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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company

Happy Saint Pat’s

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.

It ain’t easy being green.


New Brew House Is On The Road!

Our new three-vessel, 30-barrel, 8,000-pound brewhouse has (finally!) left Escondido, California and is en route to Cape May. It was custom-built by state-of-the-art manufacturer Premier Stainless, and loaded onto a 53-foot trailer by two guys and one big-ass forklift. The system was one of 94 projects completed by the company in 2014, all of them for microbreweries.

“We’ve been in business  since 2000, but in the last two years, this industry has blown up,” says Premier Stainless Production Manager Jimmy Hicks. “We went from having about 10 or 12 employees to about 32. Millenials don’t drink the Big Three — Bud, Miller, Coors — so there’s an entire generation opting for craft. And no one’s expecting a turn-down anytime soon.”

As for craft beer in Cape May?

“Heck yeah I’m excited to try it!” says Jimmy, a self-described So-Cal boy.

We’ll keep you posted on the whereabouts of our traveling system — the things it’s going to see! — but if you happen to be on the road yourself, especially on Highway 10, keep your eyes peeled. Jimmy says people are keen to tweet pictures of on-the-go brewhouses, and we’re on board with that.

Here’s to a safe journey for our kickass cargo. Ain’t she a beaut?






Road Trip, Anyone?

Accolades are nothing new for Cape May, crown jewel of the Jersey shore and CMB’s home base. We’re a National Historic Landmark-designated city. Budget Travel named us among the top ten coolest small towns in America. Parents magazine named us fifth best beach town in the nation. And datingadvice.com thinks we’re one of the sexiest. (We like to think that has something to do with the beer…)

You might think another shout-out would be ho-hum at this point, but we’re pretty psyched about the most recent: a spot on a map laying out must-see destinations on the ultimate cross-country adventure. The route was calculated by Michigan Data Scientist Randy Olson, who used high-tech algorithms to determine your next dream vacation. The 12,290-mile round-trip will take you through the top-ranked TripAdvisor cities in the US, including Cape Island.

If you’d like to customize your own road trip, Olson released his Python code (plus instructions for how to use it) on his blog. Best brewery stops in the country? We’re just sayin’.

Your ultimate road trip.  Image courtesy of randalolson.com
Your ultimate road trip. Image courtesy of randalolson.com

Getting Mugged

We like to think the people who drink Cape May beer are pretty savvy. To prove it, we asked a bunch of patrons at last night’s Tap Takeover at the Ugly Mug to tell us the coolest thing about themselves. Here’s what they had to say:


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Name: Brady Schoenrock

Drinking: Coconut IPA

Coolest Thing: He’s a Mummer. Also, he used to drive a winch-cat up the slopes of Mt. Tom ski resort in Massachusetts. The not so cool thing? When a cable of that winch-cat broke and Brady nearly went toppling down the mountain. “But I brought it back under control,” he says.


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Name: Cathie Sexton

Drinking: Vodka with grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry. (We’ll forgive her.)

Coolest Thing: “I’m loyal and real,” she says.


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Names: Amber Slawek, Jaclyn Gray                                                                     

Drinking: Coconut IPA, Apple Bomb                                                                       

Coolest Thing: Amber trains horses, and she thinks “the only thing better than CMB beer is the lead singer of Escape Plan.” Jaclyn is a kickass teacher.


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Name: Chris Ohrenich

Drinking: Abbey Dubbel

Coolest Thing: He once swam with barracudas. “And they were frightened of me!” he says.


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Name: Josh Chandlee

Drinking: Coconut IPA

Coolest Thing: He’s only been wrong three times in his life. Also, he’s a twin.


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Name: Kristen Hughes

Drinking: Coconut IPA

Coolest Thing: She can drive stick like a boss.


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Name: Taylor Haley

Drinking: Coconut IPA

Coolest Thing: She’ll soon be teaching English in Thailand.


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Name: Lily Kublak

Drinking: Abbey Dubbel

Cool Thing: She’s an “underground comedian.”


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Names: Emily RighterPeter RossiCraig Lawson

Drinking: Apple BombCoconut IPA, Abbey Dubbel

Coolest Thing: Emily works at Congress Hall and loves Cape May Brewery, Peter is a student at Rowan University, and Craig owns Seven Mile Pies in Stone Harbor. “Bring more Cape May brew up there,” he says. “We love it!”


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Name: Jack Doyle

Drinking: Coastal Evacuation

Coolest Thing: He says, “I’m rush chairman,” which we’re pretty sure is an Animal House reference.


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Name: Our own Justin Vitti, CMB sales rep, and the guy behind tonight’s toasted Coconut IPA

Drinking: Coconut IPA

Coolest Thing: He can stick three-quarters of a drinking straw up his nose. Evidence above.




Get Thee To The Mug… Tonight!

