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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Brew Update

Big news this week, guys. We’ve got two beers being released, and something special maturing:

SOJO

Our South Jersey Secession Session Scottish Ale — affectionately referred to as SOJO — is on tap as of Wednesday, November 4. The 4.7% brew has all the malty goodness you’ve come to expect from a Scottish beer… let’s just say hops are not as readily available in the Highlands as, say, haggis. Don’t blame us if, after a few sips, you’re left jonesing for Mel Gibson shouting “Freedom” in a kilt.

King Porter Stomp

This is our rich and chocolaty American Porter that’s out on November 6 in honor of The Exit Zero International Jazz Fest. We told you all about it here.  What we didn’t tell you? Some time in the not-so-distant future, it will be available on nitro in our tasting room. This means it’s been carbonated with mostly nitrogen rather than carbon dioxide, resulting in smaller bubbles, a creamier mouthfeel, and a fluffy white head. In other words, it’s worth getting jazzed about.

Dubbel Marker

Remember this brew? It was made in the Trappist tradition, utilizing Belgian yeast strains for a finished product that was lush and fruity. Well, this time around, we’re not distributing it. Instead, we’re saving a portion of the batch for release next month in our tasting room so that Dubbel Marker fans can get their fill, and then we’re barreling the majority off. The end result will be a sour beer.

“The Dubbel Marker is big and malty with lots of sugars leftover after fermentation for organisms to continue munching on in the barrels,” says CMBC’s Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke. “Also, the Belgian yeast strain we use lends a lot of esters that will give off interesting flavors during this second fermentation.”

As for how long the beer will be here? Your guess is as good as ours.

“It could be up to a year,” Chris says. “But we don’t really know. That’s what makes the process exciting.”

We’ll keep you posted on the progress — stay tuned.

 

Big Things For The CMBC Crew…

Our team is always brewing big beers. But recently, we’ve have some big personal events on tap, too. Here’s your proof that a brewery really IS a microcosm of life…

HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY, MOP MAN!

It was 2010 when Bob Krill — aka Mop Man — announced to his colleagues after a 40-year career in big pharmaceuticals that he’d be mop manopening a brewery with his son and his son’s college roommate. Although some people called him nuts, Bob’s never looked back.

“It’s a journey and we’re only at the beginning,” he says. “We’re not in it to become Budweiser, only to put a notch in Jersey’s beer belt, and I’m not just a daytripper… this is a long-term deal. It’s hard work, but we’re having fun, too. And if we can help people out along the way by creating some jobs, that’s very cool. It’s funny… when you tell people you’re involved with clinical trials, they tune you right out. Tell them you brew beer, and man, they’re all ears.”

November 1 marked Bob’s 70th birthday. He requested a steak “the size of a human head” (we call that a “Bobism”), so that’s exactly what he got. Family and friends — including Bob’s dog Brewster — celebrated with a tasty dinner. And, of course, beer. Lots of beer.

HAPPY ENGAGEMENT, JUSTIN!

Sales rep Justin Vitti takes quite a bit of gentle ribbing in our weekly newsletter, but only because he’s such a good sport. We couldn’t bejustin vitti happier for him and girlfriend Mariel Kauffman on their recent engagement.

Justin had the rock for six months, but he waited until the perfect, organic moment to pop the question: when Mariel was upset over a favorite piece of jewelry that needed repair. “Maybe we could just replace it,” Justin told her, ever so suavely whipping out a diamond.

Now, it’s on to seating arrangements and cake tastings. So far, only one thing about the ceremony has been set in stone: there will be beer. Lots of beer.

HAPPY WEDDING, LAUREN!

nuptialMop Man and his son, CMBC Prez Ryan Krill, will be at Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia this weekend for the wedding of their daughter/sister, Lauren Krill. She’s getting hitched to Alex Ruiz, whom she met while working for The Vanguard Group in Arizona.

At the reception, our Coastal Evacuation beer will be on tap, and our Devil’s Reach will be served in bottles with wax caps hand-dipped by Mop Map and CMBC’s Courtney Rosenberg. We’ve cleverly disguised the latter brew via custom labels (created in-house) as “Nuptiale.”

The CMBC team wishes the lovebirds an epic marriage full of laughter, adventure, and beer. Lots of beer.

HAPPY PROMOTIONS, ZACK AND BRIAN!

Brian Hink — Taurus, Kerouak fan, affable lover of pizza — has been promoted from CMBC Brewer to CMBC’s Head Brewer. What does this For Dientail? Managing the entire production team; developing standard operating procedures for the brewhouse, cellar and packaging processes; and liasing with our human resources department. Hey, with an ever-increasing employee count, we’ve got a lot of humans to resource!

