22nd Anniversary Strong Ale
PLATINUM MEDAL / SCORE: 96 – Beer Connoisseur
Available in 16 oz Single Serve Cans and on Draft.
11 MALTS: Premium 2-Row, Munich, Vienna, Kiln Amber, Chocolate Malt, Crystal 120, Crystal Rye, Honey Malt, Special B, Wheat, Flaked Oats
11 HOPS: Warrior, Summit, Columbus, Liberty, Chinook, Crystal, Cascade, Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial, Sterling
Does the New Year mark The Death of The 22oz Bottle?!
For our 22nd Anniversary of Shmaltz Brewing and He’brew Beer, let’s check the shtick!
22 letters form the Hebrew Alphabet. The 22nd Hebrew word of Genesis is the first time the Creative voice speaks – “and says” – Let there be Light! Genesis Chapter 22 is the first mention of Love – though also the first brutal demand of sacrifice of that love in Abraham’s binding of Isaac. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller interrogates the cruel paradox of speaking about the insanity of the bombers in WWII. 22 is the atomic number for Titanium crucial for war missiles, spacecraft, laptops, artist paint, wedding rings & crutches. Discovered in 1791 in the UK, Titanium was first produced in its pure form in 1910 in Troy, NY, home of our new tasting room, 518 Craft & The Shmaltz Shop. 22 pairs of chromosomes make us all uniquely human, while only the 23rd set defines our sex as male/female. The oldest logo of the Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures’ halo of stars stretches from Mae West to Star Trek, with the first digital version of 22 stars unveiled for Eddie Murphy as “The Chosen One” in Golden Child (’86) later reworked and debuting for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (’99). In Tarot, 22 Major Arcana face cards serve as trumps with the Fool either as 0 or 22 of the deck. The 22nd amendment limits the POTUS to two four-year terms.
When I started in northern California in 1996, 22oz bottles were the superstar sampler for many of the best craft brewers and a crucial transition from 750ml champagne style bottles just a few years earlier. Our first He’brew creation, Genesis Ale, came in 22s, hand bottled, hand labeled and delivered out of my grandmothers’ Volvo. For the next 21.5 years, 22s continued to be the signature package for so many of our best loved creations.
At the time in the early days of micros, for most small brewers, 12oz bottling lines were still too expensive and the low volumes didn’t justify the investment. Or, as many regionals found out, the investment didn’t pay off. For all the glorious Class of 96 Breweries that began that fateful year (Stone, Ballast, Bear Republic, Three Floyds, Victory, Bull and Bush, etc.), The Daily Beast called 1996 “The Shakeout” for the wave of microbrewery closings across the country (we weren’t called Craft yet). According to the Brewers Association, the total micro percentage of the market was a mere 2.6%. Now we’re nearly 20%. Then: 1087 operating breweries. Now: over 6500 and growing. Total growth went from 50% in ‘95 to 25% in ‘96 to less than 2% for the 7 years to follow. After a decade of well over double digits, overall growth today has slowed again. What to do but… Adapt! And here’s 2018, with many of the same questions, anxieties, opportunities, and new challenges. The state of the industry is the state of Shmaltz Brewing. Is it Death or Evolution? Let’s crack open a 16oz tall boy and find out. As Rush blasts out in Tom Sawyer, “He knows changes aren’t permanent / But change is.” To life… L’CHAIM!