New beer is Coney proud

The Brooklyn Paper
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Schmaltz Brewing Co. — maker of the beloved He’­Brew brand of brewskies — will unofficially launch a second line of Coney Island-themed beers at the Mermaid Parade this Saturday.

The Coney Island Lager, the first of the line’s expected six varieties, was already on tap at Peggy O’Neill’s on Tuesday, in time for the opening game of the Brooklyn Cy­clones. It moved as quickly as a keg of Coors at a frat party.

“We really ac­tually ran out of our first keg yesterday, and we only had it a week and a half,” said Me­lisa Cucos, a Peggy’s bartender. “It can take a month to go through a keg of Guinness.”

Jeremy Cowan, the owner of Schmaltz, said the idea arose following last year’s tribute beer to famed comedian Lenny Bruce (Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A.), when Coney Island USA, which runs the Circus Sideshow, reached out to him.

Cowan liked the idea and, in his words, “I just kind of went to town.”

The result: the Coney Island Lager, an amber beer, with what Cowan calls an “American craft sensibility.”

Cowan, who lives on Flatbush Avenue between Park Slope and Prospect Heights, said there’s nothing particularly Jewish about the lager. One could even argue that this is Schmaltz’s attempt to reach beyond its loyal Jewish hipster and J-Date clientele. The company is even donating an undisclosed portion of every sale to head freak Dick Zigun’s non-profit arts organization.

“If the Sideshow is more mainstream than Jews, than I guess we’re going more mainstream,” said Cowan.

Coney Island Lager is now available at about 12 bars throughout the city, including Peggy O’Neill’s in Coney Island, and Spuyten Duyvil in Williamsburg.

Updated 4:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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