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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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“It feels good getting out of the house and riding and being in the fresh air and getting some exercise,” Jimmy says.

Our 50-milers

The two oldest guys in the brewhouse — bambinos by our standards — are dusting off their bikes and hitting the course for BikeMS: City to Shore. Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm and Culinary Ops & Soda Guru JP Thomas are doing the one of the shortest possible distances — 50 miles — but Multiple Sclerosis research doesn’t care, and, to be completely honest, 50 miles on a bike is still quite an achievement.

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“We’re gonna break the record for most fun.”

Andrew Ewing, Superhero

Count the number of people you know who taught themselves how to do a thing. The number is usually pretty small and probably has to do with music or languages or brewing. There aren’t many people who taught themselves how to ride a bike. In a basement. At seven.

“My parents had no idea I even did it,” says Brewer Andrew Ewing. “It was the middle of the winter, and I’d be like, ‘Hey, guys! I’m going down into the basement!’ Then one day, after I’d learned, I was like, ‘Yo, guys! Come check this out!’”

And a love affair was born.

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CAPE MAY BREWERY TEAM RIDER – DETERMINATION

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It’s finally here! One of CMBC’s biggest sponsorships of the year — the 125-mile Bike MS: City to Shore rides into town this weekend.

Over the past few weeks, you’ve been introduced to some of the riders. We’re so proud of all of them for their passion, inspiration, and determination. In fact, those are some of the words the City to Shore website uses to define the race.

We’ve been taking the five nouns on that site — camaraderie, passion, inspiration, determination, and enjoyment — and assigning them to each of our riders. Today’s installment: Determination — and from our intrepid captain.

To make a contribution visit the Cape May Brewing Co page at nationalmssociety.org.

Name: Steve Briggs

Age: 29 years young

Hometown: Barrington, NJ & Philadelphia, PA

Occupation: Biomedical Engineer @ Edmund Optics in Barrington, NJ

Number of years on the CMBC team: This will be my 5th MS Ride with the team!

How did you get involved with the team? My family and I were one of the first customers to walk into the Brewery back in July 2011.  We quickly started discussions with Chris, Ryan, and Bob and became familiar faces enjoying Cape May IPA.  I noticed Chris and Ryan biking into the airport occasionally then saw our first bike jerseys on display and for sale, then learned about the formation of the team for the MS Bike Ride and quickly joined!

Why do you want to fight MS? Many close friends have relatives who suffer from MS.  I also studied the underlying effects of MS while at college and became interested at the cellular level.  Both of these combined lead me to raise awareness and fundraise as much as I can.  The Delaware Chapter of the MS Society is amazing and truly does great work to help all of those suffering in the area.

Describe City to Shore (the ride) in three words: beautiful, empowering, fulfilling

bikems_briggs-copyWhat does determination mean to you? Determination is key for any task or challenge any of us faces every day.  Some people think I’m crazy to bike 80-100 miles, but some determination makes that task easy compared to the determination of those battling MS every day.  

What is it about riding City to Shore that makes you feel determined? All participants, volunteers, sponsors, and contributors share the same determination to make a difference in the battle against MS.  A great deal of planning goes into the event.  A great deal of networking is required to meet specific goals,  Determination is absolutely evident on the day of the ride, and certainly leading up to the day.

What goes through your mind as you’re riding 125 miles? I have two major thoughts as I do the ride every year.  1, New Jersey is beautiful, and 2, crossing the finish line is one of the best feelings in the world.  To hear hundreds of people cheering you on, thanking you personally, and making a celebration out of something so devastating as MS.

What are some other things that make you feel determined? Helping others for sure.  I’m blessed and truly fortunate to be healthy and not suffer from any major illnesses.  With over 7 billion people on this planet, it is unavoidable to not come across those who suffer or who are less fortunate.  I like to think that I’m able to help those who need it most.

What are some ways you try to spread determination in your daily life? By simply spreading the word about the ride, about the MS Society, and about our team! A simple bike ride from Philly into Jersey for work gets me talking about the MS Ride and people donate.  

Describe City to Shore (the beer) in three words: Fresh, piney, and fruity! One of my favorite DIPAs! Definitely a drier and hoppier profile than my favorite Cape May IPA.  

