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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Big Plans For National IPA Day On August 6

We know, we know. This “National Day of _____” thing has gotten out of hand.

July 16 is National Corn Fritters Day. March 30 is National Pencil Day. And May 16 is National Sea Monkey Day. Sea Monkey Day! We love a novelty aquarium pet as much as the next guy, but… come on.

Typically, we’d consider the fake holiday market a bit saturated, and we’d be loathe to trumpet a National Day of Anything. But we think of National IPA Day as the exception to the rule – a celebration worth celebrating.

untapped.com.

The proof is in the Twittersphere. Last year, the official #IPADay hashtag was used 22,877 times in a 24-hour span, according to Ashley Routson on  craftbeer.com, and it trended around the globe. All this because the IPA style “represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.”

And it has a special place in our hearts because Cape May IPA is CMBC’s flagship beer, and the first brew we sold to client number one in 2011. (Coincidentally, 2011 was the inaugural year of National IPA Day, too.)

We thought we’d do something a little special next month to commemorate the occasion. So, without further ado, here’s what’s on tap at the CMBC tasting room August 6:

  1. A special firkin of our Take Five Session IPA, which has been infused with extra hops and citrus flavor.
  2. A special pin of Coastal Evacuation made with extra (flowery, citrusy, spicy) Amarillo hops.
  3. A one-time release of Cape May IPA that’s been dry-hopped a second time with wet hops.

For the uninitiated, dry hopping is the process of adding hops (flowers that lend flavor, aroma and bitterness to a brew) after fermentation instead of before. This way, more aroma is locked in to the final product. Typically, we do this to our IPA with two different hop varieties (Cascade and Chinook), and we do it one time only. The hops we use have been palletized, or processed in a natural way to preserve flavor, since harvesting season comes but once a year.

BUT!

We’ve recently come into some fresh-off-the vine (ie “wet”) hops that were grown locally. The blend of Cascade, Chinook, Noble, Centennial and mostly Cascade flowers went from on-plant to in-beer within 48 hours, and the result is a piney, spicy, tangy, citrusy sort of deliciousness that you can taste for yourself on National IPA Day.

Take that, Sea Monkeys.

Why I Ride: Stephan Briggs

We’re getting stoked for City to Shore, the mammoth biking fundraiser sponsored by the National MS Society. Until the October event, we’ll be profiling members of the Cape May Brew Co cycling team to find out what inspires them. Hopefully, this will encourage others to join their ranks. (Hint, hint.)

Name: Stephan Briggs, CMBC Team Captain

Age: 28

Hometown: Back and forth between South Jersey and South Philly my entire life.

Occupation: Biomedical Engineer at Edmund Optics in New Jersey

Number of years on the Cape May Brew Co Team: This will be my 5th year with the team – since the very beginning!stephan

Why I ride: Three major reasons – first and foremost, to help the hundreds of thousands affected by MS.  Second, a personal challenge for myself year after year.  Third, to try and inspire others and raise awareness.

Why I ride on the CMBC team: I remember walking into the brewery only a few weeks after Ryan, Chris, and Bob opened the doors and being greeted in such a warm and welcoming way.  The guys and rest of the team at CMBC are such great people and full of energy.  It is great to be around others who give off that vibe, and I strive to do the same.  I can’t forget the more obvious reasons of great beer and a great location in Cape May (haha).

What my go-to brew after a long training ride is: A cold, fresh IPA.  Usually Cape May IPA when I’m in the area.

What my training looks like: I do a lot of running and biking.  Once the hot summer months hit, there is nothing better than riding for 2-3 hours along the Cape May shores or on the hilly terrain from Philly to Valley Forge.

Fundraising Goal: My record is just under $2000.  I always try to set my expectations high, so just above that 🙂

What I’ll feel like at the finish: One word, GOOSEBUMPS.  The last 2 miles of bliss, joy, and euphoria make up for the 75 – 100 miles of pain, strength, and hours spent on the saddle.  Hundreds line the streets and cheer you on with whistles, posters, and even cowbells!  Somehow, the day of the ride always ends up being a beautiful sunny day in Ocean City as well.

What I need people to know: The ride is not that hard and raising money is very doable.  I was somewhat intimidated by both for years until I finally said enough was enough and signed up.  I encourage everyone to do the same.  Take the plunge and sign up for your first ride – you won’t regret it!

City to Shore will take place on October 3 and 4. To join the team or make a contribution, visit the Cape May Brewing Co page at nationalmssociety.org.

Cape May Brew Co Sponsors Cape To Cape

Jibe ho! This weekend marks the seventh annual Cape to Cape Sailing Challenge, a regatta that crosses the Delaware Bay. Although sailors from all over the region are set to participate, the real battle for bragging rights is between the two clubs who call this body of water homebase: Cape May’s Corinthian Yacht Club and Delaware’s Lewes Yacht Club. At an after-party, the seafarers will drink our beer and winners will receive cool CMBC swag. Best of luck to all participants… may the wind be ever in your favor.

