On March 8, we took over 24 — that’s right, 24 — lines at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, New Jersey. Aside from the sheer number of taps, this was a big deal because a) it spotlighted the expansion of our distribution area further north, and b) the Cloverleaf Tavern is the “third best beer bar in America” according to USA Today. Hence the reason sales rep Richie referred to this as one of the “big boy” events. Missed out? We’ll recap it for you here in 6 tweets and photos:
9. New information has emerged in the arrest of former Cowboys running back, Joseph Randle, and it has to do with a beer pong game gone bad.
10. Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up! And everyone at CMBC will be Irish, beginning March 16. Check out our Erin Go Brew event on Facebook. (There will be raffle drawings, Irish Potato Stout beer, themed glassware, and all of the Cape May Brew Co leprechauns…)
Our new Director of Brewing Operations, Jimmy Valm, has completed his first week on the job. Has he fallen in love with all things CMBC, or is he hightailing it back to Brooklyn? We caught up with him between mash-ins to find out…
How’s it going so far? It’s been great! I’m really impressed with the knowledge of everyone here, and their commitment to making awesome beer. Everyone is super gung-ho, and ready to jump on any task. It’s fantastic. I’m really excited to be joining the team.
Now that you’ve had a week to settle in, what are you most excited about? Pushing our sour program and the barrel-aged beers. I just saw mockups for the labels of The Keel, and I really dig them. It’s going to be a fantastic beer, branded well. I’m looking forward to coming up with more of those.
Biggest surprise about the brewery so far? It came today, with how extensive this tiny little bottling line is. It hits all the right notes for quality control. Turns out, this little Meheen machine is a workhorse.
How about your biggest surprise about Cape May in general? How nice and friendly everyone is. I’ve spent very little time in New Jersey and I don’t know it that well except for what everyone else says about it. I was hoping it would be like this here, being a small beach town and all, but it’s still a very happy surprise.
Any funny stories from the last seven days we should know about? There’s been some joking and joshing around in the brehwouse already. There’s good energy here.
Now that you’ve had a chance to try more of them, which CMBC beer would you be and why? Corrosion IPA. It’s easy going but a little hyper, a blend of various styles, and goes well with summer.
Madelaine ‘Maddie’ Macauley — or Maddog as she’s called in the brewery — graduated from Stockton University in 2011 with a degree in hospitality, which she’s been putting to good use as a beertender at CMBC since last May. We caught up with her on her day off, after she finished a jog through Cape May but before she hit the beach for an afternoon of daydreaming about craft beer in the sun. Here’s what she had to say…
I AM FROM…Moorestown.
MY FAVORITE CMBC BEER IS… always changing, depending on the day. Right now, it’s the Citra Pale Ale.
THE GREATEST ADVENTURE I EVER HAD WAS… visiting an uncle when he was living in Hawaii a couple of times.
MY FAVORITE HOBBY IS… running.
THE LAST TIME I LAUGHED UNTIL I CRIED WAS… just a couple of weeks ago, hanging out with friends.
THE SUPERPOWER I’D LIKE TO HAVE IS…super strength, so it would be easier to lift the kegs.
THE QUESTION I HEAR MOST OFTEN BEHIND THE BAR IS…“Do you guys make this stuff here?” – in a joking manner.
MY FAVORITE CARTOON IS… Bob’s Burgers.
THE BEST PICKUP LINE I EVER HEARD WAS… I hear some bad ones behind the bar, being the only girl back there now. I can’t even remember them, they’ve been so weird.
THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON I’VE EVER MET WAS…Beyonce, at a concert when I was 10 years old. At the time, she was a spokesmodel for Loreal, and my uncle worked for Loreal. It was a big meet-and-greet thing, and I got to take a picture with her.
MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE IS… when guests of the brewery don’t hold on to their tour sheets!
THE SPORTS TEAMS I FOLLOW ARE…I grew up with a family of pretty die-hard Philly sports teams fans. I really love following the Phillies and the Flyers.
THE BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… “it’s always nice to be nice,” and “fair is what you pay to get on the bus.” My dad always said both.
IF I WERE AN ANIMAL, I WOULD BE… Well, my nickname is Maddog — it was something that some friends started calling me in college and it just kind of stuck – so I’d have to say a dog.
I WAS DRAWN TO CMBC BECAUSE… I love Cape May and I love beer.
IF I HAD TO NAME A CMBC BEER TOMORROW, I WOULD CALL IT… Frog Hollow, because that’s the area of town where my family’s beach house used to be.
MY FAVORITE BAND IS… I’d say the artist I’d most want to kick it with right now is Van Morrison.
MY KARAOKE SONG IS… If I ever did it — which I won’t — it would be “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates.
IF I WERE A CMBC BEER, I WOULD BE… Cape May IPA I think, because so many times I hear from customers “You’re always here,” and so is the Cape May IPA.
CMBC is expanding north… and we’ve got the new Sales Manager to prove it. His name is Chris Monahan (but we’re just calling him Monahan, since we already have a Chris). The Asbury Park native brings with him 13 years of sales and distribution management experience in the beverage industry.
