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Hey, Buckeyes. Our brewhouse has entered Ohio, home of Neil Armstrong, Dave Grohl, the largest Amish population of any state in the nation, and the biggest museum collection of historical contraceptives.
“People are still asking a lot of questions about what I’m transporting,” says driver David Cook.
Only 599 miles to go!
She’s making her way through Indianapolis, past Lucas Oil Stadium, with a seating capacity of 62,421. (Lincoln Financial Field can hold 6,755 more, so take that, Colts fans.)
Miles ’till arrival? 736.1. Eleven hours, 17 minutes to go.
Our guy Ryan Krill, CMB co-founder and president, was elected president of The Garden State Craft Brewers Guild — the voice of Jersey’s craft brewing industry since 1996 — last January. Under his leadership, the group’s spreading the good word: Jersey craft beer is primed to reach its tipping point.
Little known fact: the state used to be home to hundreds of breweries, including Kruger, the first in the world to can beer. Budweiser even had a satellite plant in Newark. And then came Prohibition and the death of Jersey beer distribution. Even after the government-mandated dry spell of the 1920s, the Garden State remained largely boozeless for over 70 years.
Now — thanks to sexy start-ups like the 32 breweries and 13 breweries-in-planning currently represented by the Guild, along with their four media and nine allied trade members — the pendulum is finally swinging the other way, and boy is it.
“I started getting really involved last year by founding a second Guild-sponsored beer festival called Brews by the Bay,” Ryan says. “Thanks to round-trip ferry passes, the event is the only bi-state beer festival in the nation, and it raised money needed by the Guild for more latitude with pursuing new ideas.”
Among these new ideas? Increasing communication between the association and Jersey’s thirsty residents, hiring an executive director, and adding yet another beer festival to generate excitement for an industry that’s creating jobs in a post-recession climate. As for just how many jobs, Cape May Brewing Company alone is up to 21 year-round employees after only four years in existence, and Ryan is busy putting together an economic impact report which details the importance of a sustainable craft beer culture state-wide.
To that end, he and his fellow board members are traversing the sometimes vicious intersection that is beer and legislation, finessing a Best Practices document to help new brewers navigate the current tasting room boom.
And they’re doing it all because it’s their job, yes, but also because it’s their passion.
“Brewing beer is part science and part art, and that resonates with people,” says Ryan. “I remember when Cape May first joined the Guild, and there were only a handful of people at the meetings; our last meeting had 40 people. I’m looking forward to injecting the group with even more energy, and taking it to the next level.”
Stay tuned for updates, beer fans.
As of 7:30pm last night, our new brewhouse was making her way into St Louis, Missouri, home of Jon Hamm, John Goodman, and ice tea, invented there in 1904. Below is the proof, a picture of the Saint Louis Arch sent to us by driver David Cook. It’s a 630-foot structure built as a monument to western expansion, as seen from the freeway. Where will the brewhouse’s next pit stop be? Stay tuned…
It was a busy seven days of kicking ass kegs and taking names at CMB. Here’s what went down.
Justin showed off his figure: CMB sales rep Justin Vittii was the man twice-over — first, at the Ugly Mug last Thursday where his toasted coconut IPA was a big hit, and then again on March 13th. This was the first Firkin Friday at the new Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill in Atlantic City, and CMB’s Cape May IPA with dry-hopped citra and sweet orange peel was the brew of the hour. Justin carried a keg on his shoulder through the lobby of Caesar’s Hotel and Casino before entering the restaurant (he couldn’t carry the actual firkin or it would have exploded). Then, he made a brilliant show of tapping the firkin in front of a full house, and he did it all to a soundtrack of bag pipers over the sound system while wearing a Black Watch tartan kilt. “Save for some of the girls who worked there, I was the only one in probably a 100-mile radius in a kilt,” he says, “but I got a lot of compliments.” Adding to the good energy of the day? A spirited speech kicking off the pub’s opening made from on top of the bar by Executive Chef La Tasha McCutchen, winner of the Hell’s Kitchen’s 13th season. (Why the Scottish theme, considering Mr Ramsay is actually English? We don’t know, but we don’t nitpick.)
CMB surprised: Christina Miranda, co-owner of Manhattan-based Repoint Marketing PR, gave a talk at The Governor’s Conference on Tourism in the Golden Nugget Casino last Thursday. Her message? How important the element of surprise is when engaging potential customers and keeping them out of autopilot. And just as the 160 or so attendees started drifting off into, well, auto-pilot, Christina brought out some surprises of her own, including free beer from CMB, which perked everyone right up. “It was 4:40pm at the end of a long day of conferences, so energy was kind of low,” says our Marketing Guru Alicia Grasso. “But then, all of a sudden, out comes a New Orleans-style jazz band called Hot Sardines, servers delivering free bagels fresh from Bantams on Bleaker Street and, of course, Cape May beer. Two pitchers were brought to my table of five ladies, and they were both kicked quickly. And I only had half a glass!” Cheers to happy surprises.
