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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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CMBC won! And other observations from AC Beer Fest

Grown men in beer mug antennae riding a mechanical bull. Twentysomethings dabbling in extreme pogo-sticking. Friends in varying states of sobriety chatting over tater tots and naturally-cured bacon. People stepping out of their comfort zones to try yoga, amateur break dancing and something called “toilet bowl racing.” Zombie clowns.

There are plenty of reasons this weekend’s 10th Annual Atlantic City Beer and Music Fest – the second largest event of its kind in the nation, with 25,000 patrons and a square-footage of half a million — was one hell of a good time.

Kristina Trinceri and Noelle Sage work the CMB booth.
Kristina Trinceri and Noelle Sage work the CMB booth.

But, as is always the hope at a beer festival, the buzziest energy came not from the good food, games and people-watching (or even the fact that this event pumps $7 million into the local economy) but from the innovative booze, much of it being poured from the Garden State-designated section of the AC Convention Center.

“Jersey’s making some good fucking beer,” said festival producer Jon Henderson during yesterday’s first session, country-rock band Lucero performing in the background. “And I think Cape May Brewing Company is making the most creative brews. They’re coming out with consistently good styles.”

Our Graphic Design guru Courtney Rosenberg proudly displays the People's Choice Award!
Our Graphic Design guru Courtney Rosenberg proudly displays the People’s Choice Award!

Because you, the patrons, awarded CMBC this year’s People’s Choice Award, we’re humbled to know you  agree with Jon. And we were stoked to hear all of the good things said about us as we made our way through  the 150 breweries and 116 exhibitors on site.

At the booth belonging to Wildwood-based company Zippy’s Bikes — where CMB bottles filled the

CMB Prez Ryan Krill finds CMB Bottles in a Zippy's bike basket.
CMB Prez Ryan Krill finds CMB bottles in a Zippy’s bike basket.

bicycle baskets on display — owner Scott Chambers told us it’s our Apple Bomb that’s super refreshing after a long,  hot bike ride. And at the booth belonging to Peace Pie — manufacturer of kickass ice cream sandwiches  coming soon to Cape Island — Joe Klaus said a Coastal Evacuation pairs great with his sweet desserts.

Even  Soctt Clark, on-premise sales manager for Kramer Beverage, told us that although big name brands like  Guinness fall under his wholesale umbrella, he’s a home-brewer with a great appreciation for CMBC. “The  company really stretches the limits,” he said.

Aw, shucks, guys.

But our favorite line of the day? That has to go to festival-goer Nick Capone. “Cape May beer is sensual and erotic,” he said. “It’s the best I’ve had yet.”

And it’s our policy not to argue with men who speak softly and carry a big hat:

Nick Capone: Can't get enough CMB beer.
Nick Capone: Can’t get enough CMBC beer.

Until next time, nurse those hangovers, festival fans, and contemplate this:

Ryan uses his glasses to show that the picture of him on CMB's beer truck is to scale. "Wasn't planned!" he says.
Ryan uses his glasses to show that the picture of him on CMBC’s beer truck is to scale. “Wasn’t planned!” he says.

 

 

The List: What In-The-Know Drinkers Will Be Talking About This Weekend

1. For the first time in history, craft beer accounts for more than 10 percent of all beer sold in the US… and that number’s only climbing.

2. Oregon-based brewing company Nikasi has released a beer made with hazelnuts, cocoa nibs and, oh yea, yeast that’s traveled into outer space

 

3. Everything’s bigger in Texas… almost. Houston lawmaker Senfronia Thompson wants to reduce the number of barrels produced by craft breweries with a self-distribution license from 40,000 to a measly 5,000.

4. It’s the 10th year for the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, the second largest drunk fest beer festival in the country. CMB will be on site this weekend, pouring four different brews.

5. California’s FiftyFifty Brewing Co is known for creatively naming their beers (we’re looking at you, Donner Party Porter), so who would have thought that their innocuous-sounding Barrel Aged Really Tasty (or BART for short) would be the one that causes trouble. But the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (also BART for short) says the brewery is stepping on its toes. FiftyFifty owner Andy Barr points out that “beers and trains are very different things,” and that the brew is actually named for a late dog.

6. Munich officials have failed to report 1.2 million liters of the 7.7 million liters of beer sold at last year’s Oktoberfest.

7. Beer shampoo is a thing – apparently barley and hops are great for your locks. Of course, hair-related news is a little less relevant at CMB as of late.

8. We don’t drink as much as our ancestors, according to a booze-related exhibit currently on display at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. “Turns out, American booze consumption peaked in 1830 at 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person a year,” reports an article in FWx. “Compare that to the mere 2.3 gallons guzzled today and it’ll finally make sense why we’re so much more technically advanced than our sloppy forefathers.”

9. There are NCAA tournament brackets. There are The Bachelor brackets. And now, there are craft beer brackets. G’luck!

10. Spring has arrived. It may be snowing, but you can console yourself with this kickass spring release.

CMBC is Jersey’s Brewery of the Year

Big news – Cape May Brewing Company is New Jersey’s Brewery of the Year for 2015, a title awarded by the New York International Beer Competition. Our Tower 23 brew also won for German Style Sour Ale of the Year. We’re stoked, especially considering the NYIBC is NOT one of those “third grade soccer competitions” (their phrase) where nearly everyone who enters wins a medal. In fact, they only honor less than 50 percent of liquid submissions. Huge thanks to the retail store buyers, restaurant owners, beverage directors, distributors and importers who voted for us. And thanks to New Jersey Monthly for this great shout-out about it.

Speaking of shout-outs, here we are in Atlantic City Weekly, who seem as jazzed as we are about our appearance this weekend at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival.

And as jazzed as the guys in this stock photo, too:

Image courtesy of Atlantic City Weekly
Image courtesy of Atlantic City Weekly

We’ll see you there.

 

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:

waiting

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:

watching

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.

brian

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

forklift

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

hood

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

chris

Ryan’s happy — we’re in!

ry

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.

heat

A job well done!

empty

 

 

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.

USE THIS

 

 

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.

london

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.

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