Book Review: Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah, by Jeremy Cowan

[Reviewed by Dave Douglas]

There is plenty of shmaltz in Jeremy Cohen’s book, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah. Enough so for everyone who is anyone (or not), to go a’round of beer, from the front cover (charge), to the back. The atmosphere in his shtick is fluid throughout. From his seedling of an idea, to hopping from one coast to another, and brewing his dream so we can taste what Cowen delivers as a picture of the bitterness of business to the Jewbelation of success, all with an ongoing buzz of humor.

Not only is his book entertaining, but as Cowen labeled it himself, “… who doesn’t love the story of a small business, a sole proprietor trying to make it happen? And free booze!” And this book is no side-show to be tossed aside or re-gifted to the other end of the bar. There are bold, real-life, hard-to-swallow business lessons which grant his book the entrance into any university library. One big ingredient of his formula is, “… until you’re already a success, nobody else is going to make you a success.” It is that type of shtick which enables Cowen to pour out his transparency about his personal life as well – the part which provides a view into the passion for his beer which comes to a head on the printed page.

As Cowen states, “Remember the three pillars of shmaltz … quality, commitment, shtick.” And, he has them all in this well-balanced, full-flavored read, which will prompt you to ask for a second-coming! Shmaltz Brewing Company is “THE CHOSEN BEER”, and Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah is THE CHOSEN BOOK!

You can contact the reviewer, Dave Douglas, at