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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

(view ratings)
Ratings: 457
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 22
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 tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber color with moderate slightly off-white head. Good retention.
Smell is pleasant, but light, with the combination of malt combining nicely.
Taste is also profoundly malty. It is sweet, without going too far. It is refreshing with a nice hop balance at the finish.
Finish is mostly sweet.
A nice easy drinking beer. Mildly flavorful.

tgbljb, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of mcallister
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep copper color displaying a 3 finger head and various sizes and shapes of of carbonation bubbles.

Sweet toffee, and carmel lead too big cereal grain and bready malts with a graham cracker almost nutmeg aroma. Some floral hoppy characteristics as well bring the malt to a halt.

Too much sweetness in this one is the first thing noticed, cloying on the almost. Hops help to tame the RS on the middle leaving only slight bitterness on the finish taking abandon to the malt. Malts tastes exactly how the nose was described. Thick with cereal grain, toffee and caramel with that similar graham cracker flavor. Mouth is a little thin as well. If this wasn't quite as sweet it would be much better.

mcallister, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from La Bodega, CA., purchased for $3.99 in December 2007, tasted on Christmas Day (evening).

Pours a clear dark orange/amber, darker than I expected. No real head to speak of; a thin cover that is fed by a small but persistent stream of carbonation keeps it around.

Aroma is of caramel malts, bready and with a fine sour hop ending. Flavor is the aroma profile, but much richer in the mouth. A slight roasty, almost smoky note comes through the malt bill. Hop ending is evident to try and create some balance, but it is a touch too weedy/grassy for my tastes.

Mouthfeel is nicely rich and carbonated, probably the best part of this beer. A bit of alcohol burn at the end as well- more than expected for this ABV.

A decent beer, and happy to try it, but I was hoping for something a bit more balanced.

Dukeofearl, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a slightly cloudy amber gold with a small off-white head and just a touch of lacing.

Aroma is mostly light and malty.

Tastes of sweet malts and hops with a somewhat sour biscuit finish.

Light mouthfeel, slightly drying and light carbonation.

This is a very easy to drink red lager but not anything special.

Monkeyknife, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of RoyalT
2.03/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – The Coney Island Lager is almost red with an orangish hue and not much of a head.

Smell – It sure doesn’t smell like lager. There’s a really cheap, soda-pop kind of aroma to this one coupled with a hint of medicine cabinet. I can barely pick up some nasty grain but other than that it doesn’t even smell like beer.

Taste – Egad, this is horrid. It is so sweet I feel like I’m chewing a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. There aren’t any hops in here, which is understandable, but the lack of grain and a good malt base is depressing.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit bigger than light-bodied with a fizzle of carbonation.

Sinkability – A stain on the Coney Island name.

RoyalT, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of Romulus141
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the official Sam Adams drinking glass.

Appearance: Pours a wonderful golden amber with a white, fluffy head. The head started about two fingers tall, and then dissipated, leaving behind semi-strong lacing on the edge of the glassware. Overall, a very nice looking lager.

Smell: Nothing too strong here. There is a faint touch of malts to be found, along with a wheat nose.

Taste: Starts off bitter, surprisingly, with a background of grapefruit. It quickly gives way to the sweeter malts, which have a biscuit-style flair to them. The finish is crisp, and leaves no discernible aftertaste. This lager has some character, and fulfills my desire to have a tasty, yet simple beverage.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light and carbonated, and quite crisp.

Drinkability: Given the simple, yet subtle nature of this brew, it is quite easy to drink. I could easily see making this a session beer, if I ever saw it on tap anywhere.

Overall, a good entry in the lager category, a genre that needs more unique and compelling beers.

Romulus141, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of CortexBomb
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium orange pour with a 1 inch white head on top. Smell is malts and caramel, biscuits, and a strong hop profile, much more strong than standard for the style.

