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Coney Island Lager - Shmaltz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Coney Island LagerConey Island Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

457 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 457
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 23
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Hybrid mashup of styles between European tradition, a very unusual malt bill and hops that nod strongly at American craft.

(Beer added by: Todd on 06-05-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 457 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsa7783
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped singly from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $4.99...
Many other beers I've sampled from this brewery have been particularly impressive (espcially RIPA Lennys IPA), so had high hopes for this light-bodied lager...
Pours a clear, lucid, ruby-red, light-amber color with no head at all and very minor lacing...
Faint amber aroma present with a slight suggestion of caramel and vanilla...
Taste was rather light and watery and not too appealing in my opinion... this was probably the weakest sample I've tried from this brewery, and it was kind of surprising to me that a brewery which I know can produce superb stuff managed to let loose with a mediocore sample like this one...
Loose, watery mouthfeel with a good level of drinkability due to the modest ABV...
Decent, but certainly not above-and-beyond...

dsa7783, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber with big creamy head.

S: Slight caramel tone and wood dashes and wee bit earthy.

T: Slightly hoppy, however smooth malty 2nd taste to create an interesting and complex quaf. Continues with slight woody sweetness.

M: Minor body and nice bubbles

D:Easy session brew

Brianmerrilyn, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this one in my Easter Bif, and was surprised as I had never scene this one from Smaltz before, but since I have really liked most everything I have tried from them, I figured it was sure to be another winner and proceeded to check it out with piqued interest. Poured this one out into a pint glass and a nice dark amber colored lager appeared in front of me. Very clear with almost no haze visible in it what so ever, I was able to see ample amounts of carbonation coming up through the bottom of the glass. This served to reinforce the nice white frothy pillow that had formed on the top of it. A good-sized three finger high head of lace was on top that quickly fizzed out and just left behind a thin film with only a touch of side glass lace.

The aroma was striking me as odd when I leaned in, but no so much really in a bad way, but rather just a touch different then what I was expecting. It had a big malt character to it, with lots of wet grass, and earthy, musky smells coming through on it, however, if you looked inside a little deeper, what you found was a very nice, and light citrus note. This was coming across almost like lemon or very light grapefruit but was definitely there, as was a nice touch of caramel like sugary notes to compliment it nicely. The flavor was very similar, except a little bit heavier on the hops. This was a highly drinkable session ale for me, and I am not sure what the percentage is here, but it cannot be that high. Really a very nice drinker with a nice light body and a smooth creamy finish with more then adequate carbonation. The flavor was light enough to not really overpower in one direction or the other, but at the same time, it also had more then enough going for it to keep you interested throughout. Nice bready malts popping up for me first, really earthy grainy like flavor, but this was soon passed up by a nice bright spot of floral hops. Notes of grapefruit very noticeable now as well as a good touch of grass like flavor as well. Really nicely balanced. Not sure what to call the style, other then a nice American lager. A touch sweet on the finish, before drying out and getting you ready for the next sip.

Overall not a bad session lager at all, really quite good actually and went very well with dinner. I was very happy with the way this one turned out, and it was nice to see that they could put together a quality session ale as well as some of the bigger offerings they make. I would recommend giving this one a try. Also as a side, growing up in Jersey, the label brought back some fun memories, really interesting little beer here, and definitely worth a further look.

mikesgroove, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kobayashi would be pleased with some dogs with this beer.

This beer impressed the hell out of me. Pours a darker tan, very pretty looking. Mungo love chunk.

Smells very sweet. Faint smells of honey. Hops. Hot Dogs.

Tastes of honey. Very sweet for a laqer. Enjoyable though.

Cut grass aftertaste with sweet notes.

Get your Lager here, Lager, get your lager here.

Murchmac, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber to really red colored beer with a skimpy off-white head formation.

Smell is a little sweet with a lot of pilsner malt in the nose. Nobel hops are present and mostly herbal and floral here.

Taste starts out a little sweet and yeasty with a GOOD solid spicy hop finish. Malty without being sweet with a really solid hop bite, this is a good Lager. Lots of lesser herbal and floral flavors here but the hops are quite assertive and pretty much at Pilsener levels of bite.