The Ugly Mug is one of the oldest and coolest pubs in Cape May. It’s home to the infamous — and sexual innuendo-rich — Froth-Blowing Contest (where patrons blow as much head from their beers in one breath as possible)…

The blowing of the froth. (Image courtesy of Exit Zero magazine.)
The blowing of the froth. (Image courtesy of Exit Zero magazine.)

And it’s home to the Exit Zero Burns Supper (where men in kilts recite poetry and eat haggis)…

Burns night! (Image courtesy of Exit Zero magazine)
Burns night! (Image courtesy of Exit Zero magazine)

And now — drum roll, please — it’s home to CMBC’s tap takeover (where everyone will drink kickass beer and have a tremendously good time)…


Beginning at 6pm, six of our brews are available.

Says Mug Manager Dwight Dunbracco: “This is an excellent chance to experience local beers in the heart of town. The Devil’s Reach Belgian Ale pairs great with any of our burgers.”

Be sure to also try Justin’s Niu IPA, the one-time release brainchild of CMB sales rep Justin Vitti, who spent eight-and-a-half hours toasting organic coconut for the brew. While you do so, cover band Escape Plan will perform music that is “80s, 90s, country, rock, dance and anything that’s popular,” says Dwight.

Bottom line: you’re going to want to show your mug, ugly or otherwise.


A “Niu” Brew For Coconut Fans Released Today

Forget power. With great variety comes great responsibility.

At CMB, we’ve curated the largest tasting room in the state, with 20 or so rotating brews on tap at any given time. This means we’ve set the bar high for ourselves when it comes to creating new recipes, but we don’t shy away from a challenge. Launching our employee series was one way to ensure the beer variety at Exit 0 never waivers.

Fourteen people who work for CMB — from bartenders to truck drivers to graphic designers — have each collaborated with Brew Master Brian Hink in order to conceptualize a new beer. Out of this brainstorming has come everything from Paul’s Bareknuckle Imperial Stout, infused with organic maple syrup, to the Session IPA called Maggie’s Day Off, to an English-style ESB known as Steve’s Biscuits and Honey.

“They’ve each been a homerun,” says President Ryan Krill. Which is not surprising, considering how important customer satisfaction is to everyone on the CMB team. (Okay, let’s be real, we’re all competing with one another to see whose keg kicks the quickest.)

Now, the employee series is coming to a temporary end — our bartenders and truck drivers and graphic designers need to stop researching hops and get back to work, or we’ll have no one to serve/deliver/market all of that beer everyone’s been dreaming up.

But first, being released on Thursday March 12 as the fourth in a six-new-beers-in-six-weeks series, is Justin’s Niu IPA (“Niu” is Hawaiian for coconut).

Typically, coconut is not an ingredient you see in beer, and if it IS used, it’s likely part of a heavier porter or stout.

But, as Brew Master Brian says, “We’re craft brewers; we do whatever the hell we want.”

So Justin Vitti — our most mustachioed sales rep — spent eight-and-a-half hours toasting 44 pounds of organic

Justin contemplates his new beer.
Justin contemplates his new beer.

coconut in small batches, until it was browned enough for this exotic, one-time release and it’s tropical fruit-heavy nose.

“It’s light, fresh and different, and a great kick-off for spring,” he says.

We’re expecting this to be a pretty polarizing brew, so stop by our tasting room any day between noon and 8pm to see where you stand.

If nothing else, you’ll be helping Justin win that unspoken competition.

Hank Gets A Haircut

How do you know spring is coming?

Once a year, Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke cuts his hair. He does it himself, and he does it outside.

But it’s been so cold, Hank hasn’t wanted to venture out for his annual trim.

Until today!

This was Hank this morning (he’s on the right, Facility Engineer Carl Hudson is on the left):

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And this is Hank now:

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Happy spring, ya’ll.

What’s Happening At 12:39pm On A Tuesday

At 20 minutes before 1:00 yesterday, CMB President Ryan Krill was just finishing up a meeting of the ABC Advisory Committee in Trenton, where he represented New Jersey craft breweries as president of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild. Here’s what happened in his absence, back at home base:

Tasting room vet Bill Edwards of Dennis Township has a pint with tasting room newbies Eric and Zach Gorecke of Avalon. “We’ve heard great things about this place,” says Eric.


Sales rep Richie Rallo sports a cooler filled with growlers before a meeting with a client. “It’s the first time I’ve had to put ice in this cooler in months because it’s been 0 degrees outside,” he says.

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Bartender Bill McCaughey poses for a picture after eating chicken, asparagus, and a baked potato for lunch.

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Photographer Frank Weiss sets up for a shoot of CMB employees.

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Bartender Dan Petela and Tasting Room Manager Jim Zolna play frisbee while waiting to have their picture taken.

use this one

Graphic designer Courtney Rosenberg expresses concern that said frisbees will end up in the street.

