Because we’ve hit our 200th New Jersey account, we’re celebrating by offering free shipping on orders of $200 or more from our online store.
How ’bout them apples?
Actually, how ’bout them hats? We just got them in…
And we’re carrying new koolies, too. By the way, there are approximately seven billion different words for koozie, including “stubby holder,” “beer huggie,” “coldy-holdy,” and — for the less inventive — “insulated can holder.” Oh, the things you learn on the internet…
Last week, we hit a milestone by acquiring our 200th New Jersey account: The Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway. So we caught up with our sales team: Justin Vitti, a CrossFit-loving solver of Rubik Cube algorithms, and Richie Rallo, a vegan Jersey boy who says “rad” a lot (but not in this interview, strangely). Here’s what the guys had to say about number 200:
So, which one of you nabbed the 200th account?
Richie: Technically me. But it was a team effort. There’s no ‘I’ in team.
Justin: But there is a ‘me.’
Are you guys competitive with each other?
Richie: Not at all.
Justin: We work well together.
Oh, c’mon. Not even a little competitive?
Richie: If I could grow a mustache, we’d be competitive.
… But you have a mustache.
Richie: Yea, unless you take a few steps back, and then you can’t even see it. Pisses me off, too, because my father has a dope mustache.
How will you celebrate the 200th?
Richie: Maybe a round of golf at the Stockton Seaview Resort. Nah, I don’t think they’d let us riffraff on the course there.
What’s the dream account?
Justin: I have dream accounts in Philly. They’ve got some of the best beer bars in the country. We’re already in many of the institutions, like Standard Tap, Johnny Brenda’s and The Grey Lodge Pub, and there’s more I’m working on.
What’s the best part of your job?
Justin: Reporters asking me what the best part of my job is. Also, every day is different. You have a routine you follow but you’re always
getting thrown new things. Beer is always changing and people’s tastes are always changing.
Richie: I like walking into a place where we’re already on tap and seeing people drinking our beer and raving about it.
Does beer taste better when you’ve sold it?
Richie: Yea, you could say that. Some people think it’s funny and some people thinks it’s arrogant that I always order Cape May beer, but I was doing that before I worked here.
What’s the best part of working together?
J: We’re two different personalities, but we complement one another. I struggle a lot with the hard sale, and Richie’s got it.
R: We zig and zag together.
What’s the most annoying thing about working together?
J: Richie’s a vegan.
R: Justin eats a lot of meat.
J: Yes. I’m Paleo 100 percent, 70 percent of the time.
Any reason you’re especially excited the 200th account is the Stockton Resort?
R: That was one that took a lot of paperwork. The conversation has been going on a while; the email thread goes back to January. There was a change in management, and then they got busy – an LPGA tournament came through, then it was the Fourth of July, so it’s nice to see it come to fruition.
What’s the goal moving forward?
R: I see Delaware as the next milestone, aside from self-distributing throughout the entire state of Jersey.
J: North Jersey is next. Right now, we distribute up to the border of Burlington County. Logistically speaking, Delaware, too. We’re on the ferry so we have that relationship already. The other angle would be New York.
For a brewery this size, is it typical to have only two guys covering the territory you’re covering?
J: We do more work than some of your typical brewery reps would do, because we don’t go through a wholesaler.
R: Other reps don’t take orders like we do, for example. That’s all done through distributors.
Does that make you feel… stressed? Proud? Sexy?
R: It helps us control everything, from quality to delivery to customer service.
And what sets your customer service apart?
J: I really care about the product. I’ve been a supporter of this brand since before I worked here. The beer can stand up to some of the most top-rated beers out there.
R: Aside from that, we’re both local guys. I have a second phone with brewery contacts, but I only need it for half of my accounts. Everyone else I had a relationship with prior.
Having driven all over the state for your job, what’s the most underrated thing about Jersey?
R: Diversity. Everyone thinks we have this hair gel, fist-pump, Snookie thing going on.