Taste starts out surprisingly bitter (grapefruit) and then segues into a smooth malty underbody. A spicy bite is present as well. There is also a somewhat astringent back of the tongue bitter which became more pronounced as the beer warmed, and which hurt the overall taste score.

The mouthfeel is average for the style, drinkability, not bad, but the astringency means this is unlikely to be a rebuy.

The bottom line: A decent take on the Czech PIlsener style. Nothing particularly remarkable though.

CortexBomb, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the clear amber brew. Head fades slowly, with sporadic bits of lasting lace. Aroma is lightly malty, with some floral hops character. Taste is biscuity malt upfront, nicely balanced with ample fresh hoppiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, with quite nice drinkability. Nice pils-style, with a bit more oomph in the malt area.

ppoitras, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle

Pours a clear amber color with a fluffy white head that maintains. Thick lacing on the glass. A very pretty beer, but doesn't look like a pilsner.

Very faint aroma of malt with maybe a hint of hops.

Very light taste. A hint of malt, medium bitterness, and a bit of hop flavor, Very clean and dry. A thirst quencher for a summer day at the park.

Light body, zippy carbonation.

Easy enough to drink, this one is meant to slug down and not put too much thought into it.

MaltyGoodness, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear deep amber body with a thick yellowish off-white head that last a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.

S- This beer has a pretty clean smell but the note of green pine hops with a faint grapefruit zest note increases as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a soft toasted malt flavor with a dry caramel malt note and a hint if biscuit coming through as it warms. There is a sulfury dry Noble hop bite finish with some pine resin flavors lingering after each sip.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight clean finish.

D- The malt is a bit soft in the smell but has some nice flavor. There is a good complexity to the grain bill with some big bitterness at the finish. It sounds exciting but I just found this beer a bit boring.

rhoadsrage, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light citrusy hop atop a grainy malt.

The taste consisted of a solid doughy malt and a light and utilitarian balancing hop. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side for the style.

Overall a very well balanced and easy drinking beer. However, the beer drank more like a Vienna Lager than a pils.

plaid75, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, served in a pilsner glass.

A - clear, light amber color with a 1"+ tan head that settled to a ring, leaving some rings of lace.

S - somewhat sour, hoppy aroma.

T - very tasty beer, bitter hop and malt flavors are well balanced with a dry, bitter finish.

M - medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

D - Coney Island website has abv at 5.5%, which makes for high drinkability provided you're drinking responsibly.

Final Note: cool bottle label.

JoeyBeerBelly, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of aforbes10
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from City Wide in South Bend. Pours orange to terracotta. Lacy, doily-like head is khaki to off-white in color. Looks surprizingly dark for what i was expecting. Smells buttery and tangy, notes of lemons and brussel sprouts(!) Taste is more bitter than expected, like an APA. Slightly sweet malty flavor with distinct hop bite. Not too crazy, but admittedly unusual in its presentation. Medium bodied. A good drinker, but nothing special, i dont think.

aforbes10, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of nortmand
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear with a deep caramel color and a lacy white head.

Nice caramel malts in the aroma. A bit of hop there and maybe roast.

Light astringency in the flavor, more caramel a bit of bitterness. Pretty standard.

Not really a Czech pilsener, pretty thin, all the character is wrapped up in the caramel.

nortmand, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear honey orange, light copper with 3 fingers of frothy head that leaves streaks of lacing everywhere.

S - Smells like the bready caramel from a vienna lager and the spicy noble hops from a german pilsner (6 hops and 8 malts according to the label). A nice combonation.

T - Toasted bread, caramel, a touch of buttery sweetness and spicy, earthy, tea like hops. Quite buttery but it plays well with the hops instead of being unpleasant.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Nice.