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Cellarman Paul Nease folds six-pack containers that will be filled with bottles of Coastal Evacuation. “I’d like to get through 700 today,” he says.

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Facility engineer Carl Hudson and Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke work on the bottling line.

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Logistics man Andrew Ewing sorts through candidates for the new driver position or, as he calls it, “checking out the apps.”

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What Went Down At The Monday Meeting: 3/9/15

9:30: Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke discusses his upcoming haircut. “I only do it once a year,” he says. “We should put that in [CMB newsletter] The Growler.”

9:33: Production meeting begins! Last week’s snowstorm altered the brewing schedule a bit. The new plan: brewing, kegging, and bottling a LOT of Devil’s Reach this week, and Cape May IPA and the Foreshore Shandy next week. The latter is a cherry and lime shandy, and “probably the manliest beer we have,” jokes Brew Master Brian Hink. Following that will be another batch of Turtle Gut.

9:41: Discussion ensues over what beer will be delivered to Philadelphia accounts next, as well as the upcoming contest,maria_sharapova_51aa3b89b0 the United States Open Beer Championship. Not to be confused with that other US Open. (Go, Sharapova, go!)

9:47: The one-off for one-off Wednesday this week is ChaIPA, says Brian. (That’s chai tea plus Cape May IPA.) For next week, it’s Devil’s Apple Forbidden Fruit, a 12% “beast of a beer,” followed by a “pineappleized” version of the new coconut IPA. As for what to call the last one — “Pina Colada-ish,” suggests Hank.

9:50: President Ryan Krill reminds everyone we’ll be brewing Escape the Cape Pale Ale again this year to commemorate June’s Escape the Cape Triathlon, the race in which a bunch of crazy people athletes leap from the back of a ferry into the Delaware Bay.

Escape the Cape! Photo courtesy of DelMo Sports.
Escape the Cape! Photo courtesy of DelMo Sports.

9:53: Expansion update! New brew house is shipping THIS WEEK, and a team of electricians are currently busy making sure the new HQ building has enough juice to power it.

9:55: Yesterday, reports licensed pilot Ryan, he did a flight with the owner of Ventura’s Offshore Cafe, who’s interested in carrying CMB beer. Also, Ryan will be attending an ABC Advisory Committee meeting in Trenton this week in order to represent Jersey breweries as President of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild.

10:30: Full staff meeting begins! Graphic designer Courtney Rosenberg, sporting a cool new hairdo, tells Hank to stop stealing her corner seat. “No one takes baby out of the corner,” she says. Everyone then wishes a happy birthday to sales rep Richie Rallo;there are doughnuts on the conference table to celebrate.

10:33: Sales rep Justin Vitti gives everyone the new account info: Tortilla Press Cantina in Merchantville is now carrying Devi’s Reach. Sales rep Richie Rallo adds that Sand Barrens Golf Club in Swainton has also boarded the CMB train, and that we’re the only craft beer on tap there.

10:38: Hank downloads everyone on the morning’s production meeting, and reminds that Justin’s NIU IPA, a toasted coconut IPA, is being released this Thursday.

Our team working hard  at Philly Craft Beer Festival.
Our team working hard at Philly Craft Beer Festival.

10:43: Time for a recap of the weekend, including the “drunk-fest” that was Philly Craft Beer Festival at the Navy Yard, and the “super successful” tap takeover that took place at UNO Pizzeria and Grill in Maple Shade. Upcoming are several exciting spring events, including a Firkin Friday at the new Gordon Ramsay Pub in Atlantic City, which should be a bit of a show. Justin explains the venue would like him to pierce the bunghole and “make it spray a little,” which someone promptly suggests putting on a tee-shirt.

10:46: Ryan says we’ll be partnering with the Cape May Boat Show May 1st through 3rd, which is the same weekend as the Strictly Boaters Boat Show, also in Cape May. “Awkward,” says Justin.

10:50: Tap Room Coordinator Ashley Sundstrom says we’ll be supplying beer to a civil war reenactment hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Center for Arts and Humanities this summer. Cape May brews: enjoyed by Red Coats and Rebels alike.

10:52: Hank makes a formal motion to end the meeting, and Ryan seconds it. (Ryan and Hank have been reading up on parliamentary procedure as laid out by Robert’s Rules of Order.) Cheers!

Hey Sports Fans

Press of Atlantic City sports writer David Weinberg has a bone to pick with Eagles coach Chip Kelly — a duck bone. There’s speculation that Kelly, who now has control over free agency and the draft, will make a move for quarterback Marcus Mariota — aka, the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” — which would bring the former Oregon Duck count on the Eagles roster up to 10.  It’s a “huge mistake,” says Weinberg. “Aside from Dan Fotus, if you can name even one former Oregon quarterback who became an NFL star, I’ll buy you a growler filled with Coastal Evacuation ale at Cape May Brewing Company.”

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


If so, Dave’s email is [email protected]. Hit him up.

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