Double Dry-Hopped White Caps
With all that’s going on right now, it’s important to find ways to keep your mental health positive.
At Cape May Brewing Company, we hope that there’s a chance that we can provide that for our fans. And, as we’re all stuck at home, navigating this new normal, there are probably only a few things in this world that can get you more excited than a new beer.
But, there probably aren’t that many words that could get you more excited than “double dry-hopped”.
Mash them up with “White Caps”, and it might be the high point of your week.
Double Dry-Hopped White Caps is our beloved White Caps, double dry-hopped with Sabro and Cashmere, which bring strong notes of coconut, cedar, and orange creamsicle, complementing the stone fruits and citrus waves provided by the Citra and Mosaic in White Caps.
And it’s available now in our Brewtique!
We never miss a chance to turn it up to 11. We’re kinda like Nigel Tufnel that way.
“I’m definitely excited for this one,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink.
We had this one up our sleeve before the COVID-19 crisis, but, with that upon us, it really is the perfect timing to release a beloved beer like White Caps with an exciting new twist.
We knew we wanted to add a limited-ish wholesale release — something that’s available for distribution, but in limited amounts — between Bounding Main in March and Follow the Gull in May. We’d planned DDH White Caps for April, but, since it was ready, we might as well release it and brighten your day.
“Since it’s been six months since White Caps released,” Brian says, “I tossed out the idea of doing a DDH White Caps in this slot.”
White Caps is one of our most popular brands — our original New England IPA, in fact. It was the first NEIPA we canned in November of 2017.
“It’s the one I most often read about on the beer groups online,” Brian says, “asking that it be more regularly available.”
One of the reasons White Caps is so widely loved is that it’s simply a textbook NEIPA.
“Citra and Mosaic? Check. High chloride to sulfate ratio in the water? Check. High percentage of wheat and oats? Check. London III? Check. Soft pillowy mouthfeel? Check. Low bitterness yet overabundantly hoppy? Check,” Brian says.
White Caps was our first shot at a NEIPA back in April of 2016, when the style wasn’t all that readily available outside of New England and, weirdly, Denver. We did a few draft-only batches back then before canning it for the first time in November of that year and making it a yearly occurrence.
We learned a lot about NEIPAs through White Caps.
“Things we put into place with Follow the Gull, Bounding Main, the past three Anniversary Ales, and the overwhelming majority of hoppy beers we’ve released since White Caps first came out, they all were heavily influenced by what we learned on White Caps,” Brian tells us.
So, double dry-hopping it was a no-brainer. We’d done a double dry-hopped version in the summer of 2018, and it was extremely well-received.
Double dry-hopping White Caps is a fun way to change up something you already know and love.
“You know when you love a song, and you know it inside and out, then you hear it live and the band jams out?” Brian asks.
Yeah. We know all about that, Brian.
“It has more energy than the recorded version,” he continues, “a little more raw sometimes, maybe throw in an extended guitar solo, embellished a little on the drum fills, the front-person changes up the cadence of the verse a hair — those little things that make seeing a band live so worth it.”
That’s what double dry-hopping White Caps is like.
“I can happily drink my White Caps every November and December,” he says, “like listening to a record over and over again, but this special edition? That’s like hearing your favorite artist, only a little more special then how you usually get it.”
And we turned up the special factor on this one, using two varietals in the dry-hop that we don’t normally see: Sabro and Cashmere. We’ve used Cashmere a few times in beers like Roped In, Sea Chest, and Cococabana, but Sabro is relatively new for us, only used previously in last year’s Pink Boots Society hops blend for Maybe She’s Brewed with It.
“These hops are awesome!” Lauren says. “Cashmere is starting to come into our rotation a bit more, but Sabro is relatively new to us.”
Sabro is relatively new to everybody. It was released commercially for the first time last year but has been available in limited quantities to homebrewers for a few years as the growers worked on scaling it up for a wider release.
Originally, Sabro was a “wild” hop, found growing out in the world.
“It’s a Neomexicanus hop, which means the original cultivar doesn’t have its lineage traced back to a known origin,” Brian explains. “Wild hops have been around for as long as hops have been around, but by nature of them being wild they’re far less domesticated than the usual hop suspects, and with that comes issues with the growlers scaling it up.”
Like wild horses that need to be broken, wild hops don’t behave how other cultivars behave, bringing with it numerous challenges to be overcome. The farmers work with them over several generations, cross-breeding wild hops with known hops to make new varietals.
“It’s been bred to have more known elements,” Brian tells us, “but still some of the ‘wild’ characteristics that other hops typically don’t have. For Sabro specifically, it has the usual strong tropical fruity characteristics you’d expect in new world hops, but it also brings this coconutty/cedar/woodsy element to it that is really unique.”
Perfect for a NEIPA like White Caps.
“We wanted to amplify the fruity tropical nature of OG White Caps,” Brian says, “but still stay true to what White Caps is. The first Tasting Room-only release in July of 2018 had Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy, and it was amazing, but it was essentially a whole new beer. This one is more balanced in the sense that it’s still White Caps, just a more special version of itself.”
And we really couldn’t have timed it better. As everyone self-isolates and socially-distances, Double Dry-Hopped White Caps is a welcome diversion in these trying times.
“I’m glad we released it when we did because it’s been this stupidly tasty ray of light at the end of a really weird week,” Brian says.
Double Dry-Hopped White Caps is available now in our Brewtique for $18.99+tax per four-pack and is available at retailers throughout New Jersey. Check our Beer Finder to find one near you!