Reviews

“Jeremy Cowan has emerged as a noteworthy, march-to-the-beat-of-your- own-drummer personality within the craft brewing world — no mean feat in an industry with no shortage of personalities. The fact that he’s managed to build an award-winning brand from its genesis as an inside joke and is here to write about it 13 years later is a testament — Old Testament, of course — to how far the combination of passion, talent and a sincere sense of humor can carry artists and entrepreneurs. Cowan’s story of Shmaltz Brewing, as told in Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, mixes comedic self-deprecating anecdotes with general acts of badassery — which pretty much sums up the brands he has created.” -Jeff Cioletti, Editor-in-Chief, Beverage World Magazine

“When I first met Jeremy, I couldn’t believe he was a member of my shul in Los Altos Hills, California. A young kid, with a wacky but interesting concept that my beer partner Mark Bronder had coincidentally discussed years earlier — a beer for Jews with the same name (HeBrew), but our initial image was a muscular bicep with a Star of David tattooed on it. Well, we went in a different direction, and I was enthralled with Jeremy, his idea, and his incredible sense of humor and passion. This man knows how to build a brand from scratch, and reading his story is a fascinating, can’t-put- the-book-down read. Just don’t read it from right to left.” -Pete Slosberg, founder of Pete’s Wicked Ale

“Jeremy Cowan is the Philip Roth of craft beer and Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah is his Portnoy’s Complaint, a hilariously mind-blowing account of a young Gen J entrepreneur who, armed only with vision, love of things Jewish and few bucks, turns his “He’brew Beer” label into an American cultural institution. Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah will bootleg inspiration straight into your heart.” -Alan Kaufman, author of Jew Boy, a Memoir and editor of The Outlaw Bible Of American Literature

“Jews believe in tikkun olam, repairing the world, but in a world beset by natural and man-made disasters, it often seems impossible for individuals to make a meaningful impact. While he may not have cured cancer or ended the Middle East conflict, Jeremy Cowan has performed two exceedingly worthy deeds — creating a world-class beer and telling a compelling, entertaining, and engagingly transgressive story. L’Chaim!” -Richard Block, Senior Rabbi, The Temple – Tifereth Israel, Cleveland, Ohio and president-elect of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR)

“In his new book Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, Jeremy Cowan combines the heart of a brewer with the soul of a two-thousand-year-old rabbinical mensch. A must-read on how to get from there (a crazy dream) to here successfully in beer.” -Tom Dalldorf, Publisher, Celebrator Beer News

“A funny, irreverent account of one man’s quest to build a beer brand, wandering the desert landscape of bad beer to let his people drink the good stuff. A wry tale of how it took thirteen years to turn Shmaltz Brewing into an overnight sensation.” -Jay Brooks, Brookston Beer Bulletin

“Cowan transforms San Francisco into the land of Malt and Hops with humor, an edge and a deep sense of biblical intoxicity.” -David Katznelson, Co-Founder of The San Francisco Appreciation Society

“This is a powerful tale of how one man turned a passion — and a pun — into a durable brand. It is also a touching illustration of how hard work is really the root of all success.” -Gabriel Kahn, Professor of Journalism, University of Southern California

“While his sense of humor, Jeremy’s shtick, is riotous and unforgettable, it is the trials encountered following his dream that make this book a memorable read. Enjoy the ride as much as one of Jeremy’s beers.” -Daniel Bradford, Publisher, All About Beer Magazine

“Cowan has admirably merged the shtick of modern Jewish culture with craft brewing. It’s irreverent, funny, at times devastatingly honest…And it’s wonderfully readable, too. To paraphrase the brewery’s motto (which is itself a great story), don’t pass over this book: pass it on.” -Alan Moen, Writer, Northwest Brewing News

“If you find that you like [Shmaltz beers] and want to know more about how this fantastic show got started, you could read the book that the brewery’s founder, Jeremy Cowan, has written (with James Sullivan) about his journey. Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah moves through Cowan’s childhood and his foray into small-batch beer-making to Shmaltz’s founding, near-collapse and eventual rise to success.” -Michael Austin, Chicago Sun Times