A Look Back at 2019
With each passing year, we’re reminded how lucky we are at Cape May Brewing Company and Cape Beverage.
Back in 2011, when Ryan, Hank, and Mop Man brewed up their first batch of Cape May IPA and sold it to Cabanas, do you think they had any idea that, eight short years later, they’d be owners of one of the largest breweries in New Jersey?
Probably not. In all likelihood, they never anticipated you — the overwhelming generosity of our faithful fans.
So, as we move into yet another year, we’ll take this time to look back on the previous year and all you helped us to achieve.
Cape Beverage had a great year in 2019, finally achieving our goal of covering the entire state of New Jersey with Cape May brews! We hired two great Sales Managers — Joe Zap and Eric Wormann — and found a great Operations Manager in our very own Justin Vitti! We’re looking forward to a killer 2020!
All of the Collaborations!
We teamed up with some awesome breweries this year — as well as some impressive nonprofits and local companies — to bring you some magnificent brews. Strawberry Taffy, our collaboration with Great Notion, was full of strawberry and vanilla deliciousness, and Jersey Shore Souvenir, the crispy boi we brewed with Other Half up in Brooklyn, was clean, crisp, and utterly crushable. The talented women of CMBC banded together with the Pink Boots Society to brew up Maybe She’s Brewed with It, a sour ale with cherry and mango, and we got together with Cisco Brewing up in Nantucket to brew a cranberry IPA called Roped In. We were thrilled to help Morey’s Piers celebrate their fiftieth year with a killer Kölsch called Wild Wooder, and joined forces with the Cape May Running Club to host their Beach to Brewery 5K and brew up another delicious Kölsch called Finisher. The good folks over at Iron Hill Brewery hit us up to brew a kettle-soured, session, NEIPA to support the Surfrider Foundation South Jersey, called Twin Fin, and our annual collaboration with three other area breweries, Friends Giving, raised thousands for food-insecure families throughout our area.
The folks west of Philadelphia — in Lancaster, Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties — have been clamoring for our brews, and in 2019, we expanded westward! Sales Manager Ashley Pike (pictured) joined us to lend a hand to Regional Sales Manager Erin Gale, and, together, they’ve been giving the area what they’ve wanted: CMBC brews!
Pick of the Batch
Our first “big” event, Pick of the Batch, was a huge success! In addition to some seriously beautiful weather, we had several awesome beers, a ton of family-friendly activities — and Animal House rocked the afternoon! Stay tuned for dates for 2020’s Pick of the Batch!
We’d like to thank the Academy….
Not only did Governor Murphy invite us up to Drumthwacket to be honored, but we received a number of awesome awards this year! New Jersey Monthly named our Tasting Room one of the top three in the state, and they named Misty Dawn Saison the #1 saison and Summer Catch the #1 wheat beer. They also honored us with the Best Use of New Jersey Themes and Ingredients and Best Branding and Labeling! At the US Beer Tasting Championships, Cape May Lager, The “Z” Is Silent, and Great Wit Shark all came away with honors, and at the New York International Beer Competition, Snag & Drop and Devil’s Reach were both awarded. We were elated in October when Honey Porter was awarded a bronze in the Brown Porter category at the Great American Beer Festival, and only last month, Brewbound named us one of their six Rising Stars!
Ryan on the Move
Our fearless CEO had a great year, too! Early in the year, he sat down with Neil Cavuto of Fox News to discuss the shutdown and its effects on small breweries such as CMBC. In June, he was named as an ex officio member of the board of the Beer Institute and participated in their Hill Climb in October. In addition, he attended the Brewers Association Hill Climb in May. All that climbing paid off — CBMTRA‘s tax breaks were extended through the end of 2020!
How ’bout that brew! We couldn’t brew Crushin’ It fast enough this year — we’d come out with a batch and it would be sold out in 90 minutes. (Seriously. 90 minutes.) It was such a huge success this year that we brewed a grapefruit version and will be scaling up the original variety for full distribution next year! We’re glad you guys loved it so much, and we’re thrilled to keep brewing it for you!
Samples, Samples, Everywhere….
Cape Beverage’s sampling program has been a huge success! Sales Assistant Jenna Rae Rohana has been coordinating the forces of nearly a dozen Brand Ambassadors — including Mary Bracilli (pictured above) –, setting up shop in liquor stores throughout New Jersey. Together, they’ve done nearly 200 samplings since the program began this summer, bringing our brews to the people. Nice job, guys!
So Much Bog!
In 2018, we canned The Bog for the first time, but it was only available through the Tasting Room. In 2019, we were able to distribute it throughout the state, to a resounding response! The day it was released was a huge celebration for our fans, with our accounts singing our praises on social media. The Bog will be back next summer. Don’t miss it!
Being a Good Neighbor
2019 was a great year for CMBC to Be a Good Neighbor. The weather pre-empted our anticipated beach cleanup with Surfrider Foundation South Jersey, but we decided to clean up the Cape May Airport, instead. We sponsored both the spring and fall editions of the Exit Zero Jazz Festival, and our Penny Wars raised almost $3,000 for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. We raised money for the Pink Boots Society, the Police Unity Tour, Cape May Cares, and the St. Paddy’s Day Plunge. During the government shutdown, we helped our friends in the US Coast Guard through the rough times, and we provided brews for numerous beer gardens for the folks at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. Friends Giving raised thousands for food-insecure families throughout South Jersey and Pennsylvania, and our BikeMS team killed it in raising money to combat Multiple Sclerosis. More to come in 2020!
With 2020 firmly in our sights, time and again we reflect on how lucky we are, on how thoroughly gratified to be in a business that we love, creating beers that we love, and supported by a group of fans that we absolutely love.
It’s with your support that we’ve gotten where we are, and we are, as always, humbled by that fact. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we wish you continued joy in the coming year.
Cheers to 2020!