One of the great things about Cape May Brewing Company is our propensity to promote from within. Particularly for some of our public-facing positions, it makes sense: there’s a lot to learn from a product perspective — we have over 400 beers on Untappd, after all.
So, when it came time to find a new Tasting Room Manager, we didn’t have to look too far to find the perfect candidate: our very own Jake Hauser.
“Jake has been an excellent beertender in the Tasting Room and more recently he has done an excellent job heading up our Private Events with Avery Deane,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello. “We had several great interviewees, both internal and external, and this was no easy decision. Jake has shown great leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, stepping up to assist wherever possible. He knows our brand inside and out and has a lot of great ideas on a daily basis about what we can do to improve. He brings great customer service and a cool head when it comes to leadership and has gained the respect of the whole Cape May Brewing Company team over the years. He’s even lead our workout videos. I’m beyond excited to see what great things are brewing up for Jake’s future here.”
Without further ado, meet your new Tasting Room Manager, Jake Hauser!
“Good old Lower Township, Erma, whatever ya wanna call it, right on that weird borderline,” he says.
Jake graduated from Cape May County Technical High School, which you may notice off of the Parkway North after you leave the brewery, majoring in food production his sophomore year and switching it up to graphic design in his last two years.
“Yeah, I actually designed the cover of my senior year yearbook,” he says proudly.
After high school, he attended Atlantic Cape Community College for two years — “not knowing what I wanted to do” — before transferring to Stockton University for a degree in Business Administration.
“I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I transferred to Stockton,” he says. “I jumped around a bunch. I went Business, then Criminal Justice, then back to Business. In total, my college career took six years because I changed my major twice.”
Jake’s been a Philly sports fan his whole life.
As far as music goes, Jake likes a wide variety of genres.
“I’ve always been big on the Foo Fighters,” he says, “if I have to narrow it down. And I was a really big Green Day fan, growing up. That brings back some nostalgia for me every now and then. Country is eh, but everything else.”
In addition, Jake really loves life, particularly the fact that he’s only a few minutes away from some of the best beaches in the world.
“Cape May is a pretty unique beach town compared to all the other ones,” he says. “All of the Victorian, scrolled houses, and even the Washington Street Mall — it really has a super small-town vibe, but it’s one of the biggest resort destinations, so I think that’s pretty cool.”
And he loves hitting the beaches over the summer.
“Honestly, that’s all I did with my days off this summer,” he says. “I like having a few beach beers. Tan Limes was my favorite for the summer. When I’m not pouring beer, I like drinking it. Maybe watch some sports, watch some movies, eat some new food.”
Before finding his way to Cape May Brew Co., he’d worked a few jobs, mostly in foodservice. He’s worked for his father’s catering company, Spanky’s BBQ, for several years.
“I still kinda help him out every now and then,” he says, “but I’ve been trying to ease my way out of it little by little because it’s one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done.”
According to Jake, foodservice, especially as a cook, is extremely stressful. He’d worked at the Blue Water Grill in Wildwood as a fry cook for a few years, as well.
When Ryan, Hank, and Mop Man first opened the brewery, Jake and his dad used to sell food out back, and Jake slowly became a fan of CMBC.
“I thought it was really cool,” he says. “I’d go there most Saturdays throughout the summer and got to know them pretty well. A few years later, after I turned 21, I was living right down the street, so I became a frequent flier. I really liked the beer and the atmosphere. The people were all really cool, and I already knew a few folks working there.”
So, when he was looking for a job in the summer of 2016, he applied to be a barback, got hired, and slowly worked his way up, first as a beertender six months later, then helping to run our Private Events last December.
“Look at me now!” he laughs.
Jake’s background at his father’s catering company helped prepare him to run Private Events here, but, while it was a mass of stress at Spanky’s, he liked it a little better at Cape May Brewing Co.
“I love talking to clients and helping them figure out exactly what it is that they want,” he says. “We only did a handful of events before COVID hit, but we had one wedding and one larger birthday party in the Barrel Room, but we had a lot of fun working with them to figure it all out.”
With some of our Private Events packages, you’ll get a dedicated beertender and a selection of beers, which Jake enjoyed helping people determine.
“But I really loved watching it all happen, successfully executing the event itself,” he says. “Everyone was always super happy. I felt good about making that happen.”
And that’s sort of what motivates Jake: seeing our visitors happy. That’s what a lifetime spent in foodservice gets you — an attention to detail and a desire to please that shows through in his day-to-day. Jake consistently gets strong reviews on platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor and was the guy we tapped to serve Governor Murphy during his visit earlier this month.
“That was cool,” he says. “I didn’t get to talk to him too much, but it was a pretty surreal kind of thing, just having him be there and asking him what kind of beer he wanted. It was really cool.”
But we expected Jake to treat the governor the same way he treats all of his visitors.
“I like to go into every visitor interaction with a positive mindset,” he says. “Even if the previous table was giving me a hard time, it’s not the next person’s fault. So, I’m going to go in and try to be their best friend.”
Jake says that he feeds off of people’s energies — if he’s giving off positive vibes and getting them back in return, those good vibes are multiplied.
“I like taking care of people,” he says. “Also, it is pretty helpful that, I’d say I get it five to ten times a day, a lot of my customers, when I tell them my name is Jake, they pull out Jake from State Farm. That’s really easy to run with. I make more jokes about that and people love it. It’s super corny, but it makes people happy.”
Jake’s been impressed with how well our Tasting Room leadership team has worked together, and particularly their pivot in adapting to COVID. So, when we needed someone to fill a vacancy near the top of the chain, he didn’t hesitate to apply.
“I felt like this was the perfect opportunity for me,” he says. “And I felt like it was the perfect time to step up and be one of those leaders that I admired. I enjoy working in the Tasting Room. I was considering moving to something else last year, and I’m really glad I didn’t. I don’t think I’d be as happy anywhere else. It’s just a fun place to work, and I really like everyone who works in the Tasting Room. I feel pretty good about it.”
“All the regulars who come in, you get to talk to and really get to know,” he says. “And even this summer, serving people at their tables instead of being behind the bar, it was a lot more fun getting to interact with them more often and be a little more personable. The whole making-people-happy thing: it’s kinda hard not to be happy when someone’s giving you beer, so that makes me feel good.”
But, like the rest of the world, Jake is really looking forward to getting back to normal after the COVID pandemic.
“Even if it’s not at full capacity,” he says, “I’m looking forward to people being able to simply walk up to the bar and get a beer. I can’t wait for our next Tasting Room event in there, like a Floral Friday. I feel like the first one back is going to be a shebang.”
And, as you might imagine, since Jake’s been here for four years, his beer memory goes back pretty far, much farther than our usual blog subjects. So, when asked about his favorite beer of all time, he went all the way back to March of 2017 and Bringing Sexy Bock.
“I wish we still made it,” he says. “I thought it was delicious. I like that style of beer: a little dark, a little maltier. Some of our current beers are kind of similar, but it’s still not the same.”
As for his favorite beer currently in rotation, he, like a lot of us at the brewery, points to Follow the Gull.
“I’m really into the hazier IPAs, and it’s a nice hazy, juicy beer,” he says. “And it’s only 5.5%, so it’s nice and crushable.”
Be sure to congratulate Jake on his new position the next time you’re in the Tasting Room!