Image courtesy cyccm.com
Image courtesy cyccm.com

What’s In A Name: Concrete Ship Edition

Beginning this Friday, Cape May Brew Co is serving up history by the pint. We’re talking about our newest release, Concrete Ship, a rich Imperial Stout weighing in at 9.3%. It’s a layered beer with flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt.

So… what’s with the name?

Perhaps you’ve noticed a 3,000-ton, algae-covered, mostly-sunk vessel at the end of Cape May’s Sunset Beach. It’s not merely a slimy navigational hazard for out-of-control windsurfers – it’s the most famous World War I-era prototype of its kind.

The story begins in 1918, when the military experienced a severe steel shortage and President Woodrow Wilson ordered the construction of an emergency naval fleet comprised of 24 concrete (yes, concrete) ships. This is what kids today would call a major fail. Only 12 of the models were completed, and all proved too heavy and, therefore, too impractical, for use in war. One of them, the SS Atlantus, found new life serving as a coal steamer in New England and, later, as transport for American soldiers from Europe home. Eventually, she was sent to Virginia’s “bone yard,” a cemetery for decommissioned ships.

In 1926, the 250-foot Atlantus was purchased by a salvage company for use as the dock to a new ferry system running between Cape May and Lewes, Delaware. But before she could be moved into place, a strong gale pulled The Concrete Ship loose from her moorings. A watchman aboard waved a sheet in distress and, while he and his cat (yes, his cat) were rescued, the Atlantus ran aground 150 feet from shore. The Coast Guard attempted to move the ship using two large towropes called hawsers, but the only result was two broken hawsers.

Since then, the wreck has become a photo-op for tourists. At one point, a local company attached a billboard advertising boat insurance to the side of the ship (har har). But winds and swell have beaten against the iron barbs of her skeleton for so long, only a small portion of the stern remains visible. Now, this is the backdrop to nightly flag-lowering ceremonies that honor veterans on Sunset Beach.

Every day, people can’t help but wonder: will it ever sink completely? The answer is no, at least not from memory, at least not for CMBC fans.

We’ll see you all on Friday, when we can raise a glass of big beer to the big ship with an even bigger story.

Our guy Andrew, kegging Concrete Ship.
Our guy Andrew, kegging Concrete Ship.

A New Beer Garden

Our new 15,000 square-foot space at Cape May Airport has received a lot of attention. After all, it houses our gleaming, 30-barrel brewhouse. But this doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about our original location — the one that houses our tasting room — at the airport. In fact, we’re nearly finished renovating this tasting room’s outdoor beer garden (it will be open Friday at 5!) to make sipping al fresco even more enjoyable.

Special thanks to Chris Archbold of Cape Concrete Designs for the cool stamped concrete flooring, which has been given the look, texture, and warm feel of wood thanks to the imprints of large rubber mats. The technique can also be used to mimic slate, brick, or any natural texture.

“As soon as [CMBC President] Ryan came to me with the idea, I knew exactly which stamp to use,” he says. “There’s not a lot of places this would go well, but it works at the brewery because their interior is wood-based, with a bar made from large planks of cedar.”

Chris and his crew have earned a few cold ones in the new space.

“Its the Cape May IPA we like after a hard day on the job,” he says. “It’s just so smooth.”

See the transformation below, then come see it in person…

patio

patio 2

 

boxes

boxes 2

patio 3

patio 4

Sweet picnic tables to come!

 

 

Cape May Brew Co Does The Globe

Cape May Brew Co fans love to travel, and we want to see just how much. Send a pic to [email protected] of yourself (or anyone else you spot) wearing CMBC swag in a faraway city, state or country, and we’ll post it here for all the world to see. Kicking us off is Teresa Christopher, mom of our guy Chris, sporting a CMBC sweatshirt in Iceland. Here’s a fun (or, maybe, not-so-fun) fact: beer was banned there from 1915 until 1989. Happy travels!

iceland

Christmas In July At CMBC

It’s Christmas in July! Or it will be on July 25, when the tasting room transforms into the North Pole (if the North Pole offered great beer.) To get you in the spirit, some of CMBC’s elves have shared their most magical Christmas memories. Or, at least, their Christmas memories…

Ryan Krill, president: My family stood me up at church on Christmas Eve when I was in college.  I got there early and reserved one of the front rows.  The place was packed and there were people standing everywhere.  My parents, who were supposed to meet me there, were at a party before and decided to stay and not tell me.  That was the last time I went to church.

red and greeenAlicia Grasso, marketing guru: I used to take horseback riding lessons at a farm in Clermont, and after every lesson, I would climb to the top of the hayloft and snuggle with a little black kitten who would eagerly await my weekly arrival.  We became pals and when winter set in, I stopped taking lessons and always hoped the kitten was warm and safe.  On Christmas morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn and went downstairs to see if Santa had arrived, when I heard a rustle in the tree.  To my surprise, sprawled out across a long Blue Spruce limb was the little black kitten.  Santa brought me a pet and a pal who for years used to climb the steps of my bunkbed and sleep next to me in my little loft.

