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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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The Keel in your Galley

IMG_8714Now that you have your three bottles of The Keel, are you wondering what to do with them? Well, besides drink them, of course. Our Head Chef JP Thomas comes through again, creating a scrumdiddlyumptious three-course meal, with each course containing The Keel as an ingredient. Cook ’em up and down what’s left during the meal.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients
3 Whole Tomatoes, sliced
12oz Buffalo mozzarella cheese, sliced to match the tomatoes
Fresh basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Keel Balsamic Reduction

Directions
Layer tomatoes and mozzarella slices, sprinkle with torn basil leaves, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and The Keel reduction to finish.

Keel Reduction

Ingredients
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup The Keel
1/2 cup of light brown sugar

Directions
Mix over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved completely. Bring to a boil, and reduce to low heat. Simmer until volume is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. Cool before using.

JP does his thing
JP does his thing

Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients
3 lbs steak — your favorite cut for grilling: NY Strip, Flank, London Broil, T-Bone, Sirloin, etc.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh parsley
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 Tbsp red chili flakes
2 Tbsp shallots
2 oz The Keel
3 limes, juiced
Salt, pepper, and oil as needed

Directions
Place all ingredients in blender until smooth. Slowly add oil to help sauce puree.

Place half of sauce in a bowl, set half aside.

Add steaks to bowl and rub to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes, then place on a pre-heated grill. Grill over medium heat until done to your preference. Baste meat while grilling with marinade.

Allow meat to rest 5 to 7 minutes before serving. Drizzle with remaining sauce.

Cheesecake with Raspberry Keel Sauce

Ingredients
5 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups cane sugar
4 oz The Keel
2 oz Chambord or other raspberry liqueur

Directions
Make your favorite cheesecake.

Place all ingredients (not the cheesecake!) in a small pot over medium low heat. Stir slowly and use back of spoon to crush raspberries. Simmer until volume is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. Strain, cool, and serve.

Excuse us. We need to get to the kitchen. Now.

Fireworks and Cape May Brews

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Let’s face it: nothing says ‘Murica more than beer and fireworks. Except, maybe, beef. And making fun of France.

So we talked to our guys out in the field to find out the best bars in the region to kick back with a CMBC brew and catch the local fireworks. We’re pretty sure you’ll be able to find a decent burger at most of these places, and the Francophobia we’ll just leave up to you.

And you should be nicer to France. If it weren’t for them, we’d have lost the Revolutionary War and be driving on the wrong side of the road and pronouncing “schedule” all weird.

And drinking warm beer. Seriously, thank the French.

Anyway. Check out these great bars with outdoor seating, either on the Fourth or any time this summer.

Tommy's Tap
Tommy’s Tavern + Tap

Check out McGillicuddy’s Tap House up in Asbury Park. A great Irish pub right on the lake, we’ve got Misty Dawn pouring on their outside deck. And were you looking for beef? Look no more — they use only Sterling Silver Premium Beef. Delish!

There’s Tommy’s Tavern + Tap there in Sea Bright. They’ve got pizza, burgers, salads and sandwiches, and an outside deck with our Jersey Fresh Honey Porter on Nitro. So creamy and delicious, the perfect match to one of their Cali Burgers.

How about Sawmill Cafe in Seaside? Their pizzas are cr-ay-zay and we’ve got Coastal Evacuation on tap. And it’s right on the boardwalk! You really can’t get any better access than that.

Further west, check out the Pour House in Westfield. They’ve got a killer menu out there: oyster bar, soups,some bangin’ chili, and, of course, burgers. Kick back,watch the fireworks, and knock back a few Salty Lips or Escape the Capes.

The Pour House
The Pour House

There’s Keg and Kitchen out that way, too — emphasis on both of those words! Their menu is off the freakin’ hook: clams, grilled octopus, salmon, flatbreads, burgers, tacos, yum, yum, and more yum! And we’ve got Mooncusser Pilsner and Misty Dawn on tap, so belly up, boys!

