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The drink: Jewbelation Eleven
The location: Your home
The price: $6.29 a bottle at Total Wine & More in McLean.
The buzz: To celebrate its 11th anniversary, Shmaltz Brewing is turning itself into Dogfish Head Brewery. At least that’s the impression I got after tasting Shmaltz’s anniversary brew, the latest incarnation of Jewbelation Eleven. The massive brew—-both in size and structure—-reminds me of those hop monsters that have made Sam Calagione the darling of microbrew nuts everywhere. True to Shmaltz’s cheeky approach to making and marketing its beer, Jewbelation Eleven is brewed with 11 different malts and hops, which gives the brewery plenty of opportunities to quote Nigel Tufnel‘s famous line about volume—-and more of it. Jewbelation Eleven reminds me a bit of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA, though without the heavy hits of caramel and raisin. The best thing about Jewbelation Eleven is its hoppiness, which isn’t just some palate stress test. The hop blend gives the beer a complex, aromatic bitterness that I prefer over any of Dogfish Head’s hoppier bottlings. Don’t believe me? Determine for yourself on Wednesday, Dec. 19, when Shmaltz’s Jeremy Cowan puts Jewbelation Eleven to the test as part of The Brickskeller‘s Annual Holiday Beer Challenge.