J: There’s a whole country western thing happening to the Northwest of us. And almost a Philadelphia mindset when you get to Camden and Gloucester County. Down here, I mean, we’re laid back beach people.
You know how CMBC leaders Ryan and Chris ditched their respective hamster wheels (one in real estate development, the other in engineering) to launch a brewery, even though it meant giving up stable jobs and steady paychecks? Escape the Cube, a digital series sponsored by AT&T that profiles people who transition from comfortable corporate jobs to “the excitement of entrepreneurial adventure,” stopped by the brewery on June 25 to chat with our guys. They’ll appear in a September-slated segment, which we’ll upload as soon as it’s ready.
In the meantime, here’s what Producer Jordan Berman had to say about the experience… and about “escaping the cube” in general…
How long were you there shooting/interviewing for the three-minute segment?
We arrived at the tasting room to set-up at 10am and spent almost an hour conducting the interview with Ryan and Chris. My crew then spent several hours capturing b-roll footage in the tasting room, brewery, and office…basically trying to make it look like Ryan and Chris were being productive : ) Our crew sampled some amazing beers when we wrapped close to 3pm. It was a great day and we captured amazing footage.
Any fun, behind-the-scenes anecdotes to share?
The first thing I learned, is that if you’re in the craft brewing business, you must have decent facial hair…unless you happen to be a woman! The Cape May brewers certainly prove that out. We had a lot of fun with Ryan and Chris getting to know their story and also learning about the actual brewing process. When I found out about Ryan’s role in the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, I asked him when he’s running for Governor….but looks like he’s pretty much dedicated to making great beer. It was also awesome hanging with Bob, Ryan’s dad, after the shoot wrapped. He pointed out a picture of Ryan on the wall sipping his first beer at the age of two. So, Ryan clearly got an early start in the business!
What sets CMBC apart from other Escape the Cube subjects?
I think people will be drawn to the CMBC episode by two things. First, the very nature of what Ryan and Chris do is so fascinating and appealing to so many people: making amazing craft beer. Second, these 2 college buddies typify the core attribute of any successful business: great partners that truly complement each other. You really see the joy and passion in their faces when they talk about the beer and the business of making the beer in Cape May.
What makes it so tough for people to “escape the cube?”
I think the biggest thing is fear of the unknown. Yes, you need an idea you’re passionate about, people to help bring that idea to life, and the resources to get it off the ground to break away from the inertia of creating something new. However, most people don’t take that step of putting an escape plan into action because they fear failure and believe they need the comfort of knowing what’s around the corner, which you often do in a corporate job. In a sense, entrepreneurs are the MacGuyver’s of the business world in that they must solve problems as they come up, even if those problems are outside their core competence or expertise. So, it takes a leap of faith to believe you’ll be able to improvise when tested and that fast good can be slow great. Building a new business is an exercise in making mistakes and quickly re-calibrating to right the ship. Not everyone has the stomach lining to handle that kind of anxiety.
And finally, do you work in a cubicle, because that would be hilarious…
I most definitely do NOT work in a cubicle! I split time between my home office and an entrepreneurial co-working space in Princeton called TigerLabs that has an open floor plan. Plus, I can pretty much work wherever needed to serve OFC: Office Channel’s clients like AT&T, which is presenting the Escape The Cube series. As context, I escaped the cube four years ago when I left a senior marketing role at MTV to launch OFC where I wanted to engage the at-work audience with unique storytelling. It’s a little known fact that a majority of web video is watched during 9-5pm with peak viewing at 2pm. The YouTube break has essentially replaced the cigarette and coffee break. So, I built a team and set out to inspire those cubicle dwellers I left behind by bringing to life amazing stories like the one we captured with Ryan, Chris and the CMBC team.