And you can’t forget Connie Mac’s out in Pennsauken. Their menu has just about everything: burgers, steaks, sandwiches, cheesesteaks, pastas, crab cakes… but their wings are where it’s at! Chill for awhile outside, drink a few CMIPAs, and watch the fireworks.

Gonna be in Philly this Independence Day? You should. It’s literally where it all happened. If so, check out the Irish Pol. Irish-Polish fusion cuisine? Sounds interesting to us! Even if it’s not your thing, they’ve got Summer Catch on tap, so give it a whirl.

Con Murphy's
Con Murphy’s

Or maybe head over to Con Murphy’s. A great Irish pub right in Center City, they’ve got flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers, and a helluva Irish menu. Sit outside, watch the fireworks, and sip on some Summer Catch.

Doc Magrogan’s in University City is a killer location, too. They have all the seafood. Seriously. All of it. People have been asking us for seafood, and we have to say, “Sorry, Doc Magrogan’s took it all.” Chow down on some… well… every imaginable seafood dish. Oh, they’ve got Summer Catch, too, which just pairs beautifully with anything from the sea.

Man, Philly seems to be loving Summer Catch.

Joe at The Oar House,<br>repping some CMBC swag
Joe at The Oar House, repping some CMBC swag

Up in Atlantic City, we’ve got Chickie & Petes at the Tropicana. You’re right on the boardwalk, so you can’t miss the fireworks, and the food is awesome: mussels, crabs, lobster pie, and, of course, crab fries! Grab a few Coastal Evacuations and plan for a great night!

And you’ve gotta love the Back Bay Ale House! Wings, crab dip, crab cakes, and of course some killer burgers. We’ve got The Bog pouring, so sit back and enjoy.

Farther inland, there’s The Old Oar House Irish Pub in Millville. If you haven’t been there yet, check this place out. A whopping forty-two taps, four of them are current CMBC brews: Salty Lips, Sea Mistress, Beets by May, and our IPA on Nitro. They’ve got a great menu, too: awesome burgers, shepherd’s pie, a great Guinness stew, fish and chips, the whole nine. (And if you see a guy sitting in the beer garden, munching on sweet potato fries, feverishly studying the script of Sweeney Todd, and really just wishing he were at a Phish show, say hi to Scott and buy him an IPA. He’s probably had a long day of storytelling for CMBC and rehearsing as Sweeney, opening July 15. Yes, another shameless plug.)

Eat at Joe's
Eat at Joe’s

Closer to the Southern Shore, there’s Joe’s Fish Co. in Wildwood. They’ve got an awesome new upstairs, outdoor bar, where they’re pouring our Jersey Fresh Honey Porter and our flagship IPA. And their menu is INSANE! Crab dip, guac, mussels, corn and crab bisque, a raw bar, lobster mac and cheese, cedar planked salmon, and a “boring” burger — yep, that’s what it’s called! Check it out!

And in good, old Cape May, we’ve got Harpoon Henry’s, right on the Bay. GORGEOUS views, the best sunsets in Cape May, and some really killer seafood dishes, we’re also pouring IPA on their deck. (Well, no. That’s bad phrasing. We won’t be pouring it ON the deck. That’s wasteful and impudent. They have a deck and our IPA on tap. We seem to have lost track of why we’re here.) Don’t miss the fireworks!

And, of course, where it all began: Cabanas. They bought our very first keg of IPA back in the early days, and it hasn’t left their taps since then. While you’re there, munch on some fish tacos, calamari, wings, flatbreads, and burgers. Sit outside and watch the fireworks over the ocean. Should be a great night!

None of these close enough to you? Check out our Beer Finder for more locations.

And we’re sorry we couldn’t highlight every one of our accounts, but Phish is at the Mann this week.

Have a great holiday!

Independence Day with the Staff

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Wondering what the staff at CMBC does with their Independence Day? What brew they’ll be drinking? Where’s the best surfing in Cape May? We sat down with a few of them to find out what their plans are… and what they consider to be the best CMBC brew to declare their independence.

Tasting Room Manager Zack Pashley explains what makes a good day-drinking beer. “Something low in alcohol — but high enough to do the trick — so that you can drink four or five of them.”