Mouthfeel is good.

Outstandingly good drinkability here. Pretty much an ultimate lawnmower beer and one of the best American Lagers I have had in months, highly recommended.

Zorro, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with a one finger head that lingers a while.

Smell: caramel is light but can be picked up as the nose approaches the glass.

Taste: caramel, touch of breadiness, red grapes, plums, and a nice balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish. The finish is a bit dry too. Aftertaste is very short.

Drinkability: easy to drink ale here. Not overwhelming but a simple session beer.

Gavage, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of TheDeuce
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Creepy picture of some clown from hell on the cover but a closer inspection reads that proceeds benefit the Coney Island foundation. Having been to Coney Island I can drink to this.

Copper orange hue, sticky lace creeps up, head is actually slightly subdued but the beer is active.

Smell of sweet vienna malt, some pine hop oil as well alcohol creeps up but isn't overwhelming.

Taste/Mouthfeel: On to the important part, slightly bitter upfront maltiness lingers, some hop aroma does get through, I can't really detect much else, smooth and fairly flavorful Amber Lager. Not as complex as the bottle seemed to indicate but the flavors do balance. Certainly a quaffable lager.

Overall this is definitely a "big" lager compared to other styles, for the price I was hoping for some more complexity, still a fine beer and you can't beat the cause.

TheDeuce, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of rajendra82
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 22 oz. bomber was adorned with a label befitting a funhouse theme I associate with Coney Island (although I have never been there personally). The Beer came out orange amber in color with some chill haze. Carbonation was fine and gentle, which made me wonder if this was bottle conditioned. The aroma was very toasty and caramelized and was layered with a follow up smell of spicy noble hops. The taste was well balanced between the simple bready sweetness of caramel malts and surprisingly bitter hops. Not watery like most Vienna lagers, this was a flavorful and caressing treat. Went fabulously with a plate of Indian cashews and Marcona almonds.

rajendra82, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber - no freshness date:

Pours copper with a thick white head that settles to a foamy cover.

The smell is biscuity and caramelish with light floral and citric notes. Something unusual about it for a lager, but decent out of style.

The taste is of caramel, biscuit, with a mild hop spiciness - floral with a touch of citrus. It seems to go in different directions, with almost too much going on. Reminds me of the Coney Island roller coaster - up and down - also reminds me of it because of a rough, almost metallic astringency (not smooth like modern roller coasters.) An uninspiring buttery character doesn't cover astringency much, other than helping make it go down through slickness.

Thinnish, some sweetness hanging on despite a tea-leaf, almost tannic, bitterness/dryness in the mix.

It's okay enough to drink the whole bomber, but - sorry - not a big fan.

jwc215, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of peabody
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really clear iced tea color with two fingers of off-white suds. Some big bubbles in with the very small ones. Very slight lacing.
Smell is very slight raisin and caramel with just a touch of yeast.
Taste is a little watery/washed but you can taste the sweetness of the caramel malts and just a little of the dark hops. Not much else is going on here.
Mouthfeel is very clean and refreshing and this is a beer that you could quaff.

peabody, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of djamieson
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up in a 22 oz Bomber from Dan's Buyrite. Caught my eye for its bargain basement pricing and the Shmaltz reputation for quality. This beer is a lager but I did not drink it ice cold but more at the ale temp. Imbibed from a wine glass. Did not disappoint. Highly quaffable with a low abv (5.5). This beer had that je ne sais quois that just made you want more and more. Maybe it was the hypnotic stare of the clown on the bottle. Or maybe this is just one of the most drinkable amber lagers I've ever had. Less hoppy but more balanced than that Sam Adams stuff. Makes me want to go the Coney Island. Kudos to Shmaltz!

djamieson, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a decent, though unspectacular, head that leaves plenty of squiggles and shards of lace

Smell: Nice interplay between the caramel malt and the rather earthy hops; smells more like an English pale ale than a lager

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of caramel malt that moves in a slightly herbal direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the earthy hop bitterness shines through and provides a satisfying counterpoint to the somewhat sweet malt base

