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.
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.
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.
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.”
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…
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.
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.)
More kegs came in: 150 of them, to be exact.
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
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.