Sounds good to us.

32oz Growler
64oz Growler
Cape May IPA
$9
$19
Coastal Evacuation
$10
$21
Always Ready
$10
$21
Cape May White
$11
$20
Honey Porter
$9
$19
Devil's Reach
$10
$21
Tan Limes
$11
$19
The Bog
$10
$18
Crushin' It
$12
$23
The Purp
$11
$20
Cococabana
$11
$20
Corrosion
$12
$20
Snag & Drop
$12
$22
Bounding Main
$12
$22
Double Dry-Hopped White Caps
$13
$27
King Porter Stomp
$10
$20
She the People
$10
$23
Irish Potato
$9
$20
Prices current as of April 15, 2020. Pricing is subject to change without notice.

So, be sure to fill a growler or two with one of these perfect day-drinking beers for this Independence Day. And remember, like Zack says: “You can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning.”

Stay safe, y’all!

What Lies in Store

If you’ve been to the brewery lately, you’ve been to our dedicated sour brewery — or special fermentation brewery, as Hank insists we refer to it. All of those fermenters and barrels next to the Tasting Room are specifically for special fermentation brewing. The process behind these brews introduces a whole ton of weird and crazy microflora that could conceivably contaminate the next beer in that fermenter.

Who wants that? Not us.

So we keep it separate from everything else, like some mad scientist poring over a lab dripping with multicolored acids and uncontrolled, spontaneous explosions. Muahahahaha….

Just like that. But without the explosions. Usually.

At any rate, there are some major plans in store for the sour brewery (sorry, Hank, it’s easier to type!), and we caught up with Hank and Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm to see how much they’d be willing to divulge. (Answer: not much.)

What they are willing to divulge is variety. “The combinations and different sources of flavor are endless,” Jimmy says.

“More interesting fermentations,” Hank says. “Not necessarily fermentations to give us sour beer, but it could be fermentation of wild yeasts.”

Hank — ever the fermentation aficionado — explains spontaneous fermentation. These special fermentations involve using whatever unknown microorganisms are already present in the ingredients to inoculate the wort. For example, there was a grapevine growing behind the brewery that’s since been cut down.  “We’ve taken those grapes, crushed them up, and inoculated wort with them to see what happens. Whatever bacteria or yeasts that were living on the grape skins are now fermenting wort into, hopefully, some sort of beer product.”

Only time will tell.

We’re getting into a whole new slew of barrel aging, as well. Right now, we’ve got the red wine barrels, but we’ll be adding more. We’re probably going to steer away from the usual bourbon barrels that so many breweries tend to use, as “that’s something we feel has been done to death in the US craft beer industry,” Jimmy says, “and we’d like to pursue other avenues.”

Hank mentions sherry barrels, and Jimmy adds, “I’m using some of my Scottish contacts for Scotch whisky barrels, but that would be something further down the line. They are much harder to supply in good nick than bourbon barrels.” Sounds like he’s spent a lot of time talking to Scotsmen.

Fruit fermentation — actually using the sugars in fruits to fuel the fermentation as opposed to grains in wort — is something Hank wants to try, too. (Okay, we’ll start calling it the “special fermentation brewery” much more frequently, since that’s definitely what it sounds like.)

b90bfe0f-6b14-4f4a-be85-3446bc1d1104We’re also considering doing barrel fermentation — actually fermenting in the barrel as opposed to just using them for aging. “Giant mess,” Hank tells us. “Nothing I want to do, but if those guys are willing to clean up after it every day…. When you ferment in a barrel, all that foam you see on the ground coming off the steel fermenter comes out of the bunghole of the barrel. And the fruit flies are all over it.”

What’s really interesting is that these barrels are going to develop in complexity as we do more things to them. The barrels are never really cleaned after use, and that’s sort of the point of using a barrel. Not only are the flavors of the wood imparted into the fluid, but the flavors of what was previously in the barrel are leeched into the brew, as well.

It sounds disgusting, but the funkier the barrel, the better the brew.

