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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Our New Release Is The Bomb

It’s sounds like the episode of a sitcom: sweet mother makes apple butter for her family with huge pots in a suburban backyard and is mistaken for meth lab operator. But that’s exactly what might have happened to the mom of our guy Chris — she remembers a state police helicopter circling above her house during one of her frequent apple butter cooking marathons. And yet, more has come out of her recipe than a funny story… this was the inspiration for CMBC’s Apple Bomb beer.

apple bomb fermentation foam fail
The infamous Apple Bomb fermentation foam fiasco

A few Christmas seasons ago, in our original 12 gallon brew house, we also cooked apples down until they reduced to a butter, and we tossed the fruit of this labor (womp, womp) into a fermenter with some cinnamon and apple juice concentrate purchased from ShopRite. The resulting brew was so popular, we decided to do it again and again… and again. Each time, we’ve refined the process because, well, let’s just say we’ve experienced some funny stories of our own.

“The name for the beer came about because, in the early days, we underestimated how easily the sugars from 55 gallons of juice would ferment, so the fermenter kind of blew up,” says Chris. “The floor of the brew house was covered in two inches worth of foam.”

But no worries – the beer itself was delicious, and CMBC’s Apple Bomb has only gotten tastier since. Just not in the way you might think.

“It’s one of the hardest beers to describe,” says Brew Master Brian. “With a name like Apple Bomb, you expect it to be a cider, which is a lot like alcoholic apple juice. But this still tastes like a beer.”

Show bout them apples bomb graphicure, the fruit lends a little bit of tartness, but not so much that the hop note is masked, or the biscuit malts don’t come through. That’s because, unlike with a cider, all of the apple juice that goes into this beverage is converted to alcohol – hence the 8% ABV.

For your drinking pleasure, we’re releasing it Thursday, February 26 (it’s the second in a six-new-beers-in-six-weeks series), so come check it out in our tasting room. You know what they say: an apple beer a day keeps the doctor away, or some such thing.

As for Chris’ mom? She’s still operating her “lab.” Says Chris: “I’ve got apple butter in my fridge from three years ago.”

Delish!

Apple Bomb Fritters

It’s one of our fans’ favorite beers, and, to make sure we end 2018 on the right note, it’s back again in the Tasting Room and out for distribution — Apple Bomb!

With its explosion of apple flavor, Apple Bomb’s bready and biscuity malts make it perfect for baking. We tasked our Head Chef JP Thomas to come up with a recipe using Apple Bomb, and he didn’t disappoint.

“The tartness of Apple Bomb makes it great for desserts,” JP says. “It freshens up the dish like a crisp, green apple. You get that clean, fresh flavor that makes baking with Apple Bomb really very nice.”

This delicious recipe for Apple Fritters with Caramel Bomb Sauce will be a stellar addition to your holiday meal. Stop down to the Tasting Room and get a growler fill — the recipe only calls for 9oz of Apple Bomb, so that’s more than three pints left for you to drink!

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“Tasty. Like apple juice but not overtly apple.”

What People are Saying About Apple Bomb….

We’re excited that Apple Bomb is back on tap, and we know that our faithful fans are, as well. It’s one of our most-requested brews, and we know you’ve been waiting.

Filled with apple-y goodness, the bready and biscuity malts in this wheat beer are balanced by the tartness of the apples. It’s juicy, it’s tangy, and it’s oh, so delicious.

We’ve been brewing this delectable nectar since February of 2013, and the first batch definitely earned its name. We’ve learned a lot since then.

Read what people have been saying!

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I Know What You Did Last Shandy and…?

img_1775If you missed I Know What You Did Last Shandy when it was out last year, no worries! It’s on tap again in the Tasting Room.

This killer shandy stands just fine on its own. It’s practically a liquid dessert: flavors of cinnamon, clove, and a ton of brown sugar swirl around your glass, enticing you with its aromas and flavors.

Nevertheless, this is the perfect beer to blend with some of our other brews. We’ve got some ideas for you for your next trip down to the brewery.

Mop Water — The spices in these two brews will complement each other nicely. Both have cinnamon, but the nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and vanilla in Mop Water will play beautifully with I Know What You Did Last Shandy. Furthermore, the dryness of the German malts in Mop Water’s brown ale are just begging to be sweetened a bit with a shandy. Give it a whirl!

Apple Bomb — There’s literally nothing more American than apple pie. Ask your grandmother for her apple pie recipe, and if she doesn’t mention cinnamon and brown sugar… ask your other grandmother. Combining I Know What You Did Last Shandy with Apple Bomb will leave you wondering who smuggled a slice of apple pie into your pint glass.

Avalon Coffee Stout — Who doesn’t love some spice in their coffee? If Starbucks’ next big coffee drink is some combination of coffee, cinnamon, cloves, and brown sugar, we’d assume that they got the idea from a brewery in Cape May. The grain bill of pilsner, carafa, caramunich, roasted barley, and oats with the nutty and cocoa notes of Avalon’s house blend will pair beautifully with I Know What You Did Last Shandy’s spicy sweetness. Yum!

