We work in a highly regulated industry. We’re the only industry that has, not one, but two Constitutional amendments — and amending the Constitution is hard. You need a two-thirds majority in Congress, and that never happens.
One of the peccadillos of this business is what we call the three-tier system: producers, distributors, and retailers. The lines between those tiers frequently get a little blurred and they vary from state to state. For example, we routinely sell our product from the Brewtique as a retail product, and we’ve been successfully self-distributing since we opened our doors.
The one thing all of the states agree upon — because of that pesky Commerce Clause in the Constitution, the federal government makes us agree — is that producers cannot cross state lines with their product. For that, we need a distributor — which is why we contract through Origlio Beverage in Pennsylvania. They come to Cape May with several empty trucks and fill them up to the brim.
If you’re familiar with The Bog — and, if you’re a fan of CMBC, you’re definitely familiar with The Bog — you’re probably aware of the trials and tribulations we’ve experienced in canning it. In order to really make it shelf-stable, it needs to be pasteurized, and that’s not something we can do in Cape May.
But. There are breweries out there that are able to pasteurize it. Unfortunately, none of them are in New Jersey.
So, we could brew The Bog here and install a gigantic pasteurizer that would take up half the brewery and have no room for anything else.
Or we can contract brew The Bog through someone with the ability to pasteurize, but we’d still have to pay a distributor to bring it back home.
We could simply open our own distributorship and do it ourselves.
So, that’s what we’re doing.
Enter Cape Beverage.