The barrels have a weird combination of institutional memory and evolution. “Even if we do The Keel again in the same eight barrels,” Hank says, “it wouldn’t be the same. It’s the barrels. They’re always different.”

As we’ve mentioned before, there are up to four brews slated to come out from the original pitch that eventually became The Keel. We’re shooting for quarterly releases, but, as Jimmy tells us, “We’re aiming to release these beers as they are ready. We’re going to let the beer dictate when it is ready to be unleashed.”

As for specifics…? Not a whole lot. Hank alludes to aging some of our flagship brews and Jimmy mentions something about a “winter seasonal release,” but, beyond that, we couldn’t get a whole lot out of them.

See? Our boys are the definition of tight-lipped. (Except for when they have beer to taste.)

So… who knows? As we’ve learned, at CMBC the possibilities are endless, even without a special fermentation brewery. (Happy, Hank?) Now that we’ve got that, the endless possibilities are multiplied.

Can’t wait to taste what you guys come up with!

Dripping in This Strange Design

IMG_7143So… there’s been quite a lot of talk at Straight to the Pint about barrel-aging and cellaring and bacteria and all kinds of weird stuff with long names that you don’t normally associate with beer. We admit — we didn’t fully get it at first, either. We’ve been reporting on it faithfully, but it’s kinda like being stuck in a conversation about Game of Thrones with an attractive member of the opposite sex when you couldn’t get beyond the third episode: you’re really just trying to look as good as possible without embarrassing yourself too much.

Beer definitely helps in both of those situations. Mostly, it helps if the other person has had a few too many Sawyer Swaps.

So, we got together with Head Brewer Brian Hink — this is his baby, after all — and Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm to try to make sense of all of this. Namely: what does barrel-aging do?

We’re pretty sure that everyone reading this is familiar with wood. It’s that stuff that literally grows on trees. It’s porous — meaning that air molecules can get through it — and it has gagillions of little nooks and crannies for wonderful bacteria and other microorganisms to flourish and grow like SimCity on Cheetah speed. Barrels, as you’re probably aware, are made of this stuff.

Steel, on the other hand, has none of those things. It doesn’t grow on trees. It’s not porous. It has zero nooks, very few crannies, BUT that doesn’t mean that sterilization is easy. If one little microorganism gets into a steel fermenter, it could have a huge bacteria party (Hell, why not? We just gave it a boatload of beer…) and multiply and contaminate the entire batch. This is not a good thing. This is why we’ve opened a dedicated sour brewery — so that those crazy microorganisms that cause a beer to sour can have a home of their own and multiply like bunnies.

So, we got a bunch of used wine barrels. Yes, used. When it comes to brewing, these things aren’t like cars — newer is most definitely not better. You want them used and abused because the flavors of whatever had previously been inside — whether bourbon, cognac, rum, or, as in the case of The Keel, red wine — are going to leech into the beer. And, since red wine is almost as good as our IPA — almost — that’s a good thing. A really good thing.

Also, that small amount of oxygen that the barrel lets in… changes the beer. It oxygenates. It’s essentially the same chemical process that causes rust — the oxygen combines with various chemicals already present in the beer and out pops some sort of acid. “For example,” Jimmy says, “acetaldehyde, which is present in most beers, although usually at a concentration below the flavor threshold, can be oxidized to acetic acid over time in the presence of oxygen.”

The oxygen also lets those little microorganisms go crazy. You know how you need oxygen in order to live? Well… that’s one thing you have in common with a bacterium. (We won’t go into the others.) Normally, oxygen is the Lex Luthor of beer. (Beer is definitely Superman. Definitely.)

“Like any food product,” Brian says, “oxygen is the enemy and will cause beer to go stale. In a barrel-aged beer with the lactic acid-producing bacteria, and the acetic acid-producing bacteria present, the micro-oxygenation allows for drastically different levels of acid production than the normal closed system of a stainless steel fermenter.”

TA-DA! Sour. Really, really sour.

This is why we wanted to put The Keel in barrels. Better sour flavors, some beautiful red wine flavors, some oakiness from the wood… it’s all combined to make this a truly special brew.

