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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Gordon Ramsay Says Cape May Beer Makes Everything Alright

Let’s say you’ve never seen one of Gordon Ramsay’s television programs – Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef, among others. And let’s say you’ve never heard of his 25 restaurants or their 15 – fifteen! – Michelin stars. And let’s say you’ve never caught his guest appearances on American Idol or The Simpsons. (What are you, living under a rock?) You’ve likely still heard of the Scottish chef’s legendary temper. A temper that’s kept in check, come to find out, by Cape May Brewery beer.

Ramsay, raising a glass of CMB beer, next to our guy Brian and Caesars President Kevin Orooo
Ramsay, raising a glass of CMB beer, next to our guy Brian and Caesars President Kevin Ortzman.

But before we get to that, some GR history:

This is the guy who says even his own mum is appalled at the extent of his cursing.  A guy who once kicked a food critic out of his restaurant and allegedly shoved a contestant on one of his shows, resulting in a sprained ankle. A guy who hired a private detective to tail his father-in-law when he suspected the man of bankrolling a mistress on his dime. A guy who’s feuded with the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali. A guy who names the turkeys he raises after celebrity chef peers.

In line with reality TV dogma, that kind of behavior garners a hefty following. So, unsurprisingly, the excitement surrounding the grand opening of the new Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill in Atlantic City’s Caesars Casino yesterday was palpable. Ramsay himself was set to be there – tapping a CMB firkin — after all.

By 5pm, the cask sat in position at the top of the grand steps leading to the Roman Coliseum-motiffed restaurant. Beside it stood Ramsay’s guards – both real and Praetorian – as well as the 200 Casino big-wigs, reporters, and members of the public who’d been invited. When the man of the hour appeared, the crowd that had gathered in the lobby below took a collective breath and began tapping furiously at their cell phone cameras.

“Anyone who says Atlantic City is in decline is full of utter horseshit,” Ramsay said into his mic, likely glad his mother was not in attendance, before thanking the requisite people.

Just then, an Irish bagpiper named Alex McKee who says there is never anything under his kilt but lipstick (womp, womp) began leading a procession of tartan-clad, Scottish flag-waving staffers and CMB’s own Brew Master, Brian Hink, across the lobby, through security and to the foot of the stairs. When they arrived, Ramsay began tapping at the firkin with a wooden mallet in order to fill his glass with the delicious brew inside: South Jersey Seccession Session Scottish Ale conditioned with Earl Grey tea and vanilla bean. When the cask remained uptapped, Brian lept up the stairs to help in applying just the right amount of force.

“Man, that was nerve-wracking,” Bri-guy said later, over passed hors d’oeuvres. “There were so many cameras and so many people, and it’s hard to know until you do it if the beer has settled enough to avoid a blast of foam when tapped.” But no catastrophes this day.

“Very beautiful,” Ramsay said after his first sip.

Sweet treats, UK style.
Sweet treats, UK style.

Around this time, your blogger – who had earned entry to the event by tucking in behind the bagpipe procession – accidentally stepped out of bounds while looking for a bathroom, and was not immediately allowed back in to the event for lack of a proper wristband… doh! At least that’s what security said, but we’re suspicious it might, also, have had something to do with said blogger’s egregious farmer’s tan, which she’d regrettably acquired earlier in the day, but we digress.

After 35 minutes of sweet-talking her way through three layers of food-and-beverage management, your blogger finally managed to regain entry. Only problem? By now, all star-struck groupies who had not yet gotten a moment of face-time with Ramsay were going full-on 12-year-old-girl-at-Justin-Bieber-concert. As the star made his way through throngs of grown men throwing elbows and even one middle-aged southern woman who yelled between sobs that she’s been waiting her whole life for THIS MOMENT, we shouted one question at Ramsay that managed to catch his attention: Why, of all the craft breweries out there, is it important to have Cape May’s beer on tap?

Gordon Ramsay, flanked.
Gordon Ramsay, flanked.

“I started tasting that stuff a long time ago,” he said. “After a long day in the kitchen, it makes everything alright.”

