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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Farewell To Ryan

It is with heavy hearts that we wish a fond farewell to our president and co-founder Ryan Krill, who’s leaving Cape May Brewing Company to pursue his other passion: professional ballet dancing in New York City.

“Few people know this,” he says, “but sometimes after the tasting room has closed, I use the space to practice my routine. And only after I’ve nailed my pirouettes do I allow myself a pint of Devil’s Reach.”

Ryan was hoping to continue his work at CMBC while performing with ABT, or the American Ballet Theater, but he can no longer risk the  potential for injury that comes with operating heavy machinery.

“I’m afraid my satin pointe shoes will not protect my feet should somebody drop a firkin or run me over  with a forklift, which happens about once a year. And although I love making beer, my toes have to be my  top priority from here on out. It’s going to be a very bittersweet goodbye.”

Although we’ll miss Ryan terribly, CMBC intends to honor his legacy by continuing to build upon it. We know we haven’t even had the

ribbon cutting for our new space at the Cape May County Airport yet (that will happen in early May), but we see no reason to stop at two production breweries. So, this month, we’ll also be taking over Cape May Convention Hall, where we’ll install a 50-barrel brewhouse and begin work on our next release: Conventional Ale. The secret ingredient will be thrice-massaged kelp fetched fresh from the Atlantic by CMBC’s head logistics man, Andrew Ewing.

“I did not agree to this,” says Andrew.

We realize that Cape May’s City Council occasionally requires this space for their monthly meetings, but we figure with the way those have been going, everyone involved could probably use a drink, anyway.

 

Run, CMBC Fans, Run

At 9am today, the 17th Annual Ocean Drive Marathon and 10-mile race kicks off off on Beach Avenue in Cape  May:

The course, courtesy of oceandrivemarathon.org.
The course, courtesy of oceandrivemarathon.org.

Best of luck, runners, especially those of you who chose to carb-load with CMB beer. May the wind be at your back…

 

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

1. Foreign countries love American craft beer as much as the USA, says Fox news – especially Brazil. images

2. A “Happy Ending” beer from SweetWater Brewing Co with a label featuring the face of a, uh, climaxing man and his box of tissues is, not surprisingly, raising some eyebrows. (For more on beer label news, see here.)

3. There’s something out there called a beer dress. And it’s exactly what it sounds like: a dress… made from beer. Or, more specifically, from “a material produced by a bacterial fermentation process.” It’s the fabric of our lives.

It's the dress -- not the punch -- that's going to be spiked this prom season.
It’s the dress — not the punch — that’s going to be spiked this prom season. Photo credit: Adam Scott

4. A couple of bartender friends have invented Doggie Brew Bites, healthy treats for pups made out of repurposed barley malt obtained from breweries. “You could go out and buy a pint of your cheap domestic beer for $2.50, or you can spend a little bit more but get something way better in return,” says founder Mike McLean, on why his product is just like your favorite beverage.

5. A Tennessee woman used beer bottles to tell her husband she’s expecting, and his underwhelmed reaction has gone viral.

6. Someone threw a beer at Lil Wayne while he was on stage in Fort Lauderdale, after which the rapper confirmed: “Someone threw a motherfuckin’ beer at me.”

giphy (1) 7. The world’s biggest beer makers will be putting nutrition labels on their bottles in Europe, and  America could be next.

 8. Pad Thai-infused beer is a thing.

 9. A bill allowing visitors at Georgia craft breweries to take home 109 ounces of free beer was approved  by the House yesterday. But the brewers still aren’t allowed to sell any. They “were looking for  something robust – like a dark and flavorful porter,” says reporter Doug Richards. “They got something a little more like Coors Lite – in large part, due to the watering-down of the powerful beer wholesalers lobby.”

 

Dueling Firkins, Tonight

There are some rumors that are just that – unfounded gossip.

Like, for instance, the rumor that The Irish Mile bar in Haddon Township – well-known for its 72 rotating taps and buzzy but laid-back vibe — is named the way it is because owner Ed Donohue and his daughter Erin are runners. While the pair have always pounded the pavement – Erin, at the Olympic level – this simply isn’t true.

“Most people have that impression,” explains Ed. “But actually, everyone knows that the Irish like to drink, so that’s where the ‘Irish’ part of the name came from. And as for ‘mile,’ that refers to the street where we’re located, Haddon Avenue. There are seven bars here within a mile of one another.”

