Villanova University’s 174th year was a good one. For the first time, they’re ranked nationally on US News and World Report’s list of Best Colleges and Universities, coming in at #50. They’ve exceeded their capital campaign goals with a year-and-a-half left in the initiative, and they’re expanding their presence on Lancaster Avenue, adding a performing arts center and parking garage, among other things. One of their well-known alums, Matt Szczur, helped the Cubs win their first World Series since the Edwardian era, and, of course, there was that little thing about the second NCAA basketball championship in the school’s history.
However, it looks like their 175th year is shaping up to be even better. They’re starting the year ranked first in college hoops, their academics are still going strong….
…and they’ve asked two of their alumni — namely Ryan and Hank — to brew the official beer of their demisemiseptcentennial. (Yes, that’s really a word.)
How cool is that?!? For most of us, the only thing our beloved alma mater has ever asked us to do is send a check. Our favorite boys get to be a part of their alma mater’s 175th anniversary.
“It’s pretty cool,” Ryan says. “Hank and I loved our time at ‘Nova — it’s where we met, after all. Being asked to be part of this moment in the school’s history is both exciting and humbling. It’s great to have a chance to give something back to the school that gave us both so much.”
“It’s a big deal,” Hank says. “It’s a great connection to have. A lot of the Villanova guys are big fans of CMBC, so it’s been really great that they’ve asked us to be a part of the 175th anniversary.”
Villanova reached out to us earlier in 2016 to gauge our interest. (We think that Pope Francis put in a good word for us after #YOPO. That had to be it.) We were definitely interested, but there were some questions yet to be answered. Jimmy and Brian began putting their heads together for some recipe ideas, and Ryan and Hank crunched some numbers. Thankfully, all of the moving parts came together and we jumped on board.
Now, we bring to you Demisemiseptcentennial Ale, because of course that’s its name. It’s been fun trying to fit that on a bottle.
Yes, it’s going to be bottled! It’s our first new bottling run of 2017, and we couldn’t be more proud. You’ll be able to find it at your favorite bottle shop later this month, along with seven of our other fine creations. It’s a great addition to an already-robust bottle lineup.
With a name like “Demisemiseptcentennial Ale,” you can probably guess what variety of hops we used. A name like that is just begging for a hefty dose of centennial hops. Combine them with some German Pilsner malts and our House Ale yeast, and you’ve got a clean and easy-drinking pale ale for the ages. At 4.5% ABV, this brew is eminently crushable, perfect for quaffing as you cheer the Wildcats to a repeat of last year’s huge basketball season.
We’re currently in the process of signing on all of the major Villanova bars up on the Main Line, since this is something that’s going to make their clientele go slightly insane. We plan on distributing this one much like we do all of our other brews, so, no matter where you are in the area, you’ll be able to have a little piece of Villanova at your corner bar.
The response from the bars in the area has been outstanding. The vast majority of them have signed on sight-unseen, not even tasting the brew, only our reputation and the concept for the brew to go on. Mop Man has been pounding the pavement up on the Main Line and in the surrounding areas.
“If I get two cases of beer, I’ll have fifty accounts,” Mop Man says. “The interest is high and demand will be great.”
The official release of this brew in New Jersey will be Friday, January 27th in the Tasting Room and at the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation’s Second Annual Szcz the Day Dinner. Held at the Cape May Convention Center, the evening honors Villanova alum, Cape May’s own Matt Szczur, and CMBC has signed on to be the official beer sponsor. Matt donated bone marrow several years ago, saving the life of an adorable girl in the Ukraine named Anastasia. Since then Matt and his wife Natalie give much of their time in the offseason to this worthy cause.
However, we’ll have a sneak peek for our dedicated fans on Wednesday, January 25th. To kick off the dinner, we’ll have a pint night, with $1 off each pint being donated to the Andy Talley Foundation. There’ll be a special one-off, and Matt will be there to help us raise some cash. It’s our first charitable cause of the new year, and you’re not going to want to miss it.
And we know you’ll want to have your fridge fully-stocked come March 14. The Madness starts then, and only six games will separate Villanova from their third National Championship. (Are we jinxing it? We’d better stop.)
There’s a lot more information to come on Demisemiseptcentennial Ale. This is an exciting time for us — and the Philly region in general: reigning National Champions, Matt Szczur winning the World Series, people get to learn the word “demisemiseptcentennial”. We’re in for a fun ride, and we’re thankful to bring you along.