Monahan’s resume includes work with Budweiser, Vita Coco Coconut Water, the multinational Diageo company (aka the world’s largest distributor of spirits), Crispin Cider (before and after they were bought out by Miller Coors), and North Coast Beverage Co. Suffice it to say, Monahan’s been around the beverage block, so he knows a good thing when he sees it.
“I’ve had a bunch of the beers from Cape May over the past couple of years in various settings – accounts near me, beer festivals, things like that,” he says. “I love their variety, and the way they distinguish themselves from other breweries. I’m excited to really embrace the local aspect of beer.”
Monahan – a 36-year-old homebrewer, kayaker, and white water rafter – says he’s ready to “spread the love for Cape May up north,” specifically in Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer and Burlington Counties. But — when it comes to what beer tastes best after a hard day of peddling pints — that he won’t divulge.
“It’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid,” he says. “Everyone’s got one, but you can’t say it in front of the others, and I’ve got a truck full of beer right now.”
Need a break from the presidential race? Ryan spent last week in a different sort of political trench – one with beer.
We’ve written quite a bit about the Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to protecting America’s independent brewers. Its members – CMBC is one – make more than 99 percent of beer in this country. Craft breweries – you know, the ones opening at a rate of more than one per day — owe a debt to the BA and the resources they provide. Ryan has flown to DC on many occasions in order to attend BA-sponsored events, where he’s educated legislators on the importance of the craft beer industry.
But there’s another organization with a seat at this beer-advocacy table, and that’s the Beer Institute. While the BI represents the nation’s Big Beer companies as well as the country’s independent artisans, the goal is similar – to stand up for those who brew.
In fact, during the Small Brew/Fair Beer controversy last year, these two groups worked together to generate a compromise bill that appeases both small-batch startups and multinational conglomerates. Which just goes to show – working together really does lead to good things. (Take note, current party leadership…)
Last Thursday, Ryan met with Beer Institute CEO Jim McGreevy (no, not that Jim McGreevy, fellow Jerseyans) to discuss CMBC’s joining the BI. We’re the first New Jersey brewery to do so, save for Budweiser.
“He seemed really excited about the prospect of more small breweries becoming members,” Ryan says. “And I’m excited as well. This is such a highly regulated industry, we need champions to fight for us and represent us. Surprisingly, the BA and the BI aren’t that far off from one another when it comes to legislative items. Where they disagree is on the fringe stuff. Being connected with both organizations allows us to broaden our reach when it comes to advocacy.”
Jim asked a great deal of questions about CMBC, and relayed the BI’s mission: to promote beer, the responsible consumption of beer, and the enacting of sound public policy relating to beer. And that’s a political agenda we can get behind.
Following this, Ryan attended the 79th Annual Walk to Washington at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. The event is one of New Jersey’s oldest political traditions, and for good reason. Along with Gene Muller of Flying Fish and Don Russell, Executive Director of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, Ryan mingled with business owners, town leaders and lawmakers, and he discussed the state’s economic future with our Congressional delegation. And, at the annual Beer and Wine reception hosted by the Kaufman Zita Group that evening, members of this Congressional delegation sipped on Devil’s Reach and Coastal Evacuation. (Maybe that’s what’s missing from the ongoing presidential debates…)
Then, Ryan left for Vegas to gamble and get married. Just kidding. He left for Vegas to attend the annual NGA (National Grocers Association) Show, held between February 28 and March 2. At the Mirage Hotel and Casino, industry executives attended workshops, navigated an expo, and networked with manufacturers, including – ahem – beer manufacturers.
Turns out, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.
“Ten places with licensed liquor locations in New Jersey are going to start carrying our beer as a direct result of this conference,” Ryan says. “It was a great trip.”
Next up on the networking roster: the Craft Brewers Conference. Stay tuned.
The Massachusetts based wholesaler, Craft Beer Guild, is in hot water (skunked beer?) for offering retailers discounts in exchange for their bottles getting prime real estate on shelves. They’re looking at $2.6 million in fines, or the cost of approximately 260,000 six packs.
A Singapore town once called “Death Valley” for its predominance of funeral parlors and coffin shops, is now a craft beer mecca. Go figure.
A Senate bill up for discussion in Missouri would allow breweries to install and operate coolers at stores that sell beer. They’d then lease these coolers to the individual retailers. The state’s big brewers are saying: ‘Yay, more cold beer options for the consumer!’ Independent brewers are saying: ‘Not cool.’
A new “Barbell Brew” out of the UK has as much protein as a steak, ie – 95% more than your average beer.
Our new Cornelius IPA is, simply, a regular IPA — remember those?
“It’s not a session, not a double, and not pineapple-infused,” explained Head Brewer Brian Hink at our last staff meeting.
But it IS a tasty brand all its own. The amber-colored beer has a strong, citrusy nose, and its been brewed with a heavy hop lineup (think Apollo, Cimcoe, Amarillo and Centennial), sans the bitterness.
