Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shmaltz Brewing Coney Island Lager

With the recent spate of fall-like weather in Vancouver, a lager may be the last thing on your mind right now. For the beer geek, the lager has become emblematic of big corporate beer and its quest to dominate the realm of flavour with bland swill. Fortunately, both the weather monger and the corporate beer hater have something to appreciate in this micro-brew from New York. Shmaltz brewing, also producers of the HeBrew series, uses the Coney Island label to exclusively release lagers. Contrary to popular belief in the beer geek world, lagers are not de facto flavourless and boring. In fact, lagers constitute quite a large category of beers unto themselves, similarly to ales, and the style should not be written off quickly. Lagers are traditionally made in spring and cold-stored over the summer months and come in various styles including Helles, Bock, Marzen and Pilsner. Further, lager can range from dark and malty, to hoppy, to light and dry, the lattermost being the dominant style in the US macro-brewing market.

This particular lager is on the darker and maltier side of the scale, with a nose of sweet malts, fruit, bread, sugar, banana bread and candy apple. Interestingly, the palate is almost Belgian-like and has an incredibly full bodied texture and really highlights the bready elements of the beer. Despite its massiveness, I also enjoyed some slight floral notes on the palate and its very clean dry finish, which also happens to make it outstanding for pairing with fuller bodied spicy foods. I suggest trying this beer with some East Indian cuisine or a spicy sausage, and I hope that any beer afficionado is willing to give this beer a try in order to revitalize the unfairly demonized world of the lager.

Very Good+
$9 / 22oz at Brewery Creek

4 comments:

Zak said...

Shea, thank you so much for your writeup of Coney Island Lager. This is Zak Davis from Shmaltz Brewing Company. It's great to see that you enjoyed our beer. Thanks especially for pointing out the differences between many lagers. We're definitely trying to spread that gospel ourselves. Now that you've tried Coney, you'll have to get your hands on a bottle of one of our other offerings. They're even more out there than the amber lager. Cheers!!

Shea said...

We get a couple other bottles in BC including the Albino Python (which I enjoy quite a bit) and the Human Blockhead, but so far that's it. Hopefully we get more soon.

Zak said...

We're hopefully going to be shipping Coney Island Freaktoberfest, our 6.66%, blood-red lager pretty soon. Make sure to ask for it at your local spot. It's pretty freaky and pretty delish. ~Zak

Shea said...

Sounds good. As a note - this blogspot will no longer be updated - my website has moved over to a new platform on www.justgrapeswine.com