Then there are those rumors that have every basis in fact.

Like, for instance, the juicy bit of chatter going around town that the two CMB firkins being tapped tonight at the Irish Mile are the stuff of beer geek dreams.

Literally, Brew Master Brian has been dreaming of these casks for weeks.

The first firkin will be filled with Turtle Gut Sour that’s been conditioned with sweet orange peel. The second is for the Cape May Saison we released yesterday, only this time it’s been dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops. (We wrote about how exciting those are here.)

“You remember that Budweiser commercial that played during the Superbowl?” says Brian. “The one that made fun of people who ‘dissect’ their beers? Yea, well, these beers were born to be dissected.”

Oh, and we’ve got eight other beers on draught, too.

So keep on spreading the word — just not about that running business – and we’ll see you tonight.

It's a duel to the finish. Image courtesy of The Irish Mile.
It’s a duel to the finish. Image courtesy of The Irish Mile.

Cover Stars

Check out the delivery of our new brewhouse on the cover of this week’s issue of Exit Zero (and inside, too).


March 26, 2015 - featured

 

By the way, the brewhouse is being installed TODAY by Andrew (no last name, like Madonna). Here he is below (on the left) preparing for the big job with our guy Hank:

andrew

 

Labelology

We made it to round two in the Most Loved Beer Label Contest sponsored by CNBC – so show us some love this afternoon when voting opens up again. In the hpmeantime, here are some things you might not know about the beer label approval process, because it’s all fun and games until the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau knocks you down.

1. While both the state and federal governments must approve a beer’s label, neither care whether the name that appears on that label infringes on intellectual property. In other words, Uncle Sam won’t hassle you for calling a brew Bud Light. But Budweiser probably will.

2. In fact, there are countless legal spats happening as we speak, because breweries are constantly stepping on one another’s toes. It’s  not
platypus_662_600x450intentional; it’s just that “pretty much every beer name you come up with has been taken,”  says CMB’s Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke. A January piece by NPR confirms it:  “Virtually every large city, notable landscape feature, creature and weather pattern of North America – as well as myriad other words, concepts and images – has been  snapped up and trademarked as the name of either a brewery or a beer.” We wanted to test the  theory, so we typed the first obscure animal we thought of into our search engine, along with the  word ‘beer,’ and let’s just say there’s a Platypus Brew Pub out there that prides itself on “walking  the fine line between ducks and beavers.” Seriously.

3. But the TTB does care if a name — or any other writing on your label — suggests a false health claim. (One brewery got shot down for calling their beer a “heart-warming ale,” because someone, somewhere might take this to mean alcohol is good for the temperature of internal organs.) And collective panties get really twisted if a beer is made out to be more potent than it really is. Case in point: We weren’t allowed to call our Devil’s Reach the style that it is – a Belgian Golden Strong ale – because of the world ‘strong.’

4. Humor must be kept in check, too. We tried calling one of our recipes Pumpkin, Pumpkin Ale for the very reason that there isn’t any pumpkin in it, but the TTB called it misleading. In the words of spirit animal Allanis Morisette, CMB is ironic, just a little too ironic, for the TTB.

5. So far for 2015, 36,178 labels have successfully obtained COLA (Certificate of Label Approval). Legally, an answer has to be given to an application within 90 days of submission, which means brewers must be thinking spring in early fall. For CMB’s labels, says graphic design guru Courtney Rosenberg, it usually takes somewhere between one day and three weeks.

6. The reason for the inconsistency in timing is probably down to the fact that one man and one many only, Kent “Battle” Martin,” is in charge of the approval process. The Daily Beast calls him a tyrant, a legend and a pedantic pain in the ass. But that doesn’t mean his reasons for snubbing certain lables aren’t chuckle-worthy. “He rejected a beer called Bad Elf,” the story goes, “because it featured an ‘Elf Warning,’ suggesting that elves not operate machinery while drinking the ale… it did not get approved on the grounds that the warning was confusing to customers.”