Also on the promotion front… Zach Pashley, a six-year veteran of the Coast Guard and a tasting room/events associate for CMBC, has been named Assistant Tasting Room Manager.

“I’m really looking forward to the increased responsibility,” he says. “And for the opportunity to be one of the faces of a company I truly believe in.”

Nice work, boys. Now have yourselves a beer. Or lots of beer.

One-Off Wednesday Returns!

At CMBC, we’ve got an affinity for envelope-pushing. One way to experiment while expanding our offerings? Our One-Off Wednesday series, for which we infuse an existing beer with something offbeat every hump day.

In the summer, our brewers are too out-of-their minds busy keeping up with demand to do this.  But this time of year, they’ve got a moment — just a moment — to play around with some fun ideas.

On tap beginning November 4 — and staying on tap only until it runs out — is our Honey Porter infused with chai tea. This beer already has a star ingredient — 90 pounds of local honey in every 15-barrel batch — which has earned it a coveted Jersey-fresh designation. But the chai will give it that little kick of spice so perfect for November. Love it or hate it… there’s only one way to find out.

Then, on deck for next week, we’re taking I Know What You Did Last Shandy — the beer that tastes like pumpkin pie thanks to the addition of cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar — and adding rootbeer to the mix. Or, at least, the minty herb called wintergreen that gives our homemade root beer its distinctive flavor.

Got any ideas for future one-offs? Be sure to share them with your tasting room associates over your next tasting. We’ll see you at our place.

 

Election Time

Right now, there are several brewery-related bills before the New Jersey State Assembly, many of which would allow for greater job creation within the industry.

“And while we have no guarantees on anything happening with any of them, we have reason to believe they’re in play,” says Eric Orlando, VP of the Kaufman Zita Group which handles lobbying for the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild.

With a super close and contentious Assembly election taking place November 3 – for which candidates have been tossing some serious shade, accusing one another of tax evasion and gutter politics — brewers have been wondering: what does this election mean for our bills?

On the one hand, not much. Beer is a bipartisan issue, no matter who is in office. On the other hand, our current assembly leaders (especially those in our own District One) are great supporters of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, and they’re also well-informed. So if they’re replaced, it wouldn’t necessarily mean the end of the bills these guys have sponsored and supported, but it could delay the movement of these bills, since freshmen legislatures need to go through the education process.

Before you hit the polls, check out what our incumbents have done about beer so far…

(And if you need a refresher on how a bill becomes a law, see here.)

vote

The Republican Incumbent: Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (Running on a ticket with Republican Challenger Jim Sauro*)

–Sponsored bill AJR-72, which would designate the last week of September “New Jersey Beer, Wine and Spirits Week,” a time for celebrating – and bringing exposure to — these industries and the jobs they create within our community. The bill is still alive… but it hasn’t seen any movement since June of 2014, when it was assigned to the Tourism, Arts and Gaming Committee for discussion.

–Serves on the Regulatory Oversight Committee (along with Chris Brown, who’s currently up for reelection in District Two), where two brewery-related bills are up for discussion. One would allow patrons of Jersey tasting rooms to bring in outside food. The other would allow brewpubs to self-distribute a small amount of their product. (Both have been co-sponsored by Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, currently up for reelection in District 19).

–Met with CMBC President Ryan Krill and Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno last June, in order to talk about economic sustainability and hear how small brewers contribute.

–Honored CMBC with a resolution at the ribbon cutting ceremony for our expanded operation last May.

The Democratic Incumbent: Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (Running on a ticket with Democratic Challenger Bruce Land*)

–Is Chairman of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, where he is a friend of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild. Should he not be reelected, another democrat would take over this position, although it’s anyone’s guess who this could be. There are three brewery-related bills currently before this committee:

  • One would allow a brewery to buy a cider and mead-producing license for $938, and to make up to 25,000 barrels of the stuff per year. (Was cosponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, currently up for reelection in District 6).
  • One would allow breweries to distill spirits in their existing facilities. (Was sponsored by Assemblyman Whip Wilson, not currently up for reelection in District 5).
  • One would allow for the sale of craft beer at Jersey farm markets (Was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, currently up for reelection in District 19).

–Co-sponsored bill AJR-109, which would designate the third weekend in October “Shuck, Slip, and Slurp” weekend, to promote the state’s oyster, beer and wine industries. The bill was passed in the Assembly, before being sent to a Senate Committee for discussion in June.

— Honored CMBC with a resolution at the ribbon cutting ceremony for our expanded operation last May.