And knowing what a day in the kitchen can look like for Ramsay – the man’s pastry chef once called the police on him, citing abusive behavior – we’re very flattered.

As for whether all that temper stuff is real, or merely a show put on for the cameras, we asked Casino President Kevin Ortzman.

“Gordon Ramsay is a wonderful partner,” he said. “But he has very high standards. Cape May Brewing Company fits in with that.”

So while GR may be the culinary villain America loves to hate, he’s a-ok by us. Even if we were nearly booted from his pub.

Last Week In Review

It was a busy seven days of kicking ass kegs and taking names at CMB. Here’s what went down.

freedom Justin showed off his figure: CMB sales rep Justin Vittii was the man twice-over — first, at the Ugly Mug last Thursday  where his toasted coconut IPA was a big hit, and then again on March 13th. This was the first Firkin Friday at the new Gordon  Ramsay Pub and Grill in Atlantic City, and CMB’s Cape May IPA with dry-hopped citra and sweet orange peel was the brew of  the hour. Justin carried a keg on his shoulder through the lobby of Caesar’s Hotel and Casino before entering the restaurant  (he couldn’t carry the actual firkin or it would have exploded). Then, he made a brilliant show of tapping the firkin in front of  a full house, and he did it all to a soundtrack of bag pipers over the sound system while wearing a Black Watch tartan kilt. “Save for some of the girls who worked there, I was the only one in probably a 100-mile radius in a kilt,” he says, “but I got a lot of compliments.” Adding to the good energy of the day? A spirited speech kicking off the pub’schef opening made from on top of the bar by Executive Chef La Tasha McCutchen, winner of the Hell’s Kitchen’s 13th season. (Why the Scottish theme, considering Mr Ramsay is actually English? We don’t know, but we don’t nitpick.)

More kegs came in: 150 of them, kegto be exact.

Business partners Victoria Felman-Defalco and Christina Miranda pose for a photo at the Governor's Conference on Tourism with our girl Alicia.
Business partners Victoria Felman-Defalco and Christina Miranda pose for a photo at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism with our girl Alicia.

CMB surprised: Christina Miranda, co-owner of Manhattan-based Repoint Marketing PR, gave a talk at The Governor’s Conference on Tourism in the Golden Nugget Casino last Thursday. Her message? How important the element of surprise is when engaging potential customers and keeping them out of autopilot. And just as the 160 or so attendees started drifting off into, well, auto-pilot, Christina brought out some surprises of her own, including free beer from CMB, which perked everyone right up. “It was 4:40pm at the end of a long day of conferences, so energy was kind of low,” says our Marketing Guru Alicia Grasso. “But then, all of a sudden, out comes a New Orleans-style jazz band called Hot Sardines, servers delivering free bagels fresh from Bantams on Bleaker Street and, of course, Cape May beer. Two pitchers were brought to my table of five ladies, and they were both kicked quickly. And I only had half a glass!” Cheers to happy surprises.

Hair got buzzed: First, it was Hank. Then, Andrew and Ryan followed suit. Then Paul shaved his beard. But Brew Master Brian is holding

scissors out. “We can’t be a hairless brewery!” he says.

We got around: CMB picked up 10 new accounts, including: Green’s Liquors (Hildreth Avenue in Wildwood), Green’s Liquors (26th Street in Wildwood), Congress Hall, the Greate Bay Country Club, Ventura’s Off-Shore Café, Di Orio’s Circle Café, Back Bay Ale House, Bubba’s Liquors, Tuckers Tavern, and Scales Grill and Deck Bar.

Holla!

Atlantic City’s been having a rough go of it lately, but the addition of a new Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesar’s Casino can only help America’s playground. We mean, CMBC_blacktypeGR’s been awarded a Michelin star 15(!) times. We’re excited to be on tap here, and excited for this mention of it on app.com. Always stoked to get a shout out from the Beer Guy in the Press of Atlantic City and, earlier this week, CMBC received another shout-out from Philly.com. What, what.

Ramsay Pub menu
Mr. Ramsay himself will be in AC enjoying some of our finest Craft beers on March 7 & 8.

 

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