Furthermore, swimming in this real thing we call The Keel are some twenty different little microorganisms (including five varieties of Brettanomyces), this was one helluva pitch to start off these barrels with. Recontaminating things actually makes our lives a lot easier.

Now that you know all there is to know about barrel-aging — at least, you know what we know — what’s the deal with cellaring?

Well, The Keel is a bottle conditioned beer. This means that the beer is continuing to ferment in the bottle. Some beers are pasteurized so that fermentation stops, then it’s bottled — it will taste much the same long after the sun goes supernova as it does today. With The Keel, there’s a little more yeast in each bottle, so it continues to work its yeasty magic.

The cool thing about this? We don’t really know what’s going to happen. We have some educated guesses. We can make some assumptions based upon past successes and failures. We can draw on our knowledge and previous experience with aging sour, wild, and bottle-conditioned beers. All beers change over time in the bottle, but where “clean” beers devolve over time, sours just improve with age. Hops fade, freshness fades, but acid and funk stay forever.

But, unlike a typical release that’s going to taste more or less the same when you drink it in two years because that’s what we want to happen, we want this one to change. We want to see it evolve. We want our customers to be able to come back in a year and say, “You know, The Keel was so different from when I drank it a year ago. I can’t wait to try my other bottle a year from now!”

Jimmy's cellar
Jimmy’s cellar

The main changes will be in the areas of body and mouthfeel. “I had a case of beers that were re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast,” Jimmy says, “and I let them cellar for almost seven years. The beer was like drinking silk.”

This is why we want you to buy three bottles. Drink one today. Drink one in a year. Drink one in two years. Tell us how they changed. Like Hank said in a previous blog, “You become part of this.”

We like you guys. We want you to be a part of what we do. “This is what craft beer and homebrewing are all about,” Jimmy says, “having greater determination over what one drinks.”

We’re going to be aging some ourselves, so long as Hank doesn’t get a little overzealous and drink them all on Saturday. But we want to know what you think.

So, what are those guesses? How do these brewing geniuses expect the beer to change?

“I would predict more souring as the bacteria continue to slowly metabolize some of the compounds,” Jimmy tells us, “but there’s also some Brettanomyces in there so the funky flavors will come more and more to the forefront.”

Brian thinks that “The Keel is going to age very gracefully. The acidity might become more hidden in the blend as the Brett shows off more, and the more rustic and earthy notes will definitely be pushed to the forefront on the profile.”

Like a good Phish jam, The Keel will just get funkier and funkier. This is truly a strange design.

But you need to be careful. After two years or so, the acetic acid will begin to give the beer a vinegar-like flavor. The conditioning yeast in the bottle will eventually die and autolyse — basically, those terrified little yeasties will start to eat themselves because there’s nothing left in the beer for them to live on. Like roadkill, not exactly the kind of flavors you want in your brew. But, since the Brett in the brew are practically immortal, they’ll have less restraint than before and eat those autolysed yeasts.

So, hit the lights and close the door. Keep The Keel in a cool, dark place, upright, at a temperature between 55° and 65° Fahrenheit, and you should be golden.

After all these years, after all of this anticipation, we can’t wait for you to be part of this. It’s been three years in the making, and our levels of excitement are truly through the roof.

We’re thrilled to bring a few companions on this ride.

Saturday, June 25. 11 am. The Brewtique. Don’t miss it.

Top Ten Reasons to Line Up for The Keel

#10 — Because you have a deathwish and need to brave tornadoes near and far. (Yeah, CMBC is still reeling from the tornado that ripped through Cape May. Apparently, we’re not in Kansas anymore.)

#9 — Because you’ve been putting off checking out The Brewtique and you just can’t take it another minute.

#8 — Because you’ve decided to skip your sixth Wawa run of the week. You don’t need coffee NEARLY as much as you need The Keel. (Though… that is some damn good coffee…. Okay. We’ll give it to you. There’s a Wawa around the corner. Be sure to pick up something for Justin Vitti or you’ll never hear the end of it.)

