Get to Know Courtney Rosenberg!
We’ve been here, proudly brewing our beers, since 2011. In the beginning, it was Ryan, Hank, and Mop Man working things on their own, brewing beer, tending bar, and delivering our brews to the few accounts we had.
It didn’t take long for them to realize that they couldn’t do it all on their own, and they began bringing on more staff, several of whom are still here.
One of them is our Graphic Design and Social Media Alchemist, Courtney Rosenberg.
“Courtney brings an inspiring amount of creative passion and enthusiasm for the brewery to the marketing team,” says Marketing Director Alicia Grasso. “She works tirelessly to Make It Better each and every day through an endless stream of innovative, focused ideas and inventive solutions to further the brewery’s goals. Her deep love for Cape May Brewing Company keeps everyone’s eyes on the prize, and her innate understanding of the craft beer world ripples throughout the company.”
And, while she may occasionally interrupt our blog writing to send unsolicited TikTok videos or pictures of her beloved dogs, Dock, Mickey, and Max, she’s always been Cape May Brewing Co.’s biggest cheerleader and consistently puts the brewery first, always caring for our brand and passionate about keeping our fans up to speed.
You’ve undoubtedly seen Courtney in the Tasting Room, during events, on rainy Tuesdays, and everything in between, snapping pictures, taking video, and ensuring that everything looks as great as possible for your visit.
Now, it’s time to learn a bit more about her. Meet Courtney!
Born and raised only a stone’s throw from the brewery in North Cape May, Courtney attended Lower Cape May Regional High School, graduating in 2005, which planted the seeds for her eventual career in graphic design.
“I didn’t really take a lot of art classes, but I took a lot of drafting classes,” she explains. “And woodshop. I was really great at drafting and building my own houses out of blueprints.”
After high school, Courtney went to Susquehanna University, but, like most college students, Courtney didn’t really know what she wanted to do at the ripe age of eighteen.
“Really, I was lost,” she says. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Susquehanna was business-oriented, and I am not a book-person.”
So she moved home and attended ACCC for a semester while deciding on her next steps, eventually moving on to Moravian University in Bethlehem, PA.
The lacrosse coach at Moravian, Kate Miller, saw Courtney’s talents while she was playing for Susquehanna, and reached out to her after she left, looking for a good goalie.
“I’m a boss-ass goalie,” Courtney says. “I was nationally ranked. I was top ten in D3 for a while. I think I still hold records at Moravian.”
And does she ever! If you look at the lacrosse records at Moravian, Courtney holds ten of the top twenty in Most Saves in a Single Game, and her three seasons at Moravian are numbers two, three, and four for Most Saves in a Season. With a total of 597 saves, her top spot in career saves is not likely to be challenged.
After visiting Moravian and falling in love with the school, Courtney was hooked, eventually getting a degree in Graphic and Interactive Design. She credits her family history with generating much of that interest.
“My dad’s mom was a painter,” she explains. “Before she passed, she worked at Wheaton Village in Millville. My dad’s side of the family has always been sort of artsy: if it’s not musical talents, it’s artistic talents.”
At Moravian, a lot of people take a class called “Color” to fill a general studies requirement, so Courtney gave it a try.
“Everyone told me it was so hard, and it was,” she says. “The professor was very strict, but I loved it, and I killed it in that class.”
Courtney also credits her classes in black-and-white photography and in typography for really cementing her love of graphic design.
After graduating, Courtney moved back to North Cape May, waitressing at Harpoon Henry’s and helping a local sports magazine with ad design and layout, but mostly applying for “lots of jobs and hearing nothing back.”
At the time, Cape May Brewing Company had only recently opened, but Courtney had a childhood friend, Maggie, who was working here, and she began taking notice of our beers while working a winter job at the Ugly Mug.
“Ryan came in to introduce us to the altbier that CMBC had at the time,” she recalls, “bringing by samples in the old minivan. He sat there with us and invited us to the brewery that night after our day shift.”
She and a few coworkers grabbed some wings and headed over to the brewery, sampling our brews and having a great time.
“Then Maggie mentioned that they were hiring,” she recalls, “and I was looking for something different. I didn’t know anything about craft beer at the time, but I fell in love with the Watermelon Wheat.”
After a few interviews with Hank, Courtney eventually started working behind the bar in September of 2013. They knew of Courtney’s design background; however, like most startups, even to this day, employees at Cape May Brewing Company wear a lot of hats. But in those early days, everyone really did everything.