Here’s a cool bit of news. On July 4, our fourth anniversary, we found out that our Sawyer’s Swap barleywine ale took home a silver medal from the US Open Beer Championship, based in Ohio, in the aged beer category. Professional brewers and award-winning homebrewers from around the world entered nearly 4,000 beers to be judged by experts from England, Canada and the US.
“It’s amazing what brewers will do to enter the US Open,” said Director Dow Scoggins in a press release. “In the past, they have personally delivered their craft beers from Columbia and Brazil. This year, Joshua Deitner from Shanghai Brewery in China traveled 7,263 miles to deliver his beers in person.” (He also earned a silver, which… thank God.)
Reads the write-up: “For a sip of something truly local, hit Cape May Brewing Company’s tasting room for a Honey Porter, the first beer to get the designation ‘Jersey Fresh,’ thanks to its locally-sourced honey. This brew is the bee’s knees.”
Yes, it’s shark week. And yes, the country’s been abuzz with the news of shark attacks in North Carolina. And yes, shark fever is holding strong. Exhibit A: these people watching Jaws in San Antonio on July 11… while in the water:
But step aside, great whites of the world. Recently, there’s been a new terrifying marine creature in town: The Portuguese Man-Of-War. This psychedelic-looking siphonophore — that’s science-speak for transparent, jellyfish-like animal made of many minute organisms that travel together and haunt your nightmares — has been found up and down the Jersey coast this summer, from LBI to Seven Mile Island. Stone Harbor’s sightings even got a shout-out in Cosmopolitan magazine.
What makes this creature so intriguing that even Cosmo interrupted it’s regular, 50-new-ways-to-orgasm programming? It likely has something to do with the venomous tentacles that can stretch up to 160 feet(!) in length. They get you, and you can expect a world of pain. Sorry for ruining your vacation.
We know, we know – it’s the Man-Of-War’s ocean and we’re just swimming in it. And it’s not out of the ordinary for these guys to make their way here when the water temp and currents are right. And there’s no reason to get hysterical about a marine animal doing it’s thing in a marine environment.
But oh my GOD IS THERE ONE BEHIND YOU RIGHT NOW?!
So… what does any of this have to do with beer?
We feel obliged to warn you — do not go pouring your growler of Cape May IPA on your sting, should you be maimed by a Man-Of-War the next time you hit the beach.
We’re not sure why you would do this, but it must happen because researchers are spreading the news: alcohol might actually make things worse. And so will urine, just in case you’ve heard that old jellyfish wives’ tale.
Plus, you don’t want to waste a tasty beverage — if you get zapped, you’ll likely be needing a drink.
The bottom line: a CMBC beer can do a lot of things, but it cannot save you from the terrors of the deep.
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: Nicole Dianno
Occupation: I do health care market research.
Number of years on the Cape May Brew Co Team: This is my second.
Why I ride: I have a genetic, connective tissue disorder and, as a former athlete, it’s been frustrating not being able to participate in some of the sports I love. Biking is one of the few that I can do. It’s a good way to keep myself from falling apart completely, and to contribute to a good cause at the same time. MS has a genetic component also, and any research into Multiple Sclerosis is a win for all genetic disorders, the way I see it.
Why I ride on the CMBC team: Last year, I hardly knew anyone, but the team was so supportive and so welcoming. These are great people to ride with. Plus, everyone you meet along the way wants to get to know the brewery team, and whether or not you’ve got beer with you right now.
What my go-to brew after a long training ride is: Mopwater.
What my training looks like: I’m just trying to get as many miles in as possible. I did 20 on Sunday, which was the first long one so far, and I’m trying to ride every weekend. But honestly, you don’t need to be an experienced rider to participate in this. Last year, I was still pretty wobbly on the bike. You see people of all athletic abilities at the starting line.
Fundraising Goal: $650.
What I’ll feel like at the finish: I mean, everyone feels great after putting that much effort and time in. For me, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it or that this was something I could do, because of the issues with my joint tissue. Crossing the finish line is pretty indescribable.
