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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company

Cape May Brew Co On The Move

In this week’s installment of CMBC On the Move, we’ve a pic from the Grand Palladium in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  From left to right, you’re looking at: Ron Miller, Jamie Peters, George (in the CMBC tee!) and Kelly Bowman, and — also looking fly in CMBC swag — Ed and Cindy Gormon.

“Mexican beer has nothing on Cape May Brewery,” Ed says.




Animal Of The Week: Buddah

We’ve kicked off our charity drive for the Cape May County Animal Shelter, so every week, we’ll be introducing you to one of the wet-nosed cuties you’ll be helping when you donate in our tasting room. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be compelled to adopt… hint, hint.

Meet Buddha. He’s just about the kewlest pittbull terrier we’ve ever met. And he’s top of his class in the shelter’s obedience training program to boot. Get yourself a bottle of Devil’s Reach, pour this guy a big bowl of water, and you’ve got yourself a drinking buddy. When you’re ready to rub his Buddah belly, call the shelter at 609-465-8923.



Releases Of The Week!

We’re still on a three-release streak this week. (And it’s making us rhyme.)

A Charred Oak IPA, our Wednesday One-Off, is still on tap (but going quickly, so hurry over). We haven’t done a one-off with our flagship Cape May IPA in about three months, so it was time. Because it can be hard to find ingredients that stand up to the strong hop flavor of the beer, we opted for something with some oomph – oak chips. First, we smoked them (okay, charred them) with a blowtorch. Then, we soaked them in whisky for some extra smoky flavor. We conditioned the beer over the chips so they would absorb this flavor, but not so much that the beer’s hop flavor would be masked. So… hop to it, beer fans. (Womp, womp).

Release number two is our Pale Ale with Citra, which tastes like “walking through a California orange grove at harvest time,” according to Head Brewer Brian Hink. “Fewer and fewer breweries are making pale ales because they’re not in vogue,” he says. (Which, by the tenets of hipsterdom, sort of makes them in vogue.) “We hop ours as if it were an IPA, so it’s a little more hoppy and has some more body than a traditional session IPA.” Weighing in at 5.2%, it’s on tap beginning January 28 at noon.

And finally, for the tee-totaling set, we’ve got our specialty soda: blackberry lime, also on tap beginning January 28 at noon. “It’s literally just the fresh fruit, the fresh mint, and sugar,” says manager of culinary ops, JP Thomas. “It was like making a mojito – a nice, refreshing, sit-back-and-relax drink.” On deck for next week: expect something with basil…

citra pale ale
Citra Pale Ale. You can almost smell the oranges.

Something To Savor…

Good news from our HQ…

This June, the Brewers Association will host their ninth-annual SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience. For the record 350 craft breweries across the country who wanted in, a lottery was held, and CMBC was one of 60 selected to attend the major event.

We’re stoked for five reasons:

One – Over the course of two nights, in the National Building Museum in Washington DC, we’ll taste from a menu designed to pair with the finest offerings of at least 70 independent breweries, including our own. Not only is this a mouth-watering good time, it underscores the beauty (and science!) behind beer at the dinner table. Move over, Pinot Noir.

Two— The event also reinforces the largely untapped affinity between brewers and cooks, which we’ve been drawing on over the course of the last year with sponsorship of beer pairing dinners (see here and here), and the hiring of our own CIA-trained chef.

Three – All products at SAVOR are sourced locally, and sustainability turns us on.

Four – It’s a great chance to mingle with luminaries in our industry.

Five – And finally, we’re excited for SAVOR because everything we glean about the food/beer continuum will benefit you, the CMBC fan.

Watch this space for updates.


Meet The Staff: Nakeya Barreto

Financial guru Nakeya Barreto came onboard the CMBC ship in August. Her name is mispronounced by 88% of people she meets. Other fun facts are below. (And it’s Na-key-ah Buh-ret-toe, by the way…)

I AM FROM… Here. Born and raised.


MY FAVORITE NON-CMBC BEER IS… Rubaeus Rasberry Ale from Founders.

MY FAVORITE HOBBY IS… trying new recipes. I’m especially intrigued by the ones that have the least amount of ingredients. I actually make a five-ingredient vegan and yeast-free bread that’s way too easy to eat.

THE LAST TIME I LAUGHED UNTIL I CRIED WAS… when someone bought me a fart book. It had 10 different fart noises and a story to go with each one…



MY FAVORITE CARTOON IS… Does Mary Poppins count?  It has cartoon parts…

MY BIGGEST FEAR IS… You’re not supposed to tell people your biggest fear!

THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON I’VE EVER MET WAS… A few, but they’re just people right? However, I once introduced a date to a friend who is a close friend of Denzel Washington, and he got so wide-eyed that I blurted out “Are you star struck or something?” That didn’t go well.

MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE IS… heavy nose breathers.

THE SPORTS TEAMS I FOLLOW ARE… I don’t follow sports.

IF I COULD, I’D SPLURGE ON… a stay at an off-the-grid cabin in the woods for two weeks!

SOMETHING NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT ME IS… that I’m in ministry training school.

THE BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… to consider how difficult it is to change yourself before you try to change someone else.


MY HIDDEN TALENT IS… I’m capable of performing minor car maintenance like changing my oil, changing my brakes, and doing a tune-up. I also have a current cosmetology license and cut and highlight my own hair!

I WAS DRAWN TO CMBC BECAUSE… There’s a big difference between working for a company that is chasing money opposed to working for a company that is following a passion. The people here put in lot of hard work following a passion and everything else just sort of falls into place after that. And working with [marketing guru] Alicia Grasso again is like delicious multifaceted aromatic beer head atop an ice cold fresh-poured beer.

IF I HAD TO NAME A CMBC BEER TOMORROW, I WOULD CALL IT… Eve’s Rebellion, and it would be an Extra Pale Ale. In it, I’d like to package some coconut and citrus flavors to mimic a sunset’s brilliant colors, beautiful clouds and the ability to change the entire mood of a day.


MY KARAOKE SONG IS… “Love” by Keshia Cole but ONLY with my daughter.


Craft Soda, Anyone?

In the summer of 2014, Bob (aka Mop Man) had an inspired idea.


“I noticed the designated drivers in our tasting room asking for diet Coke or Pepsi,” he says. “So I thought to myself: ‘Why not offer them craft soda?’”

On August 24 that year, after doing much research online and in books, he brewed his first batch of ginger ale – made with only all-natural ingredients like cane sugar, fresh lemon, and 30-pounds of hand-cut ginger.

“If you look at a can of commercial ginger ale, the first ingredient is water and the next four are preservatives, followed by corn syrup and ginger flavoring,” he says. “I wanted ours to be the opposite — only real ingredients.”

From there, Bob made about 15 more test batches, tweaking ingredient ratios each time in order to land on a perfectly balanced recipe. At the same time, Chris stepped in and helped concoct a rootbeer. Each style has been available in our tasting room ever since.

“I don’t care about cost,” Bob says. “The goal has always been to produce the highest quality.”

The demand for these sodas has been so great, we’ve decided to expand our offerings. Enter JP Thomas, a CIA-trained chef and CMBC’s new manager of culinary ops. He’s been working with Bob to conceive more recipes, which will be released one at a time every Thursday as specialty one-offs.

“They’re going to be unique,” JP says. “I can’t emulate a Sprite without using chemicals, but I can make a lemon and lime soda using real fruit that tastes like actual lemons and limes. This is very rare. Even sodas marketed as ‘natural’ usually contain color-number-five or something.”

So far, we’ve come out with batches of blueberry and raspberry, each requiring one pound of fresh fruit for every gallon of soda. The release for today, January 21, is raspberry lime. The process is the same each time. Boiled fruit is added to a house-made syrup before being mashed up in a 60-gallon rolling tank or, in the words of Head Brewer Brian Hink, a “mini-fermenter on wheels.” The liquid is then strained into sixtels and hooked up to CO2 tanks for forced carbonation, a process which can take anywhere from eight hours to a couple of days.

“More sugar holds more bubbles, so sweeter sodas take less time,” JP explains.

The guys have big plans for the future. JP is brainstorming a rhubarb-based soda, and anticipating the local Jersey Fresh ingredients he’ll incorporate this summer. Bob is hard at work tweaking a tonic water recipe.

“While most commercial varieties use a quinine extract, we make our own quinine from South American cinchona tree bark, which is used to treat malaria and restless leg syndrome,” says Bob, whose pre-brewery life was in pharmaceutical science. “This plays well into our philosophy: no artificial anything.”

In the not-so-distant future, we’re hoping to bottle our sodas for retail sale. Until that time, we’ll keep churning out pop alongside our pints.

“The goal is to give people a treat,” Bob says. “Even if they aren’t drinking alcohol.”

Jim and Chuck, sipping some mighty fine craft soda.
Jim and Zack, sipping some mighty fine craft soda.


Cape May Brew Co On The Move

For this week’s installment of CMBC Swag in Cool Places, we’ve got Lauren Frech of Pottstown, PA who ran the Blue Cross Broad Street 10-miler in Philadelphia last May.

“I love wearing my CMBC tank,” she says. “It was even better knowing when I finished the race there was a growler filled with my favorite, Devil’s Reach. Keep the good beers coming!”

Thanks, Lauren — and for all you runners out there: if you’re up for the Ocean Drive 10-miler and marathon happening in our backyard on March 29, we’re ready with post-run pints…




Three Releases This Week!

Good things come in threes, right?