Courtney Rosenberg, aka CSR, graphic designer/social media superstar: My family has always ordered Chinese food on Christmas Eve. We invite my grandmother over and we order lots of yummy food and pig out. It helps to take the stress out of the holiday.

Jim Zolna, tasting room associate: I found out the truth about Santa after my brother told me Santa went down over the South Pacific.  I freaked out, and then my dad told me the truth…

Dan Patela, tasting room associate: When I was a little kid, Christmas was all about presents. Not church, not family, not giving. I was
a real brat. Every year, my siblings and I would wake up at the break of dawn to wake up my parents. Their response was always the same. They’d tell us to come back in a couple of hours.  So we would just sit on the couch staring at the spoils Santa had brought for like two hours, in utter agony.

Mark Gartland, tour guide: This shows how old I am… but I’ll never forget Christmas 1968.  I was 12 and sick with an awful case of the flu, in bed most of the day for several days in a row.  But at the same time Apollo 8 was taking humans around the moon for the first time.  The moon landing would come in July of 1969 with Apollo 11, but Apollo 8 flew to the moon and back, showing us pictures of the earth from further away than we had ever seen before.  It seemed like magic to me, just totally amazing.  And I watched this with with grandfather, who had been in his teenage years while the Wright brothers made the first airplane flight.  It left me wondering what wondrous changes I might experience in my lifetime, and the excitement of that event far outweighed any of the presents I was to receive.

Ashley Sundstrom, Operations Manager: My family and I are huge Disney Fans so for Christmas if we can, we usually travel to Waltsanta Disney World and spend the holiday in the Happiest Place on Earth. To keep a little bit of Cape May with us though we always eat Christmas Dinner at The Cape May Cafe at the Beach and Yacht Club Resort.

Courtney Gingrich, tasting room associate: My brother, Skylar, and I would wake up WAY before my parents and sneak downstairs to see what the big jolly man brought us. We were allowed to open the stockings together and then go back to bed to wait for Meemaw to come watch us open our gifts.  Not embarrassed to say this happened this way until very recently. Ho, ho, ho!

Diane Stopyra, writing guru: One year, no one in my family felt like decorating. Convinced it wouldn’t be Christmas without decorations, I sat a big, Gumby-like Santa on top of a lamp in the living room. Santa’s ass went up in flames in the middle of Christmas dinner. That was 23 years ago. My father, a firefighter, is still embarrassed.

Susan Gibson, greeter: We always decorated the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.

Jeff Zagiel, greeter/tour guide and Kim Zagiel, sanitation superstar: This Christmas, we were in the Florida Keys. We spent Christmas Eve at a tiki bar and Santa pulled up on a fire engine. Then we spent Christmas on the beach. It was the best!

Brian Hink, Lead Brewer: We all have a million Christmas memories, mostly great, some bad, some funny, but as a brewer I figured I had to share a brewing story! Couple years back, probably 2011ish, I made a Christmas Beer, real typical spiced holiday beer — darkish amber, light to medium bodied, but it was spiced pretty heavily, a bunch of cinnamon sticks, some cloves, a bunch of honey, handful of other spices. It came out perfectly to style, my brothers loved it, friends recommended I make it again. I hated it. I absolutely could not stand it, and to this day stands to be the only batch I felt I failed miserably at. There’s been a couple batches that didn’t come out as expected, but this was the only dumper. Except I didn’t dump it; luckily my brothers willingly took the whole batch off my hands.

Heather Mangano, tasting room manager: When my sister and I were little, our older brother woke us up early on Christmas morning and said he’d left the video camera on all night and that we should watch it.  Turns out he got Santa on camera! Found out later that he actually rented a costume and acted out the whole thing- or did he?!

 

Why I Ride: Brian Gillan

We’re getting stoked for City to Shore, the mammoth biking fundraiser sponsored by the National MS Society. Until the October event, we’ll be profiling members of the Cape May Brew Co cycling team, to find out what inspires them. Hopefully, this will encourage others to join their ranks. (Hint, hint.)

Name: Brian Gillan

brianAge: 36

Hometown:  Somers Point, New Jersey

Occupation: I am a fire protection engineer.

Number of years on the Cape May Brew Co Team: Three.

Why I ride: A cousin of mine has MS, so I’ve seen first-hand what it can do, and I don’t think this disease gets the attention it deserves. The ride also provides motivation for staying in shape.

Why I ride on the CMBC team: It’s a great group of people. And the after-party is always a fun time.

What my go-to brew after a long training ride is: The Cape May IPA.

What my training looks like: I try to ride four or five days a week, about 20 miles a pop.

Fundraising Goal: $400.

What I’ll feel like at the finish: It can be pretty humbling. Crossing the finish line helps keep you from taking simple things – like going for a bike ride – for granted. You also feel tired and dirty, excited for a nap and shower.

What I need people to know: This is worth putting the time in for.

City to Shore will take place on October 3 and 4. To join the team or make a contribution, visit the Cape May Brewing Co page at nationalmssociety.org.

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