Rosé du Gosé, Round Two
COVID has done many, many strange things to what we once considered “normal”. Aside from having to wear a mask everywhere you go, the day-to-day life in New Jersey has become like something from a Cormac McCarthy novel.
Take, for example, the simple act of collaborating on a beer. Normally done through a number of phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and the like, the best part of any collaboration is getting a chance to travel to another brewery to geek out over their equipment and hang in their tasting room and drink their beers.
<Insert record-scratch sound>
“Not this time!” says COVID.
But we wouldn’t let a little thing like a global pandemic daunt us. We would continue undaunted.
“This collab was a little different,” Ryan says. “We did everything remotely. We really love everyone at DC Brau — they’re great people –, but this is such a weird time. Luckily, we figured out an alternative way to reach out, engage, and have some fun.”
Like everything else in the time of COVID, this collaboration was marked by a lot of Zoom calls, but they’re probably a little different than the ones you have with your boss.
“When we had a video call with them to work out the details of a how a collab would work in these trying times,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink, “Brandon said a line like ‘even though we’ll be miles apart you’ll still be close to our heart,’ then he just broke out into song singing Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’. It was fucking great and we all had a good laugh about it. They’re fun people and I was glad we got to work with them again.”
And it sounds like Brandon Skall, the CEO and co-founder of DC Brau, has Ryan’s number.
“I have such a fun time with Krill whenever I see him,” he says. “Usually, it’s at big industry events, but he always brings this big, open-heart feeling of warmth, acceptance, and a little spicy wit. Basically, I just like being around the guy!”
It’s really great to hear that a brewery like DC Brau has such high praise for us. We’d respected them long before our two collaborations in 2018, and it’s fantastic to know that the respect is mutual.
“I’ve personally enjoyed collaborating with Cape May based on one thing, their people,” says Jeff Hancock, President, Brewmaster, and co-founder of DC Brau. “From the top-down, everyone has a great attitude and you can tell that they really enjoy what they’re doing as far as their contribution to the growing Eastern Seaboard craft brewery scene. Their love for the collaborative spirit shows based on past collabs with them and this most recent rebrew of Rosé du Gosé. It’s an amazing experience to work with so many positive people to create beers that we feel will resonate with both of our fan bases.”
When it comes to collaboration, that’s the important thing: ensuring that the people involved with the two breweries not only get along, but also genuinely enjoy one another.
“They’re great people over at DC Brau,” Ryan says. “We share the same values, they’re really creative, they’re not too-cool-for-school. They’re like us in a lot of ways.”
“We complement each other very nicely,” Brian agrees. “The DC Brau team is just a fun group of people. They’re not stuck-up and ultra-corporate, they don’t take themselves too seriously, and you can tell they love being brewers and being in the brewing industry.”
Brandon feels the same way.
“A great collaboration for me is all about the people you’re collaborating with,” he says. “Honestly, the beer aspect of these collabs is secondary.
“We’re all doing the same processes for the most part,” he says, “but all the knowledge I’ve gained over the years has been through tiny, informal interactions that reveal minor ways of tweaking existing processes that I then take to improve day-to-day operations at DC Brau. Also, getting honest feedback on raw ingredients that I might not have had the chance to work with. First-hand experience and opinion go a long way. Normally the recipes and concepts flush themselves out quite quickly.”
It’s not only the commitment of the brewers that makes a great collaboration according to Jeff — it takes everyone in every department living up to their responsibilities.
“Their marketing is on point as well as their beer,” he says. “We take great pride in how we want to present our collaborations. The commitment of both of our respective teams across the board is very inspiring.”
But there are a lot of breweries out there, and they all love to collaborate. Finding the right ones in the growing field can be an intimidating task.
“We look for two things: alignment and fun,” Ryan says. “DC Brau brings both to the table.”
“Maybe it’s process and science,” he says, “maybe it’s marketing ingenuity, but I think that collaborations are always a great time to learn from our peers. At the end of a great collaboration, each brewery is more enriched than before.”
When it comes down to it, a collaboration is about walking away with a beer in which both breweries can have some pride. And both breweries love Rosé du Gosé.
There were two beers that came out of our original collaboration back in 2018: L’Attitude and Rosé du Gosé. A little untraditionally, we brewed L’Attitude in Cape May and Rosé du Gosé at DC Brau — and, unfortunately for us, each beer was only available in its respective brewery’s distribution area, so we only got our hands on a few cases of Rosé du Gosé.
Very, very unfortunately. It was among the Brew Crew’s favorites in 2018, and each of us was able to get our hands on only one can, maybe two. All of us down in Cape May were beyond excited to hear that, not only were we doing another collaboration with DC Brau, but we’d be able to get our hands on entire six-packs of this incredible, rosé wine-inspired gose.
“You know we love our fruit beers at CMBC,” Ryan says, “so Rosé du Gosé is right up our alley. It’s refreshing, it’s crushable — it’s the perfect summer beer.”
“It is such a playful take on a kettle sour,” Brandon says. “It has a touch of salinity, just enough to hit the gose style right on the nose and the blush character makes this Rose the perfect alternative to its cousin from Sancerre.”
“It’s a tasty, refreshing, easy-drinking fruited gose,” Brian says. “What’s not to love about that as a summer sipper?”
“I personally love that we took a cue from the wine world and did our own riff on a very popular style of wine via a kettle-soured ale,” Jeff says. “There aren’t a whole lot of people looking to do direct riffs on traditional wine styles. For me, the beer is very intriguing and palatable without being unapproachable to someone who’s never had a kettle-soured beer before. I really enjoy the restrained tart character of the beer and the mild, fruity notes. I’m also a fan of the low alcohol content of beer. When having a proper session, I always opt for lower ABV beers as I always like to have a beer in my hand when hanging out and socializing. A rosé inspired beer is always a great conversation starter!”
So… we had the right brewery lined up, brewing a killer beer…. The last thing to figure out was how to actually accomplish a collaboration when neither of us is allowed to set foot in the other’s production facility.
Brandon and Jeff sent up some… COVID-resistant emissaries. And we returned the favor.
“I wish we could’ve done a more traditional collab,” Brian says. “Hanging out, drinking with those guys is always good fun, and always reminds me of why as brewers we get into this industry.”
Rosé du Gosé releases on July 17th at DC Brau and in our Tasting Room and Beer Garden. We won’t be distributing Rosé du Gosé, and it’s only going to limited markets in DC, so your best bet is to plan a trip to either brewery to get your hands on this one.
Mark your calendars, folks. This is one you won’t want to miss.