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I'm not a big lager fan and, while I can tolerate a Sam Adams if nothing else is available, this is a very nice beer that I would seek out

brentk56, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of wingman14
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark clear yellow with a frothy white head. Smells malty and sweet, with some hoppy notes. The taste starts sweet and malty and finishes somewhat hoppy with some spice thrown in. The mouthfeel is smooth a great balance in flavors with multiple layers, a very impressive lager. This one is an easy drinker, creative flavors, and an interesting break from the usual. Worth checking out.

wingman14, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of athensbeermaster
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great color for a lager. light golden brown, med. body with a nice tan head. Good toasted grain flavors fading into a sweet buttery caramel malt backbone.A pleasant hop spice balances this malty lager into a dry finish.
I'ts pretty cool that some of the proceeds go to the Coney Island fund. WE need some freaks left in this world.

athensbeermaster, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of IntriqKen
4.78/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've rarely been impressed with Smaltz beers and am not a big fan of lagers anyway, but I broke down and decided to give this one a try.
WOW...am I glad I did!
Exceptional lager.
Everything balanced from the smooth slightly sweet malts to the bisuity yeast to the citrus finishing hops...perfect balance.
Aftertaste is just clean and dry...no lingering 'anything' except maybe the desire for another one.
I'll be looking to buy more of this one...especially in the warmer months.

IntriqKen, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a moderately orange amber. A modest head up top has some body and creaminess. It falls back evenly and leaves a notable wake of lace. A fine looking lager beer.

Aroma - a good bouquet of caramel malts, a touch of butter, Townhouse crackers.

Taste - toasty, biscuity and buttery ala ESB type beers. The swallow is clean and the hop bitterness is tasty. I imagine the hops and Czech yeast are delivering the pils flavor at the finish. The final flavor is a good blend of the buttery malt and the spicy hops. After a few nights of hot or miss beers, finally one that sits well with me. Ahhhh....

Mouthfeel - solid feel, a hearty lager indeed. Crisp and clean, right on target.

Drinkability - I forget what I paid for this, but if it's not too much I'd love to share some of these around this summer. A delightful find.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of largadeer
2.42/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark amber, a shade or two darker than a Vienna lager and with a reddish tint. Head retention is moderately good, leaving a spotty lace on the glass.

Smell - Not much aroma, even at warmer temperatures. A metallic smell is noticeable along with notes of lightly toasted malt.

Taste - Caramel and toasted malts, burnt toast, mineral water. The finish begins toffee-like before eventually giving way to the spicy bitterness of hops. The aftertaste is slightly harsh. For a beer boasting 14 different ingredients, there's not much going on here. It's certainly not bad, though.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with semi-crisp carbonation. Not far off from a pale ale in body.

Notes - At almost $5 per 22 oz bottle, I can't see any reason to seek this out.

largadeer, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours with an almost three finger thick, light tan colored head. The beer is brilliantly clear, but is a nice red color, which I wasn't expecting, when held up to the light the beer shows a red-hued, copper color. The aroma is a nice mix of fruity hops and sweet malt. The hop character, while somewhat soft, has a real nice mix of spice and herbal notes to it; touches of cinnamon, hints of sweet basil and perhaps a touch of lemon grass. Soft, sweet malt character that is lightly caramelized and has a touch of berry-like fruitiness to it (though this is most assuredly contributed by the hops as well) is found up front, while the finish has notes of crushed soda crackers and dusty malt to it. The aroma, while somewhat subtle overall, is really quite nice; I really am enjoying the interplay between hop and malt and how much each of them bring to the aroma.

Lightly sweet as it hits the tongue for the first time, the beer quickly picks up a nice herbal hoppiness as well as a soft, nip of bitterness. Underlying caramelized grain notes and sweet grain contribute a slight body to this brew that provides a palate coating fullness that I was not necessarily expecting of this brew (meaning it drinks a little bigger than its 5.5% might suggest). This has a ton of malt and hop character; herbal, almost mint-like, fruity with berry notes, touches of bergamot, slightly astringent / green hops in the finish, biscuit notes, crushed soda crackers, chewy bread crust and perhaps a touch of grape-like or honey like malt character.