D - Based on the description on the bottle I thought this beer might be a bit of a mess but I was pleasantly surprised. I will look for other beers in this series.

brewcrew76, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of jkrich
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle with no freshness date. Without a doubt one of the most eye-catching labels I have encountered.
The lager poured a deep orange, copper color with a slight off white head.
The smell exploded from the bottle upon opening. Certainly some northwest hop in this one. The smell almost reminds me of an aromatic pale ale.
The initial taste reminded me of an amber lager with a dominant malt taste upfront with a slight hoppy and tangy aftertaste. Despite eight malts, the beer is never cloying even as it warms. I suppose with six hops, it shouldn't be inappropriately sweet.
Heavy and chewy on the tongue with noticeable carbonation.
This is certainly an extravagant beer with the different malts and hops. It does not taste like a "czech pilsner' but it is refreshing.
I don't believe this would make a regular rotation in my fridge, but I certainly enjoyed. At $4.99 per 22 oz. bottle, a little pricy for my beer budget.

jkrich, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (festooned with a freakish grinning clown face that may have given me pre-pubescent nightmares...and still might...) into my Abita standard pint glass. Still, one of the best label designs I've come across recently...

ABV: 5.5% per the website coneyislandlager.com

A: Pours a strikingly non-pilsner-ish shade of auburn/orange. Perfectly clear with a moderate amount of steadily rising carbonation. Just a half-finger or so of bubbly, slightly frothy off-white head, gently fading to a thin, creamy film. A few gobs of sticky lace.

S: Pure bready malt, a very 'pilsner' smell for certain. Smells true to the style and retains a grassy & herbal hop note that is roiled up with every swirl.

T: More maltiness, lightly toasted graininess, a medley of cereal flavors with a generous dose of hops. Hops are quite herbal and mildly spicy, striking a nice balance. Hops are spicy and a little piney, definitive of the Cascade hops used throughout.

M: One of the more intense/full mouthfeels from a pilsner; feels much thicker and substantial than the 5.5% ABV it holds. Light to moderate carbonation. Despite a bitter hop backbone, stays sweeter and relatively clean in the finish.

D: Perhaps not the typical pilsner, but quite drinkable. Enjoyable flavor, plenty of both hops and malts (label says there 6 hops and 8 malts in this beer). Jeremy Cowan, you've again broken the mold on what to expect from certain styles. While this may not be the most drinkable, smoothest pilsner I've ever had, it's definitely one I'd have again and will recommend.

msubulldog25, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of kirok1999
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not a fan of lagers but my retailer told me this was aggressively hopped so I thought I'd give it a try.
Pours a clear light gold with a rising white head and decent lacing.
Smell is a very hoppy nose with a slightly spicy, herbal lager backbone.
Taste is pretty nice, hoppy, earthy and spicy. The hops really make the brew, citrus and pine. Mouthfeel is a little thin as you would expect from a lager/pilsner. Very easy to drink and the alcohol was not noticable at all.
This label should be on a T-shirt!!

kirok1999, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of Reidrover
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

have no idea how this 22 oz bottle made its way to a small grocery store in Salem,Oregon. Lovely looking lager, dark copper with a large tan head. Great laceing throught the galss. Aroma I wasnt so pleased with, its sort of malty/nutty but with some off putting "cheesy sock" thing going on. Nice taste to strong on the malts, dark and semi-bitter, with a great zing of grassy/sherberty hops near the end. Pleasant hop aftertaste. Nice mouthfeel to this one, smooth under the well done carbonation. I thought this wasnt a Czech pils but a very drinkable Vienna, very nice.

Reidrover, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With such a creepy label, I had to try one.

A - Poured out a burgandy color with flecks of orange and red. It had a foamy, off-white head that left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of Cascade hops and sweet malt.

