Last Call: Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Loaded Moses

While Last Call has endeavored to keep its identity a secret from y’all, most close readers probably already know that your columnist is — how you say? — a member of the chosen tribe. Being a Jew does have its advantages: You get off school a lot for obscure holidays; you can use cool Yiddish words and not look like a putz; and you seem to share a weird, almost filial connection with the characters on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
But the most awesome thing about being Jewish is this: We stick together in pursuit of alcohol-induced oblivion — especially in Texas. (Just ask my uncle.)
Last week, while cruising internet porn — um, I mean, doing “research” — Last Call stumbled upon He’Brew Beer, an 8-year-old “shmaltz” brewing company out of San Francisco. “I get more e-mails from the [Fort Worth-Dallas] Jewish community than anywhere else in the country,” said Jeremy Cowan, He’Brew owner. “Seriously, I get them all the time.”
It’s just too bad that He’Brew suds, such as Messiah Bold and Miraculous Jewbelation, probably won’t be appearing in our retail outlets anytime soon. Since all He’Brew brands boast an alcohol content of more than 4 percent, they are considered “ales” or “malt liquors” by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and are thus essentially more expensive for the bottler to sell. The taxes, according to TABC data, are outrageously high.
Another problem is that “The Chosen Beer” appears on all of He’Brew’s labels and caps, in violation of an in-state restriction on that particular phrase.
To reach our sandy, thirsty shores, Cowan would basically have to re-package and re-brew his beer. With great distribution already in Chicago and New York, the bottler isn’t about to change a thing. “It’s a pain in the butt for me,” he said. “But at least it’s good to see Texas hold itself out a little bit.”
For more information, cruise to www.shmaltz.com. To order, call Sam’s Wines and Spirits in Chicago (800-777-9137). Ask for Brian Brent.

More information: www.shmaltz.com

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