E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: USA, CA & NY: Shmaltz Brewing Co. to expand Clifton Park brewery

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E-Malt.com News article: USA, CA & NY: Shmaltz Brewing Co. to expand Clifton Park brewery
Brewery news

Jeremy Cowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing Co., built his brand of craft beer in San Francisco and New York City, but says his focus has shifted to marketing Shmaltz as a local brand in the Albany, New York area, bizjournals.com reported on September, 22.

"We’re kind of doing it backwards. Most people start local and grow to a larger market," Cowan says. "At the very beginning, I knew I didn't have enough market making a funny beer with a dancing rabbi on it. By its nature, it's going to be a niche within a niche. I knew I had to spread the beer all over the county."

Cowan opened a $4 mln brewery in Clifton Park last year. Now, Shmaltz plans to install two more fermentation tanks in the brewery, which will increase the annual capacity to between 35,000 and 40,000 barrels. Current capacity is between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels a year.

The installation will fuel growth, Cowan says. Revenue in 2013 was $3.2 mln and Cowan expects to hit $4 mln this year. The company is switching wholesalers to Saratoga Eagle Sales and Service, a Saratoga Springs beverage distributor, which has access to more retailers and accounts than Shmaltz's prior wholesaler, Cowan says.

Cowan founded Shmaltz Brewing Co. in San Francisco, California, in 1996. He also developed the Coney Island craft lagers in New York City. The Coney Island line was sold for $3 mln to Alchemy and Science, a craft beer incubator owned by Boston Beer.

Shmaltz's first brewery ended up in Clifton Park because of its proximity to Saratoga Springs, where Shmaltz's beer had been brewed at Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. for more than a decade.

Cowan settled into an area that's brimming with craft breweries.

In the Albany area, four local breweries have expanded or opened in 2014. Brown's Brewing Co. built a $2.5 mln brewery in Hoosick Falls; Davidson Brothers Brewing Co. opened a $3.5 mln brewery in Queensbury; Druther's Brewing Co. of Saratoga Springs is constructing a brewery and restaurant in Albany; and Rare Form Brewing Co. opened a brewery in downtown Troy.

"The whole local movement in this country is really powerful and exciting and that wasn't my project before," Cowan says. "It wasn't to create a local beer, it was to create a national brand that hand a tiny group, a niche core. But now that we're here and have a place to have people and share the products in the way we want to share them, there's more of an opportunity to be a local beer."

24 September, 2014

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