Hair got buzzed: First, it was Hank. Then, Andrew and Ryan followed suit. Then Paul shaved his beard. But Brew Master Brian is holding
We got around: CMB picked up 10 new accounts, including: Green’s Liquors (Hildreth Avenue in Wildwood), Green’s Liquors (26th Street in Wildwood), Congress Hall, the Greate Bay Country Club, Ventura’s Off-Shore Café, Di Orio’s Circle Café, Back Bay Ale House, Bubba’s Liquors, Tuckers Tavern, and Scales Grill and Deck Bar.
The new brewhouse is currently in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with 1,377 miles left to go on a 2,800-mile journey that began yesterday.
We caught up with West Virginia-native and our brewhouse driver David Cook, who, although a Pilsner fan himself, says he’s stoked to arrive in Cape May.
“I don’t have to load up again until Friday, so I’m excited to try the beer,” he told us.
As for the trip thus far? This is what David has to say:
How’s it going? I’m getting a lot of attention.
How so? Yesterday, in New Mexico, I thought I was going to be pulled over by the cop behind me, but then I realized he had his phone out, taking pictures. A lot of people are grabbing photos.
Are you taking pictures of your trip? I wanted to in New Mexico, but I couldn’t find the really big, really gnarly rocks I was looking for.
Any crazy sightings, wildlife encounters, bizarre happenings en route? All smooth so far.
How many hours are you driving a day? Between 10 and 11.
How are you staying alert? Lots of caffeine.
Is it nerve-wracking driving such a big load? This is my first brew house, but it’s alright. It’s not hanging off the back of the trailer or nothing. [Editor’s note: Good to know.]
What’s the blind spot like on a vehicle like this: Pretty damn big.
What route are you taking: Probably Route 70. I really ain’t sure. When I get to Jersey, I think… isn’t there a road called 58 or something?
55? That sounds right.
Please tell me you have GPS: Yes, I do.
David is going to keep us updated with photos en route, so we’ll keep you updated, too, beer fans.
It’s Saint Paddy’s Day, which means it’s green beer time. Come into our tasting room between noon and 8pm, order a $5 pint or tasting, and we’ll give you one of our lucky color-changing cups. Leave the food coloring to the frat boys.
Just remember, this is the only day you’re allowed to be excited about green beer. That’s because, any other day, “green beer” likely doesn’t refer to a Kermit-colored brew, but one that’s been removed from its yeast too early.
Allow us to go Bill Nye on you for a moment:
Acetaldehyde is a compound released during the process of fermentation. If beer is allowed to ferment long enough, it clears itself of the off-flavor this compound lends. But if not, the unsuspecting brewer ends up with a taste and aroma she didn’t see coming — that of grass, green apples or, in extreme cases, latex paint.
While it’s usually considered a fault, the presence of acetaldehyde flavor is sometimes the end-goal (we’re looking at you, Budweiser). So, if you happen to experience it during your own home-brew experiment, tell your friends it was purposeful, join them for a Saint Paddy’s pint, and go easy on yourself.
It ain’t easy being green.
Our new three-vessel, 30-barrel, 8,000-pound brewhouse has (finally!) left Escondido, California and is en route to Cape May. It was custom-built by state-of-the-art manufacturer Premier Stainless, and loaded onto a 53-foot trailer by two guys and one big-ass forklift. The system was one of 94 projects completed by the company in 2014, all of them for microbreweries.
“We’ve been in business since 2000, but in the last two years, this industry has blown up,” says Premier Stainless Production Manager Jimmy Hicks. “We went from having about 10 or 12 employees to about 32. Millenials don’t drink the Big Three — Bud, Miller, Coors — so there’s an entire generation opting for craft. And no one’s expecting a turn-down anytime soon.”
As for craft beer in Cape May?
“Heck yeah I’m excited to try it!” says Jimmy, a self-described So-Cal boy.
We’ll keep you posted on the whereabouts of our traveling system — the things it’s going to see! — but if you happen to be on the road yourself, especially on Highway 10, keep your eyes peeled. Jimmy says people are keen to tweet pictures of on-the-go brewhouses, and we’re on board with that.
Here’s to a safe journey for our kickass cargo. Ain’t she a beaut?
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