While we love our millennials, we know that they get saddled with the slow demise of everything every previous generation ever held dear.
Chain restaurants. Home ownership. Cereal. Golf. Motorcycles. Yogurt. Soap. Diamonds. Fabric Softener. Banks. Tuxedos. Department stores. Designer handbags. Gyms. Lowes. Football. Oil. And freakin’ napkins.
While some of those things deserve to die — screw you, yogurt! –, it appears that millennials are now being slapped with killing the flagship beer. And we don’t think that’s fair.
“A lot of beer drinkers have developed a sort of ADD with respect to the beers they drink, so going for a glass of beer at the bar or pub becomes less a pleasant distraction and more a relentless search for what’s new and exciting. In this mad rush towards the unusual and unknown, we tend to forget the great, familiar and still-wonderful beers that guided us all along the path to the craft beer renaissance,” says beer journalist Stephen Beaumont in an article at Forbes.
So, Beaumont decided to bring back the flagship. He’s launching a campaign called #FlagshipFebruary to remind everyone — millennials included — just how awesome our tried-and-true stalwarts are, and we’re definitely jumping on board.
Our flagship to end all flagships. Cape May IPA is the American IPA named for America’s Oldest Seaside Resort, loaded with a hop blend that kicks the floral and citrus notes to the foreground, follows through to a medium-bodied, slightly bitter brew, and finishes with a zesty kick. Cape May IPA is where East Coast meets West Coast, where Victorian restraint meets modern indulgence, where your taste buds meet pure, unadulterated joy.
“This definitely got me into IPAs,” says Tom Wodeshick on Untappd. “A nice, strong, rich, and full-bodied beer!”
Fresh out of college, Hank essentially brewed Cape May IPA nonstop. He’d play with the grains a bit — at one point it was a Rye IPA — and tweaked the hops bill now and then. It was always Cascade-heavy, but he also played around with Chinook and Centennial.
Once he, Ryan, and Mop Man decided to open up at the Cape May Airport, it was the first beer they brewed. Mop Man brought it down to Cabanas, they drank it up, and we were off to the races.
“It was our only account in town and we struggled to keep up with them,” Ryan said.
It’s been through a few changes, but it’s still the same basic recipe Hank began brewing in his twenties.
“It’s the best it’s ever been,” he says.
Coastal Evacuation — it’s a phrase that’s everywhere at the Jersey Shore, striking fear in the hearts of all those who hear it. It means that danger lay ahead… and CMBC’s Double IPA of the same name is no different. Big and bold, exploding with Centennial hops from start to finish — this is one dangerous brew. Fragrant, with notes of orange citrus and honeydew melon, unlike hurricane season Coastal Evacuation has a long, dry finish. It’s time to evacuate. Are you prepared?
“A really easy-drinking, refreshing beer,” says Karyn Polak on Untappd.
Winning silvers at the 2015 World Beer Championships for American IPA and at the Best of Craft Beer Awards for Imperial IPA, Coastal began its life as Hank’s Centennial IPA, which won Best IPA at the 2012 Atlantic City Beer Festival. However, bars and restaurants around the area weren’t as receptive.
“We wanted to beef up the recipe to more of that Double IPA status,” Hank says.
Innovation Director Brian Hink was still working a few days behind the bar and began pushing Hank to make Centennial IPA a little bigger, more like City to Shore. We began tweaking Centennial here and there and finally released Coastal Evacuation in August of 2014.
We didn’t really have flagships at the time — we were simply brewing enough beer to keep our accounts happy and to make sure that the visitors to our (much smaller) Tasting Room didn’t go thirsty.
Once we had an actual sales team in place, we realized that we needed to have flagships. IPA was the obvious choice, and Honey Porter and Devil’s Reach were selling well.
“But, in another sense, it’s always been a flagship,” Hank says. “Since Centennial IPA, some people want the IPA, and some people want the bigger, badder Double IPA. We were brewing it all the time, so it just made sense to call it a flagship.”
Our Belgian beast, this strong ale is one of our top-selling, award-winning-est, and most highly-sought after beers. At 8.6% alcohol by volume, this is our strongest full-time offering, but it’s delightfully deceptive. Fruity esters and a super light body make for an easy-drinking and refreshing brew in one of our simplest beers – only one hop variety used minimally and the fermentables come primarily from one grain – this beer receives its complexity and character from a funky Belgian yeast strain. Regardless, caution is demanded because, before you know it, Devil’s Reach has swallowed you whole.