So there you have it, beer fans. Don’t let it be said the TTB isn’t looking out for you.

giphy

It’s The Yeast You Can Do

Come mid-April, Brew Master Brian will, along with 10,000 other industry professionals, hop a plane to Portland for the annual Craft Brewers Conference, where he’s especially pumped for a master class on yeast management. And why shouldn’t he be? Yeast is the reason your mom’s homemade banana bread rises. It’s the main ingredient behind the sandwich spread of choice in the land down under, where women glow and men plunder.  It also happens to be everywhere (yes, chilling all over you and everything you own right now.) And, most importantly for our purposes, it’s crucial to brewing. Bottom line: yeast is one fascinating, microscopic fungus.

Allow us to explain:

In beer making, step one is mixing malted barley with hot water — viva la oatmeal! Then, a sugary liquid called wort is extracted, and flowers called hops which lend aroma and flavor are added to that. Only then does the ingredient of the hour come in. The single-celled superstar we call yeast now chows down on sugar, turning it into ethanol and carbon dioxide. The former is the psychoactive drug part of beer that you can blame for those 2am texts to your ex; the latter makes bubbles. This conversion process is known as fermentation, and the temperature at which it happens determines whether your brew baby will be born a lager or an ale.

Go yeast, young man.
Go yeast, young man.

There are over 500 species of yeast, and Brewer’s Yeast is just one. But within that group, there are thousands  of distinct strains that can each affect a beer’s flavor profile in a different way. Which one a brewer selects is  often a tight-lipped decision — as top-secret as Elliott’s hiding place for ET in the midst of a federal task force  investigation (sorry – there’s a Spielberg documentary playing as we type this).

So yea, it’s safe to say the significance of yeast is common knowledge within the modern brewing field, but  this wasn’t always the case. In the 1700s, wild, airborne strands were doing work on batches of beer  completely unbeknownst to early brewers. In fact, yeast wasn’t even considered an ingredient in beer-making until French chemist/original beer geek Louis Pastuer discovered its role in fermentation in 1857.  Thus began a centuries-long struggle to harness its power. And bearded brew masters across the globe still bend to its magical, gaseous will! Many of them, including our Bri-guy, will be doing just that in Portland, and he promises to keep us updated on the conference happenings.

It may be one of the simplest plant forms on the planet, but yeast – the little fungus that could — has done okay for itself.

Week In Review

What went down in the last seven days — the good, the bad and the ugly:

1. Our new brewhouse, the fifth system we’ve had in our four-year history, was delivered. And it went a lot smoother than previous deliveries. What happened those times? “We won’t talk about that,” says CMB President Ryan Krill. Also, brewhouse driver David Cook, who transported our stainless steel girl for 2,800 cross-country miles, says his friends are still making fun of him for being a CMB blog celebrity.  (Sorry, David. But no worries — we definitely won’t mention on here that you watched this season of the The Bachelor.)

2. We had a great time at Fitzpatrick’s Crest Tavern in Wildwood Crest, where a pin filled with our Cape May IPA plus sweet orange peel was tapped on Thursday. Photographic evidence below:

Richie, Courtney and Jim of the CMB team, bonding over brews
Richie, Courtney and Jim of the CMB team, bonding over brews. Photo courtesy of Exit Zero magazine.

3. Our (quasi) trusty boxtruck broke down on the parkway. Womp, womp. But she’s back up and running now, reports logistics man Andrew Ewing.

4. CMB picked up some new accounts, including ACME in both North Cape May and Cape May Court House, and The Old Causeway restaurant outside of Long Beach Island. We hear their oysters are delightful.

5. We won awards. First, for being New Jersey’s Brewery of the Year and having a kickass sour-style German ale. Second, for being the People’s Choice at Atlantic City Beer Fest.  Speaking of the famous (infamous?) AC event, all went smoothly.  “There were only two fights, one of them right in front of our booth” says Sales Rep Richie Rallo. “But the guy ripped his shirt off, tried to take on five other men, and ended up falling on his face.” Congratulations to all those who enjoyed the booze and knew their limits. Here’s a list of the more creative tee-shirt slogans we saw you wearing:

– The liver is evil and it must be punished

– AC Beer Fest: this is my Disney vacation

– Beer snob: one who refuses to drink crap beer

– If your’e reading this, you’re not drunk enough

– Also available in SOBER

– Beer me

And just because, here’s a photo of the most patriotic bunch at the Convention Center to pose in front of our truck.

“Beer Fest is like America,” they told us. “Free!”

Actually, tickets cost $60, so we don’t know what that means, but here they are nonetheless:

america

 

 

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.

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