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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Take Five Session IPA Out Tomorrow

Last year, Esquire magazine ran an article on low-alcohol session beers in which writer Aaron Goldberg lamented their “complete inability to get you shitfaced,” and said they “evoke sad images of slobs stumped on stools, bloating their bellies.”

The graphic Esquire chose to illustrate it's piece on the stupidity of session beers in November, which some critics called "forced and inaccurate."
The graphic Esquire magazine used to illustrate its editorial on session beers in November, which some critics called “forced and inaccurate.”

He’s right about one thing – session beers are not what you reach for if you’ve caught your  spouse having an affair with your best friend after getting fired on a bad hair day. If that’s the  kind of moment you’re in, well, we don’t begrudge you a bender.

But, if you’re looking to “day drink your face off while still being able to function” says Lead Brewer Brian Hink, sessions are the piece de resistance to a relaxed afternoon.

During World War 1, “sessions” referred to the periods in which around-the-clock shell production workers were allowed to take a break and throw a few back. Course, they couldn’t return to work smashed, so they chose beers with low-alcohol content, ie sessions.

Today, these clean-finishing brews still have an ABV of 5% or less. And our Take Five  Session  IPA, being released tomorrow as the fifth in a six-new-beers-in-six-weeks-series, fits  the bill.

“I cannot wait for it,” Brian says. “It’s only about four percent, but super hoppy. It’s the kind you down in two sips before thinking: ‘Where’d my beer go?’ It’s just that drinkable.”

You could even drink it at work.

“Just not work at CMB,” adds Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke.

A January article in Outside magazine took a much different position than Esquire, declaring sessions the beer of choice for snowboarders, surfers and skaters who can’t have a hangover crippling a workout.

Whatever camp you fall into – seasoned athletes or “slobs stumped on stools” – you’re welcome to take five (see what we did there?) at CMBC.

Just don’t drool on our bar.

Brewhouse Update 7!

Our BH is now heading through Wheeling, West Virginia, located along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. David Cook’s windshield is looking in need of a good clean-up, and we’re betting after a long day on the road, David probably is, too. But he won’t be stopping for the night until he hits Carlile, Pennsylvania in another 230 miles. Go, David, go.

Wild and wonderful... kind of like our new brew house...
Wild and wonderful… kind of like our new brew house…


 

Brewhouse Update 6!

Driver David Cook takes his mandatory, 30-minute break in London, Ohio, 25 miles southwest of Columbus. It’s currently 42 degrees there, with winds at two miles per hour.  “I’m eating lunch — ham and cheese sandwich, Doritos and Moutain Dew —  and relaxing,” he says.

london

Brewhouse Update 5!

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!

Welcome to Ohio, as seen from behind the windshield of the brewhouse truck.
Welcome to Ohio, as seen from behind the windshield of the brewhouse truck.

Brewhouse Update 4!

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.

 

Image courtesy of kickass driver David Cook.
Image courtesy of kickass driver David Cook.

News From The Guild

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.

Garden State Brewers Guild Logo“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.

Brewhouse Update 3!

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…

 

arch

 

 

 

 

Brewhouse Update 2!

The brew house has just entered 31.4-mile wide Joplin, Missouri, home of Langston Hughes, Dennis Weaver, and the Dorthea B Weaver Historical Museum. “We’re at 70 miles per hour,” says driver David Cook. Only 1261.15 miles to go.
IMG_0128

Last Week In Review

It was a busy seven days of kicking ass kegs and taking names at CMB. Here’s what went down.

freedom 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’schef 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.)

More kegs came in: 150 of them, kegto be exact.

Business partners Victoria Felman-Defalco and Christina Miranda pose for a photo at the Governor's Conference on Tourism with our girl Alicia.
Business partners Victoria Felman-Defalco and Christina Miranda pose for a photo at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism with our girl Alicia.

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

scissors out. “We can’t be a hairless brewery!” he says.

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.

Brewhouse Update 1!

The new brewhouse is currently in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with 1,377 miles left to go on a 2,800-mile journey that began yesterday.

Our brew house at the very beginning of her trip, in Barstow, California. Image courtesy of David  Cook.
Our brew house at the very beginning of her trip, in Barstow, California. Image courtesy of David Cook.

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.

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