As for the name…
We know, we know. It sounds like the moniker you’d give your kid if you wanted to seal his fate as president of the Glasses With Tape Club. But there’s a story here.
One upon a time (1609), Henry Hudson became the first European explorer to sail around the Cape. While he never found the passageway to India he’d set out looking for, he went back to Europe telling tales of this groovy peninsula which, at the time, was inhabited only by Native Americans and migrating shorebirds. Hudson’s adventure inspired others to set sail, including the Dutch captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey. In 1621, after an arduous journey, Cornelius fell in love with the mild, humid climate he encountered here, and he named the area Cape Mey, which was quickly misspelled on charts and maps as Cape May.
The rest, as they say, is history. Smooth, drinkable history.
You already know Chickie’s and Pete’s. It’s the number one sports bar in North America, according to ESPN. (And they’ve got drool-worthy crab fries, just sayin’.) Now there’s another reason to love this spot: a lot — and we do mean a lot — of local craft beer. This Friday March 4, Chickie and Pete’s on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor is hosting Tap Takeover Three: Forever Jersey Fresh, when 24 brilliant brews will be on tap for one night only. Four of the lines are designated CMBC; we’re bringing our Concrete Ship Russian Imperial Stout conditioned with vanilla bean, Corrosion Sour IPA, Snag & Drop Imperial IPA, and — for the first time anywhere — our new Cornelius IPA.
“We’re hosting seven breweries,” says kitchen manager Brendan Connor. “The most we’ve ever done before is five. But then our bar manager said, ‘In for a penny, in for a pound,’ so we thought: why not? Three of the breweries — including Kane, Forgotten Boardwalk and Cape May — are bringing beers that have never been seen anywhere else.”
Also on tap this night? A taping of Gary Monterosso’s What’s On Tap, for a two-episode segment. Beers will be available beginning at 8pm. Be there. And consider trying the oysters.
“They’re one of the best things we have to pair with craft beer,” Brendan says. “They go great with a stout, but many people are enjoying them with a sour.”
Then, on March 8, we’ve got the mother of all CMBC tap takeovers: Cape May Comes to Caldwell. From 6 to 8pm at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell (Best Beer Bar in the Northeast, two years running), we’ll have 24 — 24! — beers on tap. Here’s the mouthwatering list:
Poverty Beach (Belgian IPA), I Know What You Did Last Shandy (Spiced Shandy), Pale Ale With Citra, Mop Water (Five-Spiced Ale), Apple Bomb (Apple Wheat Ale), Turtle Gut (American Sour), King Porter Stomp Nitro (Chocolate Porter), Tripel Wreck (Belgian-Style Tripel), Snag & Drop (Imperial IPA), South Jersey Secession Session (Scottish Ale), Smooth Sail (Pale Ale), City to Shore 2015 (IPA), Cape May Stout, Concrete Ship (Russian Imperial Stout), Concrete Ship Conditioned With Vanilla Bean, Corrosion (Sour IPA), Sawyers Swap (Barley Wine Ale), Crusty Barnacle (Brett’d Pale Ale With Oats), Cornelius IPA, Honey Porter (English Style), Coastal Evacuation (Double IPA), Coastal Evacuation With Habanero), Devil’s Reach (Belgian-Style Ale), Cape May IPA (The Flagship).
“We anticipate the draw being very big,” says Coverleaf’s Assistant General Manager Matt Miskowsky. “Everybody’s excited. Our customers have a really great pallette for beer, they’re intelligent, and everyone loves Cape May. It’s nice that they no longer have to drive all the way down there to get it.”
Scientists at the University of Florida are spending $158,000 to grow hops, since most hops currently sourced by brewers in the Sunshine State come all the way from Washington. “The researchers hope their work will determine if this is a viable, potentially profitable crop for Florida,” reports Gainseville.com. Meanwhile, the University of Southern Maine has announced a partnership with the Maine Brewers Guild, and colleges everywhere are expanding their beer-related courses of study. This includes the Ivy League.
Move over, farm to table — there’s a new agricultural catchphrase in town: plow to pint.
Despite the criticisms of colleagues who call his work “puerile and irresponsible,” evangelical pastor Spencer Nix says he launched his Georgia-based Reformation Brewery in order to “redeem beer culture.” Can we get an amen?
Another day, another battle between big beer and craft. This time, in San Diego. Meanwhile, another headache for AB In-Bev is shaping up in South Africa.
The Cicerone beer certification program has finally made its way to Australia. Crickey.
Limited release craft beers are creating some very bad habits among craft beer nerds, including “pushing, shoving, line-cutting and fighting” on par with the behavior of “furious mobs” at shopping malls on Black Friday. Says one disgruntled brewery rep: “I just want to scream: IT’S JUST BEER! But they act like it’s the cure to cancer.”
Creators of a new brewing invention are calling it “3-D printing for beer.” Other wacky innovations — including one that sucks your beverage out of its bottle and pours it into your glass for the low, low price of $169– are rounded up by Joe Sixpack here.