At Last: Cape May Hard Seltzer!
Have you ever had a day that’s been circled on your calendar months ahead of time, and, every so often, you’d flip your calendar pages ahead, simply to gaze longingly at that day in anticipation of all of the wonderful things to come?
THIS IS THAT DAY.
We’ve been amping up, getting ready to release Cape May Hard Seltzers into the world, and now, in the Tasting Room and Brewtique, you can find six-packs of each flavor, as well as mixed, 24-can cases of our grapefruit, mango, black cherry, and watermelon seltzers beginning Friday, February 26th, with 12-can variety packs hitting shelves throughout New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and Delaware on Monday, March 1st!
It’s a little-known fact that Cape May Hard Seltzer is so much more labor-intensive than any of the beers we make. They require a lot more handling — they need to go from tank to tank and are centrifuged multiple times to ensure that everything ends up perfectly. The folks in production worked incredibly hard over the past week to ensure that everything was ready for Friday’s release.
Even though the process is difficult, Production Planning and Special Projects Manager Brian Hink says that it’s worth it.
“The little bit of extra work doesn’t matter to us because they’re really good,” he says. “I’m not a seltzer drinker by any means, but, thanks to all of the real fruit juice we use, ours have a lot of flavor. They’re refreshing, they’re crisp, they’re snappy, they have character. Cape May Hard Seltzer is such a different product from anything else out on the market.”
Brian likens all of the mass-produced seltzers currently on the market to Big Brew.
“They’re like the macro beers,” he says. “Ours is one of the first true craft seltzers. It’s like what craft beer did in the 90s and again in the early 2000s. We’re showing that, not only is it possible for a small brewery to produce a seltzer that can go up against the big boys, but it’s also got a lot of flavor to back it up.”
Not only are we excited to bring something new and different to the market, but a lot of us around CMBC and Cape Beverage are also excited simply because our seltzers are just that good.
“I love everything about our seltzers,” says Social Media and Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg.
When Courtney started at CMBC back in 2013, she admits that she didn’t know a lot about craft beer, which caused her to try and enjoy a lot of craft beer for her first few years. While looking for something new to try, she bought a six-pack of seltzers from Sunset Liquors, right up the street in Cape May, as they were the only place in the area that was carrying this new style of alcoholic beverage.
“We were all baffled by the flavor and the lack of alcohol bite,” she recalls. “I can drink a La Croix, but this one has alcohol in it? What?!? Okay!”
Courtney points out that the difference with our Hard Seltzers is that they feature real fruit juice, are handcrafted by an independent, local craft brewery, and, in the end, they taste better than anything else out there.
“By drinking our Hard Seltzers,” she says, “you will be drinking a product from a brewery you’ve come to love and trust throughout the years.”
And the rest of our team was just as excited — particularly because each of our seltzers clocks in under 100 calories a can.
“When you work for a brewery, sampling beers can be a great part of the job,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello, “but it can have an adverse effect on our waistlines. The low-calorie option is more than welcomed!”
We’ve been trialing seltzer flavors in the Tasting Room for a long time, and Chris says that our visitors have been incredibly receptive.
“Seltzer was a long-awaited option for the Tasting Room,” he says. “Once seltzers became prevalent, we began receiving a lot of requests for our own take on this new craze. When we released them as draft-only, our fans were extremely excited.”
Chris says that he knew that we had a good thing going when the questions changed from “When are you going to have a seltzer?” to “When are you going to put this in cans?!?”
“Our fans have come to trust our beers,” he says, “so they had no doubt that we would put out a quality seltzer.”
“The response has been outstanding!” she gushes. “Our online friends are excited to try something new and love to support us along the way.”
Courtney reports that she had a bit of apprehension when we announced.
Regional Sales Manager Evan Kostka has been seeing a lot of buzz from our accounts.
“A lot of them know that we’ve had our Hard Seltzers at the Tasting Room for — what? — two years,” he says, “and they know it from going down to the brewery over the summer. They’ve tried it, and they know it’s delicious, so they’re really excited to get it in their stores to see how it does.”
Evan sees one advantage in the market: the fact that there really isn’t a local, New Jersey seltzer.
“A couple of other Jersey breweries have them,” he says. “but they’ve marketed them under a separate brand. Keeping the Cape May branding and not going for an offshoot brand was a really smart decision. I think it’s important that people know that it’s our seltzer and it’s not some funky brand where they have to connect the dots to figure out that it’s Cape May Hard Seltzer.”
12-can variety packs of Cape May Hard Seltzer will be available throughout New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and Delaware beginning Monday, March 1st. Check our Beer Finder to find a location near you!
In the Tasting Room and Brewtique, you’ll be able to find six-packs of each flavor as well as mixed cases of all four flavors — no substitutions — beginning this Friday. Stop down this weekend!