T - It tasted of spicy hops and sweet caramel malts. It had a citrusy flavor from the hops.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. It doesn't taste like a Czech Pilsener from the Czech Republic, because it has those West Coast hops. Still it is a very good lager.

zeff80, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coney Island Lager pours a huge stiff head over a clear dark
tea colored brew. The nose is some kind of citrusy American
hops and barley malt. The flavor is huge sweetish malt with
caramel, pine and citrus notes and more citrus hops in the finish.
The mouthfeel is smooth and round, yet crisp and balanced.
This beer isn't strictly true to the Pilsner style- with this blend of
malts and American hops it's downright loud and excessive-
very much in keeping with the location it is named for. It's just
too big- I think that's why I like it.

shadow1961, Aug 27, 2007
Photo of bort11
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit, the label is what sold me on this one. That grinning circus freak could not be resisted.
22 oz bottle poured into a 24 oz mug. Off white head that stands just under a finger's width. Recedes to a filmy lace on the surface. Soapy looking drink markers left on the glass. Color is a clear red-amber.
Smell has a slight floral hops presentation. Taste is a blend of caramel malts and orange blossom like hops. A bit of a citrus zest in the finish.
Mouthfeel is a clean medium body.
I kind of with this came in a smaller bottle. Towards the end, I was getting a little tired of it. Still glad I sampled.

bort11, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a clear orange amber body with a healthy almond head that is creamy and well retained. Some patchy lace left on the glass. Aroma of spicy hops, toasted caramel and fruity pear esters. Medium body and carbonation. Taste is a nice balance of earthy spicy hop bitterness and toasty caramel maltiness. A hint of red apple in the middle. Very approachable but not a pilsner.

merlin48, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of Mdog
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice deep gold, good head at first, fades somewhat quickly though.

Smell: Bready, some grassy notes.

Taste: If you handed me a glass of this, I would immediately say "English Pale Ale or IPA". Some caramel sweetness, then tea-like bitterness.

Drinkability: Not hard to drink but not my favorite flavor combination.

I picked this up since I liked Lenny's RIPA, but was pretty disappointed by this beer. It's definitely nowhere near a Czech pilsner so that amplifies my disappointment. I just don't like the tea-like hop flavors of this beer.

Mdog, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Arouse! your liquid curiosities... Amaze! your oral sensibilities... Indulge! your inner beer freak..."

--Coney Island Lager neck label

Flawless tangelo with honey colored trim. The three finger crown is a quality affair and is a wonderful shade of orange-infused alabaster. It displays quite a bit of character as it melts, leaving patchy lace in its wake. The appearance gives me a sneaking suspicion that this won't be your classic pilsener (despite the use of 'Czech pilsner yeast').

The nose is made up of an interesting conglomeration of scents. With 6 hop varieties in play (and 8 malts) it's hard pick out any single contributor. I smell faintly buttery caramel and hops that are fruity and earthy at once. My guess is that ingredients were chosen from both sides of the Atlantic. I'm not sure what else this beer could have been called, but a pilsener it ain't.

Coney Island Lager tastes like an English pale ale to me. Never mind that it's a lager. I wonder if the brewery's penchant for using so many types of malt and hops is responsible for a lack of certainly when it's time to pick a style (if that's even important to most people) and a lack of focus when it comes to the flavor profile. It could also credibly be called an amber lager, an all-malt lager or even an oktoberfest.

The maltiness is significantly toasted and caramel-like, with a modest amount of sweetness attempting to stand firm in the face of a more than modest amount of tea leaf-like, citrus peel, spicy, earthy hoppiness. My impression is that once the now delicious hops fade (in another few months), the flavor profile will be less than wonderful. Unless you like buttery lagers, that is.

The mouthfeel is pretty damn nice. It's lagery smooth and decently mouthfilling with a faint stickiness on the finish. I don't even mind the generous amount of carbonation since it lends a certain 'mouth party' atmosphere to a beer that isn't as exciting as its label would suggest.

Coney Island Lager is the first in a series of 'sideshow inspired' lagers from Shmaltz. That's certainly an interesting theme for a brewery to pick. A portion of the proceeds go to Coney Island USA, an organization founded to 'defend the honor of lost forms of American popular arts and culture'. Although it isn't outstanding beer, I'm glad I gave it a go and I'm glad I could contribute a little something to a worthy cause.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 03, 2007
Coney Island Lager from Shmaltz Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.