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Big beer honors: Hay Merchant selected as a Chosen Bar, one of only 16 in America

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Hay Merchant is one of 16 "chosen" bars around the country. Photo by Alex Gregg/Flickr
Hay Merchant, first beer dinner, Schmaltz brewing, November 2012, menu, He'Brew Reunion
Hay Merchant's first beer dinner, held last month, featured Schmaltz brews. Photo by Caroline Gallay
News_Hay Merchant_bartender
Hay Merchant, first beer dinner, Schmaltz brewing, November 2012, menu, He'Brew Reunion

It's only fitting that the maker of the "chosen beers" would celebrate its Sweet 16 at the "chosen bars." Shmaltz Brewing Company, owner of He'Brew Beer and Coney Island Craft Lagers, has selected 16 bars across the country to receive 18 designated kegs (16 plus two to grow on) in celebration of the brewery's anniversary.

For Houston beer lovers that means heading to Hay Merchant to sample limited-edition Chanukah releases from the bi-coastal brewers.

One of four “chosen bars” in Texas (and the only one in Houston), Merchant kicked off Houston Beer Week this year by hosting its first in-house beer dinner with the award-winning company, where they poured He'Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16. Brewed with 16 malts, 16 hops and reaching a chutzpah-necessitating 16-percent abv., this brown ale will be back on tap alongside some never-before-poured brews and plenty of Shmaltz classics.

Here is a sample of what’ll be on tap:

  • He'Brew Jewbelation (8, 9, 10 and 12)
  • He'Brew Vertical Jewbelation
  • He'Brew Origin Pomegranate Strong Ale
  • He'Brew Hop Manna IPA
  • He'Brew Messiah Nut Brown Ale
  • Coney Island Freaktoberfest
  • Coney Island Albino Python
  • Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner

The birthday party begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday with Hay Merchant owner Kevin Floyd available to answer questions and beer geek-out with the chosen imbibers. After winning Stone’s Most Arrogant Bar Competition in Texas, Merchant is continuing to garner national attention.

As for Shmaltz, with its lighthearted names for serious craft beers, even if you don’t appreciate the schtick you’ll want to be on hand to taste these special editions.

As Shmaltz says in its press release, “This Chanukah, candles won't be the only thing[s] getting lit.” Who can resist a brewing company with that sense of optimism?

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