#7 — Because if we don’t sell out of this beer, we could stop brewing experimentally. If we stop brewing experimentally, Hank could become bored. If Hank becomes bored, he could start designing satellites again. If he starts designing satellites again, they could contain a death ray. If they contain a death ray, it could mean the end of the world. You don’t want to cause the end of the world, DO YOU?

#6 — Because longer hours in the tasting room + cool summer nights in the beer garden = seriously happy campers

#5 — Because we want Mop Man to stay proud.

#4 — Because you want to be the STAR of all of the Fourth of July barbeques. Better max your allowance and get three!

IMG_8134#3 — Because Head Brewer Brian Hink is “more proud of this beer than anything I’ve ever brewed.”

#2 — Because of this bottle. Have you seen it? Look at this thing. LOOK AT IT. It’s GORGEOUS. It should be on a runway. Or hanging in the Guggenheim. The bottle itself is worth $20 — AND YOU GET TO DRINK WHAT’S INSIDE!

#1 — Because this beer took us almost three friggin’ years to get to you. Do you really want to wait another minute?

Ship in a Bottle

Deciding when to bottle a beer is some serious business. Homebrewers have the luxury of sitting on a brew for as long as they want, letting the flavors settle and the fermentations run their course. However, we want to get it out to you as soon as we can. Yet, if we bottle it too early, not only is the beer not the best it could possibly be, but we run the risk of having several hundred cases of slowly-ticking timebombs. No one wants pieces of glass shrapnel getting embedded into their eyes.

So we asked Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm how he knew when to bottle The Keel.

“The only way to know when something like The Keel is ready to be bottled is to taste it,” he says. “Each beer in our sour program has a desired flavor profile; the balance between the tart sour notes, the level of the woodsy compounds or of any fruit added, the kind of acidity coming through from the lactic and acetic acids being produced, and any funk from Brettanomyces yeast that may be present.  We taste these beers often to gauge their progress and keep detailed notes on each barrel.”

In the case of The Keel, that process took about eight months.

“We have a general idea of how long a batch of sour beer should take,” Jimmy says, “but in the end we let the beer tell us when it’s almost ready.  We take note when a select batch of barrels begins to approach the flavor profile we want, inform the rest of the company, and plan out a release schedule.”

There are up to three more brews currently planned for the original batch of sour inoculant that became The Keel, but the release schedule isn’t set in stone. We have a general idea of when we’d like to get them out, but “these are the kinds of beers that will ruin any best laid plans if you’re not careful. The best way to prevent that is to let it just do its thing and release it in its own time,” Jimmy says.

“It took a lot of us a lot of time,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink about the bottling process. It was the first run using our fancy new bottler, “so we were working the kinks out along the way.” It took four of the brewers working a twelve-hour day, with six others jumping in for up to eleven hours each.

Check out the video below. (With some epic-as-hell pirate music by Ross Bugden.)

Meet the Mop Man

IMG_0910If for any reason someone asks you to define proud father, just point them toward Bob Krill: proud of Ryan, proud of Hank, and proud of Cape May Brewing Company.

“Are you kidding me?” Mop Man asks, laughing. “Yeah, he’s a great kid. And my ‘adopted’ son, Chris, they’re both great.” We get the feeling talking to Bob that he’s sort of in awe of both boys: their work ethic, determination, and honesty. “You come in 9 o’clock at night sometimes, they’re still here.”

Hank, Ryan, and many of their friends would spend time at the Krill’s house in Avalon over the summers during college. One of their friends, Jimmy, gave Hank a brew kit for his birthday one year, and it started the ball rolling. The guys started homebrewing at the house in Avalon.

After their group of friends scattered around the country after graduation, a few years had passed and Hank wanted a career change. He talked it over with Ryan, they asked Bob if he wanted to help them start a brewery. “It only took me a second. I said, ‘Sure, why not?'”

