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“We’re gonna break the record for most fun.”

Andrew Ewing, Superhero

Count the number of people you know who taught themselves how to do a thing. The number is usually pretty small and probably has to do with music or languages or brewing. There aren’t many people who taught themselves how to ride a bike. In a basement. At seven.

“My parents had no idea I even did it,” says Brewer Andrew Ewing. “It was the middle of the winter, and I’d be like, ‘Hey, guys! I’m going down into the basement!’ Then one day, after I’d learned, I was like, ‘Yo, guys! Come check this out!’”

And a love affair was born.

Since then, Andrew has become an avid cyclist and has somehow convinced nearly the entire production staff at CMBC to sign up for BikeMS: City to Shore. (We’ll give Lauren a pass because she doesn’t own a bike, and that’s literally all you need to do the ride.)

Andrew has taken up the mantle of recruiting for our team this year, and his diligence has paid off. Thus far, we have twenty-six riders either signed up or planning to sign up for the CMBC team, and we’ll probably get quite a few more this weekend.

We’re holding a BikeMS: City to Shore Happy Hour on Saturday from 11am to 2pm. If you sign up at the Happy Hour, you get half-price on your registration fee. More money to spend on beer!

Andrew tells us that he’s been trying to do City to Shore for the past few years, but it just never worked out. He’d never heard of the race until working here, but, as a delivery driver, his duties on the road kept him from spending too much time in the brewhouse.

“I was never around for anything,” he laughs. “I just had no idea. I’d ask about City to Shore, and they’d be like, ‘That was yesterday.’ I’d be like, ‘Alright, alright. Maybe next year.’

Now that he’s part of the production team, he’s a little more in the loop.

“But this year, I’m just totally gonna do it.”

However, he had a little help making the decision. We’d had a casual conversation about it, but then we kind of put him on the spot during our Monday staff meeting.

“I went in to just go check my pH levels,” he says, “and the next thing I know, everyone’s clapping. And I was like, ‘Well, everyone’s clapping. I guess this is happening.’

“Then I was like, ‘Kevin wants to!’”

Poor Kevin was thrown right under the bus. But, nonetheless, we had our second rider. Once he was in place — willingly or unwillingly — Brewer Mark Graves signed on. After the three of them signed on, the rest of our production team stepped up to the plate.

“When Brian heard, he was like, ‘Well, I guess I’m doing it, too.’ Jimmy’s in. Everybody’s in. This is crazy.”

Cellarman Eddie Siciliano had been looking for a bike for months, and had been waiting to pull the trigger on something. This gave him a reason to make a decision on a bike.

While our guys have a fair amount of inherent competition, this is definitely going to be a team building exercise. In fact, it already is.

“Everybody’s getting pumped about it,” Andrew says, “talking about it all the time. It already is, like, a cool thing.”

Mark’s been killing it. We’ll definitely be catching up with him on the blog sometime over the next few weeks, but suffice it to say that we’re proud of him.

“Mark comes in every day and tells me he rode fifteen miles, twenty miles,” Andrew says.

Andrew and Kevin did a fifty-mile trip last weekend to one of the local breweries.

“It was a lot of fun,” he says. “That’s the kind of training I’m into.”

Andrew rides with the Cape May Hustle — a group of local bikers who get together on Thursday nights and tool through town. From what he tells us, there are two “separate but equal entities” in the Hustle, one comprised of riders who do it casually and the other, more serious racing group.

“It’s basically a club of cyclists that like to ride for fun and competitively.”

We saw the Hustle ride in to MAC’s Pop-up Beer Garden a few weeks ago. Andrew’s done quite a bit of both groups over the year-and-a-half that the club has existed. A few of them will be stopping by the Happy Hour on Saturday, and a handful will be signing up for the CMBC team.

“I’m sure that with my recruiting skills, I’ll be able to get plenty more,” Andrew says.

The BikeMS: City to Shore ride is one of the best, winding through South Jersey on its way from Cherry Hill to Ocean City. There are four routes ranging from 25 miles to 100 miles, and the guys in the brew house have committed to either the 50- or 100-mile routes.

Andrew’s signed up for the 100-mile route, although he’s never ridden 100 miles.

“Not in one day,” he says. “Spread out over several days, yeah.”

Nonetheless, he’s undaunted by the prospect.

“I think it’s gonna be a relatively casual hundred miles,” he says.

Yep. Andrew has found a way to make riding a bike for 100 miles to be a casual thing. Andrew’s a casual guy, you see.

“It can be casual,” he says. “There’s gonna be several of us doing the hundred, and we’re gonna stay together. You’ve got somebody to talk to. Have you ever been on a long car ride and you’re talking to somebody? Ten hours later, you’re done? Same thing on a bike. And as long as you’re not pushing the limits of your physical capabilities too hard? It’s gonna be tough and you might get a little sweaty and you might be tired, but we’re not trying to break any records. Definitely not.

“We’re gonna break the record for most fun.”

And having a killer brew like City to Shore helps to keep you motivated. Andrew’s looking forward to having one at the end of the race.

“Definitely one of my favorites,” he says. “I always look forward to that one coming out.”

City to Shore has a blend of some of Andrew’s favorite hops: Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra.

“It’s a solid Double IPA. Super solid.”

We’re proud of our guys in the brewhouse. Not only do they brew the best beer in South Jersey, they’ve also taken our Core Value of “Be a Good Neighbor” to heart, especially with this ride.

“Everybody’s been pretty enthusiastic about it,” Andrew says.

And we’re pretty enthusiastic, too.

Over the weeks leading up to the race, we’ll be checking in with our team members periodically. We’ve already passed our fundraising goal, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to slow down. Our team is ranked #7 in the amount of money raised. That’s freakin’ awesome, but we can do better. By six spots, in fact.

In the meantime, if you think you’d like to join our team, stop down to the brewery on Saturday and sign up. If even the prospect of a “casual hundred miles” kinda freaks you out, check out our team page and donate!