First up is this week’s Wednesday One-Off. Conceived by JP Thomas, our new manager of culinary special ops, and out January 20, it’s the Turtle Gut Shaken Not Stirred, aka our Turtle Gut American sour infused with olive juice and even served with an olive. (Need a refresher on where the name Turtle Gut came from? See here.) Operations Manager Ashley Sundstrom calls it a “Dirty Turtle.” Our beertenders call it “going fast.” Think malty sweetness, sharp acidity, and a little something extra.

“The salty and sour go so well together,” JP says. “And that plays a trick on the tongue that makes it taste sweet.”

Then, for the first time since August, Poverty Beach is coming back. On January 21, this bold but easy-drinking Belgian IPA with spicy undertones will be available again — in all its citrusy, Centennial hop glory. Expect a pillowy head, an effervescent mouthfeel, and… sorry, what we’re we saying? Now we’re thirsty.

It’s no secret that IPA is a style craft brewers love to tinker with. See: American, English and Imperial iterations. So what’s the deal with the Belgian prefix? This subgroup is the result of fermenting IPA with Belgian yeast, allowing for fruitier esters.

Our final product “tastes like a delicious blend of Coastal Evacuation and Devil’s Reach,” Chris says. Plus, it’s named for Cape May’s beautiful surfing beach on the east end of town, so you know it’s got to be good. ABV is 5.5%.

Our next release, out January 23, is the bomb — Apple Bomb, that is. This wheat beer is one of our flagships, and it’s gone through a bit of tweaking. Inspired by the tasty apple butter homemade every year by Chris’ mom, we first made the brew by cooking down fresh apples and fermenting them with apple juice.

And then our tank exploded.

We *may* have underestimated how quickly 55 gallons of apple juice ferment. But there’s no use in crying over spilled milk (or overflowing beer foam, as the case may be). After all, the incident inspired the beer’s name.

Over the years, we’ve refined the recipe. The final product? An 8% ABV brew that is most definitely NOT a cider. No alcoholic apple juice here.

In the words of Chris: “This still tastes like a beer.”

Stop by, try them all, and let us know which style you like best.

PS – Next week’s one-off? Smoked IPA, coming at you January 27.

Poverty Beach: not just for surfing anymore.
Poverty Beach: not just for surfing anymore.

Animal of the Week: Layla

We’ve kicked off our charity drive for the Cape May County Animal Shelter, so every week, we’ll be introducing you to one of the wet-nosed cuties you’ll be helping when you donate in our tasting room. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be compelled to adopt… hint, hint.

Here’s a dog that will ease your worried mind…

Layla, a two-year-old pitt bull terrier mix, is super docile, great on a leash, and has no problem taking commands. And she’s just a little chubby, which means there’s more to snuggle.

“She’s super sweet,” says animal attendant Jackie Dicola. “When you pet her, she has this adorable habit of leaning in to you.”

Layla is up to date on all shots, and she’s great with kids, cats and other dogs. The only thing she needs?  YOU. So finish your beer and call the shelter at 609-465-8923.





Great Scott(ish Beer)!

You’ve tried it in our tasting room, or at one of our accounts. You may even have tried it from a growler in the comfort of your own home. But never, we’re willing to bet, have you tried our South Jersey Secession Session Scottish Ale where it tastes best: a rollicking, kilt-raising Scottish party. January 29, at the 12th Annual Exit Zero Burns Supper, you’ll finally get your chance.

The event, happening simultaneously at the Ugly Mug and Delaney’s on Cape May’s Washington Street Mall, features members of the Irish Pipe Brigade… who somehow manage to carry full pint glasses while they play. And it features the Bastard Sons of Captain Mey performing folksy rock music to a spirited, tartan-clad crowd. Throughout the night, there will be poetry from Scotland’s 18th-century poet laureate and national hero, Robert Burns, or the guy behind Auld Lang Syne.

But the main event is a traditional Scottish feast of haggis. And no, that’s not code for “leftover bits of sheep meat cooked in the animal’s stomach lining.” At least not most of the time. The version you’ll be served is tasty meatloaf made with spices and oatmeal. But the unwilling are welcome to have fish and chips.

“Even if some of the wussy Americans are afraid to try the haggis,” says event host and consummate Scotsman Jack Wright, “you can’t pass up the opportunity to try Scottish ale. Gordon Ramsay has already said it’s fantastic, and I agree.”

The beer has a 4.7% ABV and lots of malty goodness, since hops are not readily available in the Highlands. It’s best enjoyed in a kilt while speaking gaelic next to a bonnie lad or lass.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at exitzero.us. Event kicks off at 7pm on January 29, and all proceeds benefit the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival, of which CMBC is a proud sponsor.

We’ll see you there.


The pipers and their beers...
The pipers and their beers… Credit: Aleksey Moryakov, Exit Zero magazine

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