When you live in Brooklyn, one of the things you look forward to most each spring is the opening of the Coney Island boardwalk. While it's technically available all year round, warmer weather brings about the opening of food stands, carnival games, and the terrifying-yet-awesome Cyclone, the ancient roller coaster built in 1927 that rides like a roller coaster built in 1927. And while one should never visit Coney Island without a ride on the legendary coaster, some just weren't built out for adventure. Therefore, we designate you to be the Boardwalk Cooler Keeper, and we've tasted some brews by Shmaltz Brewing's Coney Island Craft Lagers to give you something to sip while you wait for everyone to head back to the sand.
Darker and hazier than most pilsners, this one was our favorite. With a light caramel malt aroma with hints of noble hops, the taste is rather pleasant. Sweeter and fuller-bodied than one would expect, with a slight bitterness at the end, this pilsner makes for a great shoreside treat.
Befitting of its name, this spiced white lager is light-bodied, crisp and refreshing. The scent is reminiscent of lemon and coriander, and the fennel and ginger notes really come out in the taste. This is the kind of beer that's "different," but in a sexy way, much like a snake charmer.
This lager is an ingredient funhouse in a bottle. Eight malts, six hops and Czech pilsner yeast combine to create a clear, golden brown brew with a powerful caramel aroma with fruity notes. Much like its smell, the Coney Island lager is sweet and malty with a cloying bitterness at the end. While it's great on its own, we couldn't help but fantasize about how good it would be for braising pork shoulder.
Brewed with lager yeast, this IPA is as complicated as, well, swallowing a sword. Made with eight hops and four malts, it doesn't have the same malty aroma as the Coney Island Lager, but instead is very faintly scented with a crisp lager dryness. While the hops are hard to pick up in the scent, it's bitter, true to IPA style, but is probably better on a tasting flight than as a session beer.
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