much-lauded King Street watering hole was a gracious and attentive host.
I have herad inklings of future beer dinners with some other legendary brewers coming down the pike. Keep checking the Springfield Brew Crew website and Blog for details. The next on tap is December 13th with Swamphead Brewing out of Gainesville. Based on the turn-out at last night’s dinner, you had better buy your tickets soon!