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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company

The Brewhouse Has Landed!

Around 11:42am, our brewhouse came rolling into Cape May Brewery, her tanks a-gleaming, after completing her 2,800-mile journey from California.

“People asked me some strange questions along the way,” said driver David Cook of the trip. “The weirdest was: ‘What’s a brewery?’ I just walked away from those folks. It ain’t for making popcorn!”

That, it ain’t.

Our three-vessel system is comprised of a mash tun (where malted barley is mixed with hot water), a boil kettle (where hops are added for aroma and flavor), and a whirlpool (to help clarify the resulting brew). The latter is not a necessary piece for making beer… just an exciting one. It will allow us to begin work on a new batch before the previous one has finished brewing, which means we’ll keep churning out one tasty recipe after another.

Here is the morning, in pictoral review:

Cellarman Paul Nease and sales rep Justin Vitti anxiously await the arrival of the BH:


The brewhouse backs up into position:

backing up

Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke, Justin, and Brew Master Brian Hink watch the BH backing in:


The brewhouse in position!

in position

Brewhouse driver David Cook and CMB President Ryan Krill, checking out the cargo:

looking up

Ryan, peeking through the tanks:

peeking through

A back-end view:

back end

Brian checks out the bottom. “It won’t be my first time under here,” he says.


Ryan removes the equipment, piece by piece, with the trusty forklift:


Trusty forklift stalls and the CMB team looks under the hood:


Chris helps guide the mash tun into the brewery, tight fit!


Ryan’s happy — we’re in!


Chris transports the control panel after removing it from the truck:

forklift 2

Paul gives the heat exchanger a thumbs up. “It’s a marvel of modern engineering,” he says.


A job well done!




Gearing Up For AC Beer And Music Fest

In 2012, we won Best IPA at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, and we’re excited to defend that title this weekend in booth 221 for the 10th annual event.

The map below, which details the festival’s layout at the AC Convention Center, is a little hard to read, but trust us when we say this is going to be a full couple of days. On tap — besides 1,000 different brews from 100 breweries across the nation — are: a March Madness viewing area, food vendors from around the AC area, culinary demonstrations, beer seminars hosted by beer celebrities, a stunt team performing on pogo sticks, a bagpipe drum band, live beer-inspired sand sculpting, beer/yoga fusion classes, toilet bowl races, mechanical bull riding and a bear and mustache competition. And, of course, epically good people-watching…  especially if you attend one of the rowdier night sessions.

CMB President Ryan Krill, who also happens to be President of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, will be on site to chat about all things craft beer, and the future of craft beer in Jersey. Spoiler: it’s looking bright.




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.


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…







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