IMG_0372However, Bob had a bit of buyer’s remorse when he looked at the empty buildings at Cape May Airport. “I thought, ‘How the hell do we get our money back?'” he says, laughing. “There was nobody there!” Nonetheless, Bob is proud of the economic engine the brewery has become, as well as the recognition from Cape May’s elected officials of the brewery as the “anchor” of Cape May Airport.

He seems to have gotten over those initial doubts pretty quickly, realizing that he “never invested in a brewery. I invested in Ryan. And Chris. They believe in what they’re doing, and I believe in what they’re doing.”

Bob seems to have followed his own advice to fathers: “Raise them the best you can, but you gotta let them make their own choices.”

IMG_2086With Father’s Day on Sunday, the last thing Bob wants is another pint glass. “Counting the two cases in my trunk…?” he says, laughing. “I try to get the new ones every now and then, but it’s like working at a pizza place and someone offers you a slice of pizza. I got enough glasses!” Nonetheless, he’s partial to the regular pint glass: “I think the design is beautiful. You throw them in the freezer and have a nice cold glass of beer.” He suggests Mop Water — his namesake — of course.

On Sunday, Mop Man will be at a cookout at Ryan’s while his daughter Lauren is in town. They’ll be kicking back with a few cold IPAs and Ryan will be making a bone-in rib-eye. “I told him I wanted a steak as big as my head.”

“Sounds like a good plan for me.” You deserve it, Bob.

To Mop Man and all of the other fathers out there, CMBC wishes you a very happy Father’s Day.

Table for Two

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On Saturday, June 11, Ryan sat down with chef Joe Massaglia on WOND 1400AM. Ray Rastelli of Rastelli Foods — a local supplier of meats and seafood — joins them.

Rastelli brings along some great food, and Chef Massaglia is eager to pair the tasty eats with some good Cape May brews. We must have made an impression — Rastelli signed on as an account after the show!

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Hour one

Hour two

Guild Roundup

downloadLegislative success means different things to different people. No one ever gets everything they want, but — like the end of a boxing match — you look around and see who’s still standing and you call them the winner.

We told you about the Smart Container Act before — the bottle deposit endeavor that made very little sense to anyone in the beverage industry. It required, among other things, essentially turning CMBC into a recycling center and a 10-cent tax on glass containers.

We’re all about helping the environment here at CMBC, and we think we do our part. We repurpose our spent grain as feed to local chickens and cows, we reuse all of our glassware in the Tasting Room (unless someone has too much Devil’s Reach and breaks their glass), we’ve turned scrap metal into a state-of-the-art bottling line, we buy as much of our ingredients locally as is humanly possible, and Ryan bikes to work so frequently you’d think he was born on a bike. We’d love to see fewer glass bottles and aluminum cans out there in the world, but there was just no chance we were going to have the facilities to recycle them ourselves.

Ding, dong, the SCA is dead!

Well, maybe not dead as much as tabled. Instead of taxing containers, “it’s now off to plastic bags,” Ryan tells us. The cause is noble but the sponsor of the bill is working with the Food Council for a more achievable piece of legislation.”

CMBC is all about reducing the number of plastic bags out there. They’re a scourge on humanity, and there’s another viable option in paper bags. (#gopaper) With the money being earmarked for lead abatement, it’s definitely money that needs to be raised. The new piece of legislation seems far more logical.

Another really sweet piece of legislation involves creating a Mead and Cider license. (See what we did there? Sweet? Mead? Cider? Hush it. It’s been a long week.)

Currently, only farm wineries are allowed to produce cider and mead. There’s only one mead producer in New Jersey, and they operate on a yearly, renewable permit, subject to revocation at any time. There’s an effort afoot to add a handful of breweries to the list of facilities allowed to produce cider and mead.

With over 100 brews in our lineup, could you imagine the possibilities? “We could start making cider,” says Ryan, “which would be great.”

Mead, essentially fermented honey, would be another great outlet — along with our Jersey Fresh Honey Porter — to use local honey. “It’s another channel for creativity in the New Jersey beverage community.”

Let’s hope that Ry-guy and his cohorts at the Guild are able to get this one passed. It would be a great opportunity for many of New Jersey’s brewers, including CMBC.

 

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