**Remember, just because politicians are running on a ticket together doesn’t mean they’re not competing with one another. Voters can mix and match if they so choose. They’re are four Assembly seats available, and four contenders in the race. May the best men win.

Fill In The Blank With: Assistant Tap Room Manager Dan Petela

He’s a local guy who’s been a member of the CMBC team for two years. And he’s so amicable, he doesn’t even have any pet peeves… except maybe for an empty glass. Introducing: Dan “The Man” Petela…

Dan (left) with CMBC's Jim Zolna last Halloween.
Dan (left) being goofy with CMBC’s Jim Zolna last Halloween.

My favorite non CMBC craft beer is:  I don’t really have an all-time favorite beer. I like trying beers I haven’t had before.

My favorite CMBC brew is: City To Shore.

The superpower I would you like to have is: Teleportation.

My biggest fear is: Cenosillicaphobia: The fear of having an empty glass.

My favorite band/musician is: Rush.

The most famous person I’ve ever met was: Matt Ryan.

My karaoke song is: Depends, usually a Rush song. If it’s a duet, then Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

The sports team I root for is: Sports? None.

If I could splurge on one must-have item, it would it be:  A circa 1974 Rickenbacker 4001 Electric Bass.

 My favorite hobby is: Homebrewing.

If I were an animal, I would be a: Frog.

The thing that drew me to CMBC was: The beer.

The last time I laughed until I cried was: Never.

My greatest adventure was: Getting engaged.

The dorkiest thing about me is: Everything.

My favorite slasher movie is: I like The Walking Dead. Does that count?

Something no one knows about me is: I once ran a 5k in 18:05.

Craft beer is inspiring because: The possibilities are endless.

My favorite word is: At this point in this interview, probably “um.”

The job I’d give up CMBC for is: There isn’t one.

If I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would be: Peanut butter pie…

I love people who: Are down to earth and honest.

The musician I’m embarrassed to admit I like is: Taylor Swift. Shake it Off is my jam.

The best pickup line I’ve ever heard is: “Is your father an alien? Because you’re from out of this world…”

The worst pickup line I’ve ever used is: I’ve never really used one. I wasn’t good with the ladies.

CMBC Sponsors The Music

What do jazz and craft beer have in common?

“People with good taste like both,” says Michael Kline, organizer of the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival, happening in venues throughout town November 6-8.

As we type this, 180 world-class musicians — including headliner Wynton Marsalis — are making their way to Cape Island for the biannual fete, which CMBC is sponsoring. On tap at festival venues will be King Porter Stomp, our creamy and chocolaty American Porter named for a swing-era jazz composition written in 1905 by Jelly Roll Morton, the first jazz arranger in history.

Be sure to check out the Cape May Brew Co stage at Cabanas Beach Bar, where PhillyBloco will perform Brazilian music with “boundless energy and earth-quaking rhythms” (Friday, 9:30pm/11:30pm; Saturday, 3pm), and Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue will bring down the house with “the cure for modern country music’s doldrums” (Saturday, 12pm/2pm).

For more info on tickets and performers, see exit0jazzfest.com.

In the meantime, check out the tune for which King Porter Stomp was named:

Happy Halloween From CMBC

This Friday, October 30, is Cape May Brew Co’s annual Halloween party. Come in costume (we will be), and you’ll receive a free Halloween-themed pint glass with your tasting. Need some holiday-inspo? Check out what some of our team members call their best costumes ever…

“Pocahantas. Who doesn’t want to be her?” –Liz McCausland, Tasting Room Associate

justin“My best was Animal the Muppet – homemade from cardboard and duct tape and fabrics. It took 3.5 weeks to make and my house was covered in scraps of pink and red yarn for months following.”  –Justin Vitti, Sales rep

My favorite costumes were when I decided to be some sort of skull. The flowers are from when I worked the Fall at thecourt Farm Festival at West Cape May’s Beach Plum Farm and decided while cleaning up I was going to be a sugar skull. I’m a boss at that makeup.  –Courtney Roseberg, Graphic Designer and Social Media Guru

“When I was little, my mom made me be a bunch of grapes for Halloween.  So either it was really inventive or really last minute, because it was basically just a bunch of purple balloons attached to me.” –Heather Mangano, Tasting Room Manager

“Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in his American flag cape when he took to the ice at a Flyers game. Because ‘Merica.” -Zach Pashley, Tasting Room Associate

hank“When I’m not a malt sack, I prefer American Gladiator (Hank-O-Rama), a centaur or a volcano.” –Chris “Hank” Henke, Chief Operating Officer

“80s Metal band member, with big hair.” –Kevin Colt, Brew Back

I was once Peter Pan in the Wildwood Halloween Parade. My niece was Tinkerbell. We kicked so much ass we got 2nd place!” –Dan Petela, Assistant Tasting Room Manager