Honey Porter — The roasted and dark crystal malts and characteristic sweetness of our flagship Honey Porter practically implores you to add a bit of spice to the mix. Cinnamon, cloves, and honey play wonderfully together, while the brown sugar brings the malts to the fore. This is where tradition and innovation converge!

Devil’s Reach — The fruity simplicity of our flagship Strong Belgian fares well against the complex sweetness of I Know What You Did Last Shandy. The fruity esters and unbearable lightness of Devil’s Reach are spiced up considerably by the cinnamon and cloves in the shandy. And that brown sugar all over those fruits? It’s like an apricot jam or orange marmalade on a cinnamon raisin toast first thing on a cold winter morning.

Do you have other ideas? Come on down and try them out!

Three Releases This Week!

Good things come in threes, right?

First up is this week’s Wednesday One-Off. Conceived by JP Thomas, our new manager of culinary special ops, and out January 20, it’s the Turtle Gut Shaken Not Stirred, aka our Turtle Gut American sour infused with olive juice and even served with an olive. (Need a refresher on where the name Turtle Gut came from? See here.) Operations Manager Ashley Sundstrom calls it a “Dirty Turtle.” Our beertenders call it “going fast.” Think malty sweetness, sharp acidity, and a little something extra.

“The salty and sour go so well together,” JP says. “And that plays a trick on the tongue that makes it taste sweet.”

Then, for the first time since August, Poverty Beach is coming back. On January 21, this bold but easy-drinking Belgian IPA with spicy undertones will be available again — in all its citrusy, Centennial hop glory. Expect a pillowy head, an effervescent mouthfeel, and… sorry, what we’re we saying? Now we’re thirsty.

It’s no secret that IPA is a style craft brewers love to tinker with. See: American, English and Imperial iterations. So what’s the deal with the Belgian prefix? This subgroup is the result of fermenting IPA with Belgian yeast, allowing for fruitier esters.

Our final product “tastes like a delicious blend of Coastal Evacuation and Devil’s Reach,” Chris says. Plus, it’s named for Cape May’s beautiful surfing beach on the east end of town, so you know it’s got to be good. ABV is 5.5%.

Our next release, out January 23, is the bomb — Apple Bomb, that is. This wheat beer is one of our flagships, and it’s gone through a bit of tweaking. Inspired by the tasty apple butter homemade every year by Chris’ mom, we first made the brew by cooking down fresh apples and fermenting them with apple juice.

And then our tank exploded.

We *may* have underestimated how quickly 55 gallons of apple juice ferment. But there’s no use in crying over spilled milk (or overflowing beer foam, as the case may be). After all, the incident inspired the beer’s name.

Over the years, we’ve refined the recipe. The final product? An 8% ABV brew that is most definitely NOT a cider. No alcoholic apple juice here.

In the words of Chris: “This still tastes like a beer.”

Stop by, try them all, and let us know which style you like best.

PS – Next week’s one-off? Smoked IPA, coming at you January 27.

Poverty Beach: not just for surfing anymore.
Poverty Beach: not just for surfing anymore.

Things You Should Know Before Drinking This Thanksgiving

This holiday may be all about the bird – and, you know, the gratitude – but beer should also play a starring role. Here’s why:

Credit drinkingmadeeasy.com
Credit drinkingmadeeasy.com

Pilgrims loved beer.

There’s a legend that the pilgrims only came ashore when their alcohol ran dry… funny, but also grounded in fact. Water was not safe to consume aboard the Mayflower, so beer was clutch. Enter tipsy English separatists. Remember: if your cornucopia is full of craft this holiday season, you’re only following tradition.

Native Americans also enjoyed beer.

It’s been long believed that colonists introduced American Indians to brewing, but recent studies suggest they already had it down, with corn as a main ingredient.

We’re making something special for Drinksgiving.

Traditionally, the day before Thanksgiving is the heaviest drinking day of the year. Of course, our customers aren’t looking to get wild — they prefer to remember the beer they’re drinking. So we recommend picking up a growler of something fun to sip with the extended family. Enter our One-Off Wednesday concoction for next week. We’re calling it Apple Pie, as this is our Apple Bomb brew conditioned with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and vanilla. It will hold you over through the holiday, since we’re closed on Thanksgiving. And it’s an appropriate choice, considering the libations served by Native Americans that first Thanksgiving season were likely also apple heavy.

And we’ve got growlers full of The Bog.

This is the beer on our menu — a cranberry wheat-based brew — that goes best with turkey, according to Head Brewer Brian Hink. “It’s light and refreshing with a bit of sweetness, so it goes well with the whole savory, rich, buttery feast,” he says. The Bog also pairs well with turducken, in case that’s more your speed.

Beer=gratitude.

Or, at least, it should. At last count, there were over 4,000 craft breweries across America, meaning we’ve got an endless supply of innovative options at our fingertips. And that’s one heck of a reason to toast before a turkey dinner, don’t you think?

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