Of the other nouns — camaraderie, enjoyment, inspiration, and passion — which one speaks most to you regarding the City to Shore ride and why? Enjoyment.  To do anything, you have to be happy and enjoy yourself.  This event more than others is definitely one that ranks up there as most enjoyable.

What is your fundraising goal? $1,000.  I’m almost there! (Since completing this survey, Steve has exceeded his goal! He rocks! But not everyone has — there’s still time to donate!)

City to Shore will take place this weekend on September 24 and 25!  To make a contribution, visit the Cape May Brewing Co page at nationalmssociety.org.

CAPE MAY BREWERY TEAM RIDER – INSPIRATION

unnamedCMBC is gearing up for one of their major sponsorships of the year — the Cape May Brewery cycling team for Bike MS: City to Shore. The City to Shore website says, “Bike MS: City to Shore is more than a 125-mile ride. It’s an experience grounded in camaraderie and marked by passion, inspiration, determination and pure enjoyment.”

So, we’ve decided to take those five nouns — camaraderie, passion, inspiration, determination, and enjoyment — and assign them to each of our riders. Today’s installment: Inspiration.

Name: Kyle Konopka

Age: 27

Hometown: Haddon Heights, NJ

Occupation: Operations Manager @ NAXION Market Research and Consulting

Number of years on the CMBC team: 4

How did you get involved with the team? Our noble and current captain knew I loved riding bikes and invited me to join him to tackle the century ride.

Why do you want to fight MS? It is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting millions, so anything I can do to support the fight of this disease that affects so many is the least I can do. Also, any breakthrough in genetic diseases is a major win for all genetic diseases to help the fight.

Describe City to Shore (the ride) in three words: Electric, BRIDGE, Beer

bikems_kyleWhat does inspiration mean to you? Taking something in, milling it around in my head, and finally acting on what I took in.

What is it about riding City to Shore that inspires you? This is an easy one. At the start you look around and see hundreds of other cyclists and volunteers all united for one cause. Now THAT is inspiring. It continues on the ride because at every rest stop there are more volunteers willing to help you in anyway. There are cyclists lined up from, literally, City to Shore all aiming to fight MS. Finally, at the end there are people cheering you on as you pedal to the finish. I tear up every year.

What goes through your mind as you’re riding 125 miles? There are many different types of people on this ride. I am happy and proud to be one of them. Also, I am not looking forward to the bridges.

What are some other things that inspire you? My parents, family, and friends. Those around me who are so passionate about life inspire me to live a better life..

What are some ways you try to spread inspiration in your daily life? Riding my bike. I know it seems like a simple and silly answer, but riding my bike is one of the ways I got involved with City to Shore. Beyond that if you commute to work on a bike or use a bike to get around, I like to think others will see you and be inspired to try to do more on a bike.

Describe City to Shore (the beer) in three words: Refreshing, inspirational, scrumptious

Of the other nouns — camaraderie, enjoyment, passion, and determination — which one speaks most to you regarding the City to Shore ride and why? Awesome. I love this ride. It’s so much fun. A bunch of my friends and family do it (why they are any other team besides CMBC is beyond me). Family and friends are often at the finish line to cheer me on as I go by. Plus, what better way to celebrate the ride than to have a few of the best brews in NJ from CMBC!

City to Shore will take place on September 24 and 25. To make a contribution, visit the Cape May Brewing Co page at nationalmssociety.org.

CAPE MAY BREWERY TEAM RIDER – PASSION

734412_617746314952404_1997957632_nCMBC is gearing up for one of their major sponsorships of the year — the Cape May Brewery cycling team for Bike MS: City to Shore. The City to Shore website says, “Bike MS: City to Shore is more than a 125-mile ride. It’s an experience grounded in camaraderie and marked by passion, inspiration, determination and pure enjoyment.”

So, we’ve decided to take those five nouns — camaraderie, passion, inspiration, determination, and enjoyment — and assign them to each of our riders. Today’s installment: Passion.

 

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Cape May Brewery Team Rider – Enjoyment

unnamedCMBC is gearing up for one of their major sponsorships of the year — the Cape May Brewery cycling team for Bike MS: City to Shore. The City to Shore website says, “Bike MS: City to Shore is more than a 125-mile ride. It’s an experience grounded in camaraderie and marked by passion, inspiration, determination and pure enjoyment.”

