Our brewers love to say that “we brew beer we want to drink.”
While that’s certainly true of our latest release, Beaches n’ Cream, sometimes we’ll brew a beer simply because the concept is too good to pass up. Sometimes someone will toss a name out there — something like “Beaches n’ Cream,” for example — and the name will carry with it a whole slew of possibilities.
Beaches n’ Cream began its life as so many of our brews do, as a one-off. We did a Peaches and Cream with our hoppy Pale Ale, R.A.D. #002 back in January, and it was a huge hit.
“Production Brewers Kevin Kately and Mike McGrath were spit-balling beer name ideas and came up with Beaches n’ Cream,” Head Brewer Brian Hink tells us. “It was too perfect, so in our monthly upcoming beer release meeting I threw it out there as a beer I’d love to do, and since the name was so perfect it just made sense.”
Once everyone was on board with the name, it was time to design a beer that tastes just like its delicious dessert namesake, peaches and cream. Luckily, Brian’s been looking forward to the chance to design a beer much like this one.
“Fruited, lactose IPAs are really blowing up right now,” he tells us, “definitely an up-and-coming style I’ve been dying to play around with, so it was only a matter of time before we’d be able to sneak one into the schedule.”
We hopped up this fruity IPA with Amarillo, Azacca, and Calypso — the perfect hops bill for something so juicy.
“Amarillo was an absolute no-brainer with its strong peach and apricot notes,” Brian says, “so that was the focus hop I layered everything around. Azacca and Calypso really bring a strong citrus and tropical note on their own, but when paired with Amarillo they really brought out each other’s stone fruit character.”
Brewer Mark Graves is diggin’ the hops bill, as well. He loves the brightness of the hops paired with peaches.
“This is a delightful beer to welcome spring,” he says. “Whenever that may be.”
In a beer called Beaches n’ Cream, you can expect a certain amount of creaminess: particularly from the lactose added to the malt bill. While the remainder of the malts are relatively straightforward for a juicy and tropical IPA — generous amounts of wheat and oats in the malts — the lactose adds a bit of sweetness.
“To add a touch of malt sweetness to act as counterpoint to the lactose sweetness,” Brian explains, “we added in some Honey Malt, which I think brought out a beautiful orange hue to the color and help really tie the room together.”
Mark is stoked for Beaches n’ Cream.
“It’s one of the more unique creations we’ve come out with here at Cape May,” he says. “An IPA with the addition of fruit — it tiptoes the line to a dessert. I could see myself enjoying this beer with a nice spring salad topped with some seasonal fruit, nuts, and cheese. Maybe even some bbq chicken, not because it works, but because that’s what I want for lunch.”
Ultimately, though, the guys had a good time putting this beer together.
“This was a really fun beer to conceptualize and work on throughout the process,” Brian says. “Working within the confines of a peaches and cream dessert but in a new-school IPA — that was a great starting point, and letting everything work backward from there was great.”
Beaches n’ Cream is on tap now in the Tasting Room. Stop down and give it a try!