What I need people to know: Some don’t think that participating or donating a small amount to things like this helps a whole lot, but those donations build up quickly. With just a little bit of help, we can raise so much money for research into diseases like this, which might not otherwise get funding from pharmaceutical companies. Just a little bit goes such a long way.
We’ve got good news and bad news, and all of it has to do with the recently released Hop Acreage Report from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. (Yes, even the acronym for this department – USDA-NASS – is a mouthful.)
First, the good news: hop acreage is up. Sixteen percent, to be exact, when looking at the numbers from last year’s harvest and this year’s
planting. Even better, the hop flowers in the ground are the ones you’ve been lusting after.
“The aroma varieties where supply was not meeting demand have increased sharply,” reports Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association, in a recent article. “These acreage increases are a great sign that dealers and growers are highly tuned in to brewer needs (albeit with a few year lag on new hop varieties).”
So what are the hot new in-the-ground varieties? The BA calls them the “winners” of the acreage report: Simcoe, Centennial, Citra, and Mosaic. We call most of them frequent ingredients at CMBC!
And now for the bad news…
These are all Northwest hops, grown in the Northwest part of the country… you know, the same place that’s been dealing with a devastating drought. Many farmers are now facing state-mandated water restrictions, a big problem since hops require up to three gallons of water per plant per day.
“Although I would summarize the acreage numbers are exactly what brewers (collectively) wanted to see (though individual brewers may be various levels of pleased), the yield question is huge,” says Watson. “A low yielding crop could easily swing a five million pound projected increase (over 2014) to a five million – or in worst case scenarios – ten million pound decrease.”
In other words: just because these hops have been planted doesn’t mean they’ll grow. Mother Nature will have the final say in that.
Woodbine-based aerial advertising company High Exposure has been in business for 22 years and, in that time, owner Dave Dempsey has seen some wild messages. We asked him for his favorite.
“This is going to sound corny,” he said, “but we once flew a big read heart and the message: True love waits for marriage.”
Another unlikely request? A “happy birthday” banner flown over the grave of a dead man.
Now, CMBC is getting in on the cool aerial action, with our own set of over-the-ocean advertisements.
We won’t tell you what they say (you’ll have to look up for that) but we will tell you that they’ll fly at an altitude of 500 feet, travel between Cape May and Sea Isle City, and move at a speed of 50 miles-per-hour. All letters will be five-feet-by-three-feet, so you should have no trouble spotting them from the beach.
Or, feel free to watch the pilots take off in Woodbine between 10 and 11am, Fridays through Mondays.
“The planes get within five feet of the ground for pick-up,” says Dempsey.
It may sound like a nerve-wracking gig, but it’s not half bad.
“On the best days, flying a banner plane is like waterskiing on glass,” Dempsey says. “It’s the best office in the world, with the windows open on either side. You can take your hands off of the controls and just enjoy the ride.”
Be sure to post photos of our planes – flying July 3, 6, 15, 24, and 27 — to the CMBC Facebook page. You might even win a free Frisbee...
Last week, Max passed away of congestive heart failure. A 17-year-old Maltese, he belonged to Mop Man, aka Bob Krill, but he was a mascot for the entire brewery.
“We had him for four years,” Bob says. “He became like a little person to us, a part of the family… even though he could be a real pain.”
When Max used to come to CMBC, he’d growl at customers, or whoever entered the office. Hey, we never said he was a willing mascot.
But he had his irresistible charms, too.
“He loved bologna,” Bob says. “When you pulled it out, he’d do the Maltese two-step. And whenever I’d stop at a Wawa, Max expected a SlimJim. He’d jump up and down, and if you came back without one, he’d look at you like: Where’s my damn SlimJim?”
So raise your next glass to Max, forever a member of the Cape May Brewery fold.
Here’s hoping there’s a lot of beef jerky at that big dog park in the sky.