So, we’ve decided to take those five nouns — camaraderie, passion, inspiration, determination, and enjoyment — and assign them to each of our riders. Today’s installment: Enjoyment.

Name: Cliff Martin

Age: 65

Hometown: Ocean City, NJ

Occupation: Retired (seeking part time work)

Number of years on the CMBC team: Four

How did you get involved with the team? I started riding the MS 150, and after one ride I started looking for a team to join. Most were banks, insurance firms, accounting firms or hospital systems (nothing wrong with any of those organizations), but I wanted to join a team with something I really enjoyed, and they had it: craft brews.

Why do you want to fight MS? My first cousin and a close friend have the disease, and a very close friend’s sister died from the disease.

Describe City to Shore (the ride) in three words: exhilarating, purposeful, healthy

What does enjoyment mean to you? Something that keeps my interest, gives me satisfaction, and benefits others.

What is it about riding City to Shore that makes you feel enjoyment? I’m engaged, I enjoy all the excitement and energy, and I’m doing something that helps the greater good.

C2S_CliffWhat goes through your mind as you’re riding 125 miles? In the beginning, I just want to enjoy the crisp air and not think about the whole ride. About halfway through, I think of all the calories I’m burning so I can savor all the cookies and candy at the rest stops. And at the end, especially after clearing the two bridges, I know I’ve made it for another year. (Just for the record I have not ridden on the second day.)

What are some other things that make you feel enjoyment? Completing a long run, helping someone with a problem, or getting a bunch of stuff off my honey-do list

What are some ways you try to spread enjoyment in your daily life? I try to help family and friends with their life situations, especially financial ones. I’m a CPA and the ‘go to guy’ for everyone’s taxes.

Describe City to Shore (the beer) in three words: crisp (like the ride’s morning start), full-bodied, easy

Of the other nouns — camaraderie, passion, inspiration, and determination — which one speaks most to you regarding the City to Shore ride and why? Determination: because I need to fund raise and train for the ride, so it’s not a one and done event.

What is your fundraising goal and how can people donate? I’m trying to raise at least $1,000. I have an MS web site http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/Cliff_BeatMS150.

City to Shore will take place on September 24 and 25. To make a contribution, visit the Cape May Brewing Co page at nationalmssociety.org.

Beer and Sports

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Beer and athletics — the perfect combination, right? Well, we know you like to kick back with a fresh CMBC brew while watching your favorite sporting events, and with the Olympics coming at us from Rio over the next two weeks, you’ll have plenty of occasions to celebrate your way.

Here at the brewery we like to support our local sporting events as much as we can… and we’ve got two coming up in the next few months.

City to Shore

Have you ever awoken one morning and said to yourself, “You know, I’d really like to ride my bike 100 miles.”

Naah? You sure? Not even to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research?

Well, some 7,000 area cyclists do just that every year. Luckily, there are shorter options available — 25 and 75 miles — so if you’re not quite feeling up to hopping on your bike and generating enough energy to power Wildwood, you can do something a little smaller and still raise some money.

Riding September 24, this annual event is part of Bike MS — the single most-successful cycling fundraising event on the planet. Bike MS has raised over $1 billion to help fund MS research, assist those living with the condition, and raise awareness. As Ryan’s aunt suffers from MS, raising money for research and awareness is something that we can get behind.

“We’re not just here to brew beer,” Ryan, and avid cyclist, himself, says. “Cape May Brew Co. has always been something a little more than that. We’re socially conscious, and when we can raise money for a great cause, we’ll take the opportunity.”

Yet, brew beer we shall! Of course we’ll take this opportunity to brew a special beer — City to Shore! Bred with a blend of hops that hit all the right notes and tickle your taste buds just right, then dry hopped with over a pound per barrel of more sexy hops, this Double IPA brings a wave of citrus, grapefruit, and other exotic fruits to your face. Not as dry as our usual hop-bombs, we leave a touch more of the body behind to bring out the juicier hop profile.

Tri the Wildwoods

“Tradition” isn’t just the opening number of Fiddler on the Roof, it’s a huge part of the Jersey Shore lifestyle: families hand down houses from generation to generation, couples engaged on our beaches routinely make the return trek to their favorite spots, and Tri the Wildwoods runs August 27th.