“This is fantastic,” says Jeremy Silva on Untappd.
Racking up a few awards in 2015 — including silver at the World Beer Championships and bronze at the Best of Craft Beer Awards — it’s been one of our most dependable brews, remaining essentially unchanged going all the way back to the early days.
“It was a one-and-done recipe,” Hank says. “It’s pretty much unchanged since the day we first brewed it.”
As with many good Belgian varieties, Devil’s is all about the yeast. We’ve kept the grain bill restrained, the mash temps low, and a gentle helping of Saaz to round it out.
“The highlight of the beer is the yeast,” Hank tells us. “So, while the flavors are complex, that’s all from the yeast. It’s all about giving the yeast a good base.”
Traditionally, Belgians are named for the devil. When Hank began looking around for a connection between Cape May and the lord of the underworld, over and over he kept coming back to a small cove in Cape May Harbor called, interestingly enough, Devil’s Reach.
We originally thought that Devil’s would be a one-off brew, but people loved it so much, it’s pretty much been a flagship since the beginning.
Our Honey Porter is a taste of South Jersey, better known for farms than fist pumping. Roasted and dark crystal malts shine through in a smooth and light-bodied porter that is balanced by a hint of sweetness thanks to the local Jersey Fresh honey. Welcome to the Garden State, bro. Apiology is the bee’s knees!
“Soooo tasty!!!” says Jennifer Wickman on Untappd. “Perfect porter for a cold evening.”
Snagging a second-place award from the National Honey Board in 2017 (we were as surprised as you to learn that it’s a thing), it’s one of our most dependable brews, one of our most easily-overlooked, and, by far, our most underrated.
Ryan began brewing this one in his Brooklyn bathtub, and the recipe has remained fundamentally unchanged, switching up the hops a bit, “de-cluttering” the grain bill, and changing the yeast, but it’s been the same since 2014.
And, ultimately, that’s because of its unparalleled smoothness.
“Honey Porter is amazingly easy to drink — find someone who says they don’t like dark beers, pour it into a black-colored glass and let them try it. I guarantee they’ll think they’re drinking a light- to amber-colored beer,” Brian says. “It’s really just a deliciously smooth beer.”
Much of that smoothness can be attributed to the 180 pounds of locally-sourced honey that goes into each batch. Using local honey was key in Honey Porter being the first beer in New Jersey to carry the Jersey Fresh designation.
It’s been a consistently strong brand since its inception, and, despite its underratedness, it’s been considered a flagship for as long as we’ve had flagships.
The most recent addition to our lineup of flagships, Always Ready was originally brewed as a salute to our beloved Coasties. As home to the only Coast Guard Training Center in the country, we knew we wanted to do something to honor the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our shores safe. With brilliant aromas of orange and tangerine and a medium body thanks to the addition of wheat and oats, like the Coasties we love, this brew is Always Ready.
“A beer that supports my cousin,” says Colin Brackin on Untappd. “Yea, that’s a 5.”
Bringing home the gold at last year’s Atlantic City Beer Festival, this was the first brew to come out of our research and development process, R.A.D., and, by all accounts, it was a home run.
We designed this beer with the motto of the Coast Guard in mind — Semper Paratus, or Always Ready. We wanted a beer that would be a go-to brew for any occasion: day drinking with your friends, getting work done around the house, watching a game…, but all with a sessionable ABV.
It was a little tricky — it’s not easy to create a low-ABV hop-bomb. The lower the ABV, the lower the malts. The fewer malts in a brew, the more obvious the hops. It was a tightrope, but we’re pleased with the way it turned out, packing a huge amount of hops in a 4.8%, crushable brew.
The original intent wasn’t to brew a new flagship — we only wanted to honor our Coasties. However, the response to this brew was unbelievably strong. Once our Director of Sales Bill Zaninelli saw the feedback from our accounts, he knew he wanted it to be a year-round brew.
“It’s a great beer,” he says. “It’s got a nice flavor, nice bouquet, not overly hoppy, and only 4.8%. It’s intensely drinkable, and people have told me it’s a three-sip pint. Boom. Boom. Boom. It’s done.
“So, I made an executive decision to buy more cans, stress the shit out of [Director of Brewing Operations] Jimmy [Valm], and make it all year long.”
So, swing down to the Tasting Room or check our Beerfinder and help us celebrate #FlagshipFebruary. Come get reacquainted with an old friend!