“Are you kidding me?” Mop Man asks, laughing. “Yeah, he’s a great kid. And my ‘adopted’ son, Chris, they’re both great.” We get the feeling talking to Bob that he’s sort of in awe of both boys: their work ethic, determination, and honesty. “You come in 9 o’clock at night sometimes, they’re still here.”
Hank, Ryan, and many of their friends would spend time at the Krill’s house in Avalon over the summers during college. One of their friends, Jimmy, gave Hank a brew kit for his birthday one year, and it started the ball rolling. The guys started homebrewing at the house in Avalon.
After their group of friends scattered around the country after graduation, a few years had passed and Hank wanted a career change. He talked it over with Ryan, they asked Bob if he wanted to help them start a brewery. “It only took me a second. I said, ‘Sure, why not?'”
However, Bob had a bit of buyer’s remorse when he looked at the empty buildings at Cape May Airport. “I thought, ‘How the hell do we get our money back?'” he says, laughing. “There was nobody there!” Nonetheless, Bob is proud of the economic engine the brewery has become, as well as the recognition from Cape May’s elected officials of the brewery as the “anchor” of Cape May Airport.
He seems to have gotten over those initial doubts pretty quickly, realizing that he “never invested in a brewery. I invested in Ryan. And Chris. They believe in what they’re doing, and I believe in what they’re doing.”
Bob seems to have followed his own advice to fathers: “Raise them the best you can, but you gotta let them make their own choices.”
With Father’s Day on Sunday, the last thing Bob wants is another pint glass. “Counting the two cases in my trunk…?” he says, laughing. “I try to get the new ones every now and then, but it’s like working at a pizza place and someone offers you a slice of pizza. I got enough glasses!” Nonetheless, he’s partial to the regular pint glass: “I think the design is beautiful. You throw them in the freezer and have a nice cold glass of beer.” He suggests Mop Water — his namesake — of course.
On Sunday, Mop Man will be at a cookout at Ryan’s while his daughter Lauren is in town. They’ll be kicking back with a few cold IPAs and Ryan will be making a bone-in rib-eye. “I told him I wanted a steak as big as my head.”
“Sounds like a good plan for me.” You deserve it, Bob.
To Mop Man and all of the other fathers out there, CMBC wishes you a very happy Father’s Day.