Since 2004, Tri the Wildwoods has been the premier race at the Southern Shore, and has since become a summertime tradition. Called a “Rite of Passage” race by the Cape May Star & Wave, it’s a race known for its challenging course, sometimes crazy weather, and a killer afterparty.

This USAT-sanctioned race sees participants running along Wildwood’s epic beaches, swimming through the Atlantic Ocean, then biking along the boardwalk and through the streets of Wildwood. It includes an International race for the serious competitors, a sprint race, and a kid’s Splash-N-Dash. Past champions of this race include 2016 US Olympian Joe Maloy (of Wildwood Crest), former USAT Olympian Jarod Shoemaker, and Lifetime Fitness Champion Alicia Kaye.

Think you can hack it? There’s still time to register!

We’ll be commemorating this event with a take-off of our flagship Cape May IPA. We’ll spice it up in a special Tri the Wildwoods blend with orange peel and citra hops. The perfect way to end a race!

Why I Ride: Brandy Dianno

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.)

Brandy (on the left) with her sister Nicle Dianno before last year's ride.
Brandy (on the left) with her sister Nicle Dianno before last year’s ride.

Name: Brandy Dianno

Age: 23

Hometown:  Northeast Philadelphia

Occupation: Full-time student

Number of years on the Cape May Brew Co team: This will be my 2nd.

Why I ride: I was turned on to the MS Bike Race through my sister and her boyfriend who are also on the team. I enjoy participating in athletic events, especially if it supports a good cause, so I gave it a try last year and loved it. My sister and I did the race side by side and it was awesome! I also loved the atmosphere and the enormous support surrounding those with MS and the cyclists. Last year I rode to see if I could do it. This year, I ride to support those who can’t. I ride as a member of a great team. I ride to not only challenge myself, but to challenge others to care more about contributing to a cause wholeheartedly, even if that disease does not directly affect them.

Why I ride on the CMBC team: I was invited to join this team through my sister’s boyfriend, Kyle, who has been a member for years. The CMBC team was amazing… they were all extremely welcoming, supportive and dedicated to the ride and to the cause. Although my sister and I were new last year, they made us feel like we’d been a part of the team forever. CMBC is very devoted to raising as much as they can to support the MS Society. We get emails from team leaders to help motivate us to keep raising money and to stay in shape for the race! CMBC really cares about what they are doing here and I couldn’t ask to be on a better team.

What my go-to CMBC brew after a long training ride is: Mop water, but I’m excited to try #YOPO!

What my training looks like: I train for Spartan Races as well as the MS City to Shore so I do a bit of cross training. I try to get in as many bike rides as I can, especially because I got a new bike I need to get used to it (I rode a mountain bike last year, ouch). But mostly I lift three times a week and try to fill the rest of the week in with cardio/ bike rides. My sister and I also try to organize a bike ride every Sunday morning but we have not had success due to our busy, opposite schedules. Ugh.

Fundraising Goal: I would like to say it would be more then $300 to help support the cause but being a poor college student with fellow poor college students as a majority of my friends it makes it difficult to even reach $300. In years to come I hope to try and raise $1000 each year.

What I’ll feel like at the finish: Well…last year I made the mistake of riding my dad’s 20 year old mountain bike because I didn’t have one of my own. I could barely move after the race. This year I hope to feel exhausted yet feel my legs after the race. However, mentally I hope to feel the same as last year which was grateful that I could do it and grateful to be supporting those with MS, and ready to sign right back up for next year!

What I need people to know: You don’t need to have a direct connection to somebody with MS to contribute and ride for the cause. Every little bit helps and it is definitely worth your time and effort. Also, NEVER DO THIS RACE ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE.

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.

Progress Report

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Thanks to everyone who has contributed, the Cape May Brew Co Cycling Team has reached 22% of its fundraising goal — $3,261 of $15,000 – for this year’s City to Shore event, an 80-mile ride in October that raises money and awareness for the National MS Society.

As for those of who haven’t contributed yet… no beer for you.

In all seriousness, even a $5 donation makes a difference. That’s less than a venti S’Mores Frappuccino from Starbucks, guys.

We’ve said it before, if it’s all of us against MS, we like our odds. Join the movement by clicking here.

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.

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