By R.J. DeLuke
Shmaltz Brewing Co. has sold its Clifton Park brewery assets to Rich Buceta, owner of Queens-based SingleCut Beersmiths
Shmaltz owner Jeremy Cowan said the company will be in Clifton Park until the end of the year. He noted that the tasting room the company opened recently in Troy will also stay under his ownership and continue to offer beers that he brews and brands.
He said he Capital District “has been a fantastic place to call home and will continue to be.”
Shmaltz has sold only the equipment and the facility but retains full ownership and control of all its brands under the Shmaltz Brewing and He’brew Beer lineup as well as its new upstate New York 518/838 Craft line, its recently acquired and redesigned Alphabet City brands, and its exclusive licensing agreement with CBS for the line of custom Star Trek-themed beers.
Shmaltz retains all the intellectual property, trademarks, artwork, copyrights, designs and associated assets that have identified the Shmaltz family of beers for over 21 years, Cowan said.
The company started brewing its beer in Saratoga County going back to 2003 and opened the Clifton Park facility in 2013.
He said Shmaltz is proud to have grown the Clifton Park brewery from 8,000 barrels annually to over 26,000 barrels of production in five years, brewing a blend of its own proprietary award-winning beers as well as having contract brewed for such partners as A&S/Boston Beer (Coney Island), Bronx Brewery, Speakeasy, Heartland and Foreign Objects.
Shmaltz also more than doubled its production staff from eight to 20 full time employees.
The flow of Shmaltz brands to all its wholesale and retail customers such as core offerings Slingshot, Hop Manna, Messiah and RIPA will continue, as will coming releases of Hop Momma IPA, Chanukah in Funk, She’brew, and Jewbelation 22. The 518/838 Craft lineup will continue to explore flavors and collaborations based in the local area codes using New York State ingredients under Shmaltz’s NYS Farm Brewers License. The new Alphabet City Village IPA and 7th St Blonde will expand to grow alongside the special releases of Loisaida in July and Sugar Plum Fairy for the holidays.
Shmaltz will initially maintain all of its current brewing, packaging and production team through the transition during which time the new operator will be obtaining its federal and state licenses and take over all operations.
The company said it will be announcing new brewing partners in the coming months and intends to remain brewing with the highest quality craft brewers in its current home state in New York as well as the possibility of brewing again in its birthplace in California.
Shmaltz will now also pursue the opportunity to brew special batches and collaborations in new locations around the country.
But Cowan said Upstate New York has been its primary market and that will continue.
In preparation for its return to focusing on brand building and growth, Shmaltz recently announced a new national sales and marketing partnership with Artisanal brands that will complement the core Shmaltz team in Upstate New York, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay area.
Current Shmaltz full-time sales staff will remain focused independently in upstate New York with its largest wholesaler (Saratoga Eagle), Western New York (Rhino, Sanzone, Northern and Oswego Eagle) and Massachusetts (Girardi, Horizon) as well as with the Alphabet City brand in NYC (Manhattan Beer) and New Jersey (Black River Traders), Cowman said.
Cowan said Shmaltz is planning a slew of new and expanding projects. Shmaltz will be expanding and releasing new offerings from its acclaimed barrel-aged sour program under its current brands as well as new labels to follow.
Shmaltz will continue to call upstate New York its home and the change will allow, founder and owner Jeremy Cowan and staff to focus on the sales, marketing, and product development so crucial to grow brands in the craft beer world at home, regionally and nationally.
SingleCut Beersmiths has been making some beer for the past five years. “Shmaltz is excited for them as they take over the brewery and are able to make the beers their fans have been asking for,” the company said.
Cowan established Shmaltz Brewing in San Francisco in 1996.