“They needed some Exit Zero ads made up and they needed some posters, so I stepped in,” she says. “But if it wasn’t that, it was, ‘Could you please go work events?’ If it wasn’t that, it was, ‘Could you take some sales calls?’ and ‘Could you answer the phone and call these accounts and see if they need beer?’ If it wasn’t that, it was, ‘Could you go deliver this beer?’ If it wasn’t that, it was, ‘Could you help us grain out for the day?’”
In the early days, it was all of the nine-or-so employees at the time working together to make Cape May Brewing Company a success. But, as the company grew and we hired more people to work specific roles, Courtney spent more time working on graphic design, merchandising, and label design.
“With each next step the company needed,” she says, “I was there to grow with the company and take those next steps.”
When asked about her favorite designs for the company, we can barely get the question out before Courtney is referencing the original design for Cape May IPA.
“It’s so abstract and so weird,” she says. “I didn’t think that the guys would really go for it, but the design was inspired by an assignment that I did in that Color class at Moravian.”
The first half of that class was understanding the use of black and white and understanding positive and negative space.
“We had to make this crazy cool collage out of all of these Xacto knife cut out pieces of paper,” she says. “That inspired the design; how, if you put that against some color, it can really pop. It was an interesting label, and no one that we were competing against for shelf space at the time had anything like it.”
She and Hank worked together to design the original Honey Porter label, and Courtney loves it because it connects to New Jersey and the Jersey Fresh initiative.
“I always like bringing it back to community,” she says. “Born and raised Jersey girl.”
That love for New Jersey and Cape May informed many of the decisions made during our brand redesign a few years ago. She worked closely with our designers Canales & Co. to ensure that we stayed true to our roots.
“I want people to understand that Canales & Co. did the rebrand, not Courtney Rosenberg!” she laughs. “To all my friends and family, I love you, and thank you for loving the designs, but I did not make them.”
Yet, she was instrumental in the eighteen-month-long process.
“I helped a lot with guiding the use of typography,” she says. “I worked with Ryan, Hank, Mop Man, and Alicia, asking, ‘Do we want an icon as our main logo? Do we want typography?’ We had to remind each other that, while we may like a piece of art as a logo, it needs to work in black and white, in one color, on a header for a business card, on a billboard.”
She credits her college education with a lot of that knowledge.
“I think it brought in some insight,” she said. “Each of us brought something different to the table. The owners knew what they wanted, but Alicia and I could help take what they wanted and put it into something that would work.”
In her early days with the company, she and Maggie were working on social media together, but as Maggie’s role became more operations- and marketing-focused, Courtney moved more into the photography and social media support side. She enjoys using her background in photography to tell the story of Cape May Brewing Co.
“It’s making other people happy,” she says, “telling our story through photography. I like to be able to tell people that it’s the best beer you’ve ever had until the next beer of ours is the best beer you’ve ever had. Telling that story through photography and short, snappy copy and interacting with people who are as passionate about our company as I am makes the job easy and rewarding.”
To keep our social media relevant, Courtney follows a number of other breweries as well as other businesses in the region.
“I stay on top of trends that I see with other breweries,” she tells us, “but I also like to see what other businesses are doing, too, for inspiration.”
Right now, during the COVID pandemic, Courtney — and the rest of the marketing team at Cape May Brewing Company — is challenged with keeping our messaging positive while remaining sensitive to this extraordinary time in our history.
“With today’s climate,” she says, “you have to be aware, and social awareness is key.”
As part of the tourism industry at the southern shore, Courtney keeps up with local hotels and restaurants, as well as some less obvious outlets — many of which give a glimpse into Courtney, herself.
“Anything that has a connection to Cape May,” she says, “but even the Philly sports teams. It’s good to follow the Eagles or Gritty. Gritty’s social media is the shit. The stuff that they post is really great content, so it’s really interesting to see what Gritty’s doing. He’s doing the latest TikTok trends and general trends. It’s not what we do, but it’s interesting to see the reactions you can get from people.”
Regardless, Courtney is a big fan of Philly sports.
“I like to go to gaming events,” she laughs. “Eagles games the most. I don’t get to go to many, but I do like the live sports games.”
Courtney and her mother — Cyndi Rosenberg, a fourth-grade teacher in Lower Township — used to go to lacrosse games together when Courtney was younger.
“I like Phillies games and I like Flyers games,” she says. “I’ve never been to a Sixers game, so if anyone wants to go with me, hit me up.”
