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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
Bringin' home the Bronze!

Great American Beer Festival 2019

This past weekend, CMBC high-tailed it to Denver to participate in the 2019 Great American Beer Festival and the Denver Rare Beer Tasting.

We entered a few beers into the competition this year, and, lo and behold!, Honey Porter came through with a bronze medal in the Brown Porter category! This year, 9,497 entries were submitted to the general competition, along with 113 Pro-Am and 70 Collaboration entries, by 2,295 breweries from across the nation, with entries from all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There were some sixty other entries in the Brown Porter category, and we really couldn’t be more pleased.

“Honey Porter has long been one of the mainstays of our lineup,” Ryan said. “It’s extraordinarily gratifying that this recipe that began in my bathtub as one of my homebrews almost a decade ago got us our very first medal at GABF.”

Nearly 60,000 people attended GABF this year, and the event was a huge success! Check out the pics below!

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“We’re Being a Good Neighbor, even in Denver."

Denver, Here we come!

There are certain things in life that are simply impossible.

Licking your elbow, for example. You simply cannot lick your own elbow. You can try, but it is impossible to lick your own elbow.

Getting Distribution Manager Justin Vitti to stop showing pictures of his newborn daughter, Piper. You simply cannot get Justin Vitti to stop showing pictures of Piper. But… she’s adorable, so we’ll let it slide.

Sampling all 4,000 beers at the Great American Beer Festival. It is simply not possible to sample all of the beers in Denver at GABF next weekend. In a four-hour session, you’d have to sample 1,000 beers an hour. That’s 16.67 beers a minute. That’s a two-ounce beer every three-and-a-half seconds.

You can’t do it. You shouldn’t try. That’s 500 pints of beer in four hours. Even the most daredevilish amongst us will realize that there’s simply no way of achieving this. 

So, if you’re planning to be in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center next weekend, you’d better have a gameplan, and it should involve making a beeline to our booth in the Mid-Atlantic section, 24-14.

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We crushed it!

Great American Beer Festival 2018

Last week, the Brew Crew descended upon Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. With some 800 breweries pouring over 4,000 beers, it definitely earns its name.

We poured Temporarily Permanent, Always Ready, Concrete Ship, Crushin’ It, and Oktoberfest.

“Crushin’ It crushed it,” said Social Media and Graphic Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg. “People came back for it multiple times. Concrete Ship got listed as one of the funniest names by DiningOut Denver & Boulder.”

Sounds like it was a great weekend! Check out the pictures below!

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“You meet people from all over the world who are there for the thing that we have an extreme passion for: beer.” -- Courtney Rosenberg

CMBC Takes Denver!

When it comes to beer festivals, you really can’t beat the Great American Beer Festival, lovingly referred to as “GABF”. 800 breweries, 3,800 beers, four sessions, three days… It’s like heaven but without the difficulties in getting there. You only need airfare to Denver.

It should go without saying that the CMBC Brew Crew will be in full force at the largest beer festival in America. Ryan, Mop Man, Head Brewer Brian Hink, Brewer Mark Graves, New Jersey Sales Manager Richie Rallo, Chief Celebrations Officer Randi Friel, and Social Media and Design Alchemist Courtney Rosenberg will be in attendance, serving up CMBC’s finest and loving the heck out of the Mile-High City.

So, what are we pouring?

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Great American Beer Festival Adventures!

We went on an adventure!

A few lucky members of the Brew Crew went out to Denver this past weekend for the Great American Beer Festival — the largest beer festival in the country.

With this crew rolling in, the Mile High City will never be the same. Ryan was there, along with Head Brewer Brian Hink, Social Media Coordinator and Graphic Designer Courtney Rosenberg, and Sales Manager Richie Rallo. Judging from the pictures, it looks like they had a great time!

Over 60,000 attendees were there, as well, along with over 800 breweries and 3,800 brews. We poured Corrosion, Mop Water, Summer Catch, Coastal Evacuation, and Mooncusser Pilsner.

With Matthew churning off the Eastern Seaboard last weekend, everybody wanted to get a taste of Coastal Evacuation.

Everyone in the Mid-Atlantic section where we were wanted to try the tasty brew with the gross name — Mop Water.

Corrosion kicked fast! It was a huge hit out West — everyone was surprised at such a great sour IPA coming out of New Jersey.

If you missed it, we’re sorry, because OMG you missed ZAC HANSON! (Yeah, you read that right,)

Fangirling aside, the Hanson Brothers churned out some great tunes in the late 90s, and now they’re churning out some great brews out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, including MMMhops, a malty and bitter pale ale. Courtney loved the tunes — reports tell us that Zac was plastered on every wall of her bedroom growing up — as well as the beer, and was really touched that Zac took some time out of a really busy day to sit and talk beer with her and Richie.

Courtney, he’s married!

Check out the pictures below. Looks like it was a great weekend!

Great American Beer Festival, Here We Come!

Ryan and Mop Man,flying the beer to Delaware
Ryan and Mop Man,
flying the beer to Delaware

We’ve been rapturously watching the USA bring home, like, all the medals at the Olympics the past few weeks. Between that little powerhouse phenom Simone Biles and that human dolphin Michael Phelps, they have more medals than some countries. Ever.

The Olympics of Beer are coming up. The first week of October, the world’s eyes will be focused on Denver, Colorado, as the country’s best breweries vie for some medals of their own at the Great American Beer Festival. Of the 96 categories and 100 subcategories, we’re submitting six packs of Summer Catch (Category 23a: American-Belgo-Style Ale), Corrosion (Category 24a: American-Style Sour), Mop Water (Category 9: Herb & Spice Beer), and four bottles of The Keel (Category 30: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Ale).

To say the least, with nearly 200 categories and subcategories, the criteria for each category are extraordinarily precise. The judges aren’t only looking for the beer they liked the most, but for which brew exemplifies the category the closest. The competition is as much for the brew as it is for knowing the industry well enough to submit to the correct category.

“For example,” says Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm, “our Summer Catch is not being submitted under the Belgian Wit category. The Belgian Wit style was one of the inspirations for this beer, but it is too hoppy and not estery enough to stand a chance in that category, so we submitted it to the American-Belgo-Style Ale category, which allows for a littler bit more play.”

In order to compete, we had to do an extraordinarily small bottle run of some brews that we don’t typically bottle. The Keel was no problem — we just pulled from our stock — but the others required a somewhat different process from our usual procedure. Our usual procedure uses “counter-pressure filling”: the rig brings in a row of six bottles, purges them with CO2, then fills them with beer under pressure, retaining the CO2 and keeping air out of the bottle. Once they’re released, they foam up a little, pushing any remaining air out of the bottle, then capped and sealed. (The rhythm of the machine is mesmerizing.)

We used essentially the same method for the bottles for GABF, but we used a manual, single bottle filler that’s often used by homebrewers. The sequence is the same, but the setup involved hooking up a keg as well as a CO2 source. “It was a bit time-consuming,” Jimmy says, “but this way we can ensure that every beer we send to the competition will be fresh and tasty when they are judged.”

Ryan and Bob