Quite clean tasting (as a good lager should be), but it has a nice full flavor of malt and hop character. Really the only thing keeping this from being incredibly good is that the hop character gets a touch too astringent and green in the finish. This is definitely a really pleasant surprise, I wasn't expecting much when I cracked the top of this brew. I have no idea what "style" this beer is, the interesting use of American hops here puts this in a category of its own, but it is quite tasty and certainly worth tracking down for the lower-alcohol lager lovers out there.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice, orangey-copper body with a full, frothy off-white head. Tiny-bubbled effervescence.

Smell: Mild, toasty caramel maltiness with a touch of graininess. Bright Saaz noble hop bouquet with further notes of grass, citrus, and floral to enjoy as well.

Taste: Light caramel and pale maltiness with a slight toastiness and sweetness. Lemony, grassy, even herbal hop flavors with a medium bitterness is fast on the malt's heels, though. Hint of orange. Floral, fruity finish with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: That being said, I defy any person with a soul to not enjoy this Vienna.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Victory Becker pint glass.

Pours a clear amber color with a big poofy light tan head that retained and laced very nicely. Aroma is mostly fresh hop character and some malt sweetness.

The taste surprisingly bitter up front with hops and citrus giving way to a malt backbone of bicuits and sweetness. The mouthfeel is a light medium with poppy carbonation and a crisp finish.

The first time I became aware of this beer was on a hot Sunday afternoon last August, when I saw bottles of this for sale at the Coney Island Freakshow but they had just sold out. Well let me tell you, this would have been a perfect beer for that hot summer day. With a nice fresh, crisp taste and easy drinkibility, this would have gone down very nicely and it still does, even as I sit here on a cold ass day in January.

Kegatron, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thought the brewery (or contract brewery) seems more of a gimmic than a serious contender, all their beers are quite nice. The various malts used in this beer give a complex sweetness, a meaty-ness to the malt base, and a balance of cereal grains. The various hops certainly give enough bitterness to balance the malts, while contributing an herbal, tea-like, grassy flavor that becomes soft and pleasant. Fruity esters of peaches, apples, grapes, and oranges give the beer a much needed spiciness and shadows the grain flavors throughout the finish. Lingers with the tea / herbal flavors with a crisp, dry-malt, refreshing note.

Being heavily involved in architecture and urban design, I appreciate the fact that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer go toward the stabilization and preservation of Coney Island.

BEERchitect, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of Hoppington
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I am sitting having a beer in my favorite beer bar in NYC, when who do I find myself sitting next to but none other than Matt Polacheck from Shmaltz! Nice guy. He was kind enought to turn me on to Coney Island Lager after I lamented how much I wanted to try Shmaltz' He'Brew Lenny R.I.P.A.

A nice copper colored lager (rare to my eyes) with a heavy malt nose with a hint of toast/smoke. Almost crosses into ale territory, with a rich mouthfeel for a lager. Drinkability is excellent to my tastebuds. The beer label art on the bottle is nothing short of superb too. I am giving this lager high marks because it stands out in a crowd of jaundice, boring lagers.

I wouldn't hesitate to order this fine caramelized dark lager again in the future. The beer crafters at Shmaltz are now seriously on my radar and I hope to try more of their offerings in the near future.

Thanks Matt!

Hoppington, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle. Poured into a tall slender pils glass it has an easily managed light khaki, tight head. Light copper color and a healthy amount of carbonation is in full support. Appetizing appearance overall.

Nice refreshing start to this brew. Carbonation is zippy and cuts through the malt bill that leans towards a mild syrup. A bit heavy on the sugary sweetness but its quickly smashed by a rather large american hop presence.

Notes: I really enjoyed this. The combination of a zippy carbonation and solid hop bill really snaps this thing together.

DogFood11, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of stephendr
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. glass bottle- color of, amber, with a medium tan colored head - nose of mild malts, some soapiness , and subtle hops – taste of pale hops, ever so slight malts, and very mild soap - body is dry , and light , and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of mild hop, bitter, and dry

stephendr, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at the cask festival at the Brazen Head a few months ago (transcribing off of notes) Pours a clear orange amber. Nose is grainy. Flavor is a bit more nutty than I remember off the bottle. Nice smooth feel with a definite silky edge. Very nice drinker.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Coney Island Lager from Shmaltz Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.