Courtney also loves following comedian Heather McMahan — she even dressed up as her for Halloween this past year. Heather’s fiance Jeff used to vacation with his family in Cape May every year and counts his favorite Cape May beer as Mop Water.
“I reached out to her on a whim, not expecting her to respond, but she was like, ‘Hey, that’s Jeff’s favorite beer!’”
Courtney sends her and Jeff some beer every once in a while, and Heather remembered her when Courtney saw her show in Atlantic City.
“She was like, ‘Hey! You’re the Cape May Brewing Company girl!’”
Ultimately, Courtney respects her authenticity, seeking to bring the same trustworthiness to our marketing.
“She knows the power of what her social media can do,” Courtney says, “but she’s not cocky about it. I enjoy that. She’s real. Her comedy is all stuff that’s in my head. I’ll see her complaining about her family or her weight or the roots in her hair growing out. So, I like connecting with her and her fiance about our beer.”
Courtney’s also a big fan of live music.
“Anybody that I like listening to or am open to listening to,” she says. “Some of the best concerts I’ve been to — insert eye-roll, because I talk about it all the time — are Bleachers. Dr. Dog, I went and saw with a few people from the company about a year ago, and I saw them years ago — like 2009 — at Musikfest in Bethlehem when they were just coming up and now they’re big. I enjoy Taylor Swift’s concerts. I saw the Jonas Brothers over the summer with my little cousins — I had an absolute ball. And before quarantine, I saw Celine Dion.”
Celine changed her life. We know because, before quarantine, the Phish-loving staff of Straight to the Pint sat about ten feet away from Courtney, and, for weeks, the entire office was… gifted…? with multiple listenings of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and “My Heart Will Go On” and “The Power of Love” and every other Celine Dion song known to man.
“I had chills the entire concert,” she says. “It was absolutely insane. Her vocals are amazing.”
But the Jersey Girl in her loves the local aspect of Bleachers, a Jersey-based band who drop numerous Garden State references into their music.
“Jack Antonoff and the crew just know how to put on a good show,” she says. “A lot of their songs talk about the Parkway, and they usually do a show at the Stone Pony each year.”
Through the years, Courtney has had the opportunity to have been involved with many successful initiatives at Cape May Brewing Co., but she has a few favorites.
“You Only Pope Once,” she says, enthusiastically. “We created a beer for Pope Francis’s visit to Philly, which I named. We talked about pop culture and wanted to come up with something weird and strange, and that’s what we did.”
And it was a huge success, making international news. News outlets in Philadelphia picked it up, as well as NPR, The New York Times, People magazine, the Washington Post, and outlets in Russia, to name a few.
She also loves — and misses — Foreshore Shandy.
“That’s my baby,” she says. “When we had staff beers back in the day, that was mine. I really love Shirley Temples a lot, and I love cherry, and I love lime, and I love shandies, so it kind of all worked out.”
Courtney’s also been instrumental in our programming surrounding International Women’s Day and our collaborations with the Pink Boots Society, resulting in Maybe She’s Brewed with It and She the People.
“The growth of women in the industry has definitely blown up since I got into it,” she says, “but it’s still nowhere near where it could and should be. And in our current climate, I feel that women’s empowerment is sort of digressing, in a way. International Women’s Day — just throughout the company — has a much bigger meaning than simply the beer that comes out of it. And it gets to bring women together who don’t always get to see each other in this company.”
Ultimately, Courtney is happy to have devoted nearly seven years of her life to a growing company that cares about its employees and its community.
“We’re always pivoting to be successful for everyone involved,” she says, “and in Cape May County, that’s difficult. I’m proud to say that I have a full-time position that’s a family in my hometown — a four-minute drive from my house. Not many people can say that. It’s a special thing to be able to do that in the county with the highest unemployment rate in the state.”
And she loves what Cape May Brewing Company has done for the community.
“I’ve been here for 33 years,” she says, “and to see what Cape May Brewing Company has done for the growth of the Cape May Airport, it’s been amazing. Back when I was younger, it was a roller skating rink for my brother to play hockey. That’s it. Nobody went there. To see us bring businesses into the airport in three or four or five different buildings is insane to me.
“Seeing that come to where we live is only positive, in my opinion.”
Once we’re back up and running, we’re sure you’ll see Courtney back in the Tasting Room. Be sure to say hello and thank her for the incredible impact she’s had on the growth of this company.