Shmaltz He'Brew Messiah Bold: Thou shalt not
One of my commandments of beer that, like all the Biblical ones, should only be broken if absolutely necessary, is thou shalt avoid all beers with overly silly names as if it is pus. That one is getting harder to keep these days, because almost every new beer seems to have a ridiculous name. And, truth be told, some unfortunately named beers are actually pretty good, but those remain few and far between. As a general rule, the more shtick used to slog the brew, the worse it is. Shmaltz Brewing needs every bit of shtick it can muster to foist the decidedly average He'Brew Messiah Bold on the innocent, beer drinking public.
Normally, I wouldn't have approached this beer in a million years. The name and label are perfect examples of what the commandment instructs us to avoid. It would be like receiving a picture of your neighbor's spouse with 'do not touch' written across the top. You see it; say fair enough; find something else. But I kept hearing good things about this beer, and it's stayed around for several years. So, in a moment of weakness, I gave it a go.
Messiah Ale is the WaterBeerLite-of-your-choice version of a brown ale. The only thing offensive about it is its total lack of character. It looks fine -- dark reddish brown with a fine, tan head. Appearances are deceiving, though. Almost odorless, you'll really have to search to pick up some smoke, nuts, coffee, maybe toffee. The flavor is even more nondescript. In fairness, there are no surprises, and nothing god-awful, there just isn't much of anything. The flavors match the same faint aromas, but the medium body just doesn't carry nearly enough flavor. There may have once been a hop in there somewhere, but it goes completely unnoticed. The label promises "a rich and robust dark brown ale." That is a blatant lie. This has to be one of the weakest brown ales ever concocted.
I suppose this would be a session beer due to the mildness and relatively low, 5.6%, alcohol content. Why anyone would bother is the question. It pairs with food about the same as a glass of water or, say, a Bud Light. It definitely won't enhance the dining experience, but it won't detract from it much, either. They price this beer at the upper end of most American craft beers, but it should be among the cheaper macros. Other than suckering a one-time buyer, I see no market for this thing. Even the gullible will only buy it for the cutesy name the one time.
Shmaltz Brewing also makes The Coney Island theme beers and a handful of other He'Brews. All of them break the commandment, but I was hopeful. Once. Now, it's very unlikely I'd ever take a stab at another of their other beers.
Messiah Bold is not hellish and terrible, it is merely bland. As bland and boring as the worst macros. I hear there are some people that like to drink beer, but they don't actually like the taste of beer. This could be what they're looking for, especially if they'd like to pay a bit more for their watery brew. The bottle says He'Brew – the chosen beer. Thou shouldst chose something else, and sin no more.