“I was Waldo like eight years ago for a party. And then again the next year. And then again the next year for a last minute thing. Anytime I’ve worn a costume for the past eight years, probably like five or six times, it’s been Waldo. It’s worked out nicely.” –Brian Hink, Lead Brewer

ryan“Hue Hefner.” –Chuck Wray

“A male pirate. No one recognized me so conversations were interesting – to say the least.” — Nakeya Barreto, Accounting Guru

"My favorite costume was always being a witch as a 
kid because it's timeless." -Maddawg, aka Madelaine Macauley, Tasting Room Associate

“I was Facebook.” –Ryan Krill, President

 

A Quality, Quality-Control Seminar…

Last weekend, our Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke attended a conference in Philadelphia put on by the Master Brewersdownload
Association of the Americas. The MBAA is a non-profit that was formed in 1887 as a way to advance professional brewers via education and networking. Their recent Philly seminar tackled the importance of quality control in the brewhouse.

Among the speakers were Bob Seaman, former Packaging Reliability Engineer for SABMiller and current Plant Manager for Yuengling, and Alastair Pringle, former Senior Director of Brewing Research for Anheuser-Busch and current Instructor of Microbiology at Maryville University.

So yea. The big guns.

Major areas of focus included how to manage oxygen in brewing, how to interpret new FDA policies regarding brewery regulation, how to best fill and sanitize kegs, and how to attain optimal efficiency in packaging. This last point was especially apropos to us, considering the recent completion of our bottling line. The gist? Ain’t nobody got time for off-flavors, exploding bottles, insufficient shelf-life, and other symptoms of sub-par packaging, so it’s best to avoid these altogether.

“If we don’t regulate ourselves, the bigger craft breweries will,” Chris says. “So it’s important that we have our standard operating procedures in place. It’s the reason we’re constantly improving on our traceability.  We strive to know which bag of grain was used to make a specific beer, or which lot number in Washington the hops of a specific beer came from. It all comes back to consistency.”

All in all, the seminar was well worth our time in the City of Brotherly (and boozy) Love.

The Path Most Taken…

If you’ve been to our neck of the woods recently, you may have noticed a new path cutting through these woods, courtesy of the Delaware River and Bay Authority. The walk connects our two facilities at Cape May Airport, making accessing each by foot just a bit nicer.

According to John Cross of the DRBA, the quarter-mile path is made from asphalt milling, or the resilient and eco-friendly material sourced from old roads… or, in this case, from old runways.

“It came from right here at the airport,” John says. “The asphalt was ground up and heated so that it could be reused.”

Now that’s what we call sustainable.

path

Birding And… Beer?

UPDATE: At 6pm on October 25, Cape May Brew Co President Ryan Krill will take anyone with an Autumn Birding Festival badge on a private tour of both CMBC production facilities at the Cape May Airport. Meet him at the tasting room (1288 Hornet Road), and prepare to discuss everything from migratory patterns to mash temps. It’s bound to be great, we’re talon you…

birdAs we type this, the world’s birders are descending upon Cape Island, the capital of the known birding universe, for the annual fall migration, as well as the 69th Annual Autumn Birding Festival happening here this weekend. And we expect to see a bunch of you migrating over to our tasting room. (Had to do it.)

According to David La Puma, director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and a big fan of CMBC: “The type of beer a birder craves after a long day of birding is seasonally-dependent. On a warm fall day, I go for the Cape May IPA or the Take Five Session IPA, but after a cold front moves in, you need something that’s going to warm the cockles. I like the Devil’s Reach or, if you’re looking for something less boozy, the Coffee Stout.”

But how do we even know most birders are beer drinkers to begin with? Let’s examine the evidence:

1 In 2013, Men’s Journal did a story on the “Bad News Birders” who smoke pot, curse, ride motorcycles and, yes, drink beer.

2 “Pub birding” — in which people identify birds from bar windows — is an actual thing.

3 This “All I care about is birding and beer” tee-shirt exists.

4 The International Bird Beer Label Association exists.

5 Birding-slash-drinking clubs hold events in multiple cities, including Denver, Maine and Chicago.

6 The character of James Bond was named for a birder. (Okay, the original 007 drank martinis, but he has since made the switch to beer.)

Let’s face it: after a long day — or even a Big Year — of birdwatching, a cool beer can be so gratifying. So, after you hit the Hawk Watch Platform, the South Cape May Meadows, or some other avian-rich spot, hit our tasting room. We’ll be waiting with some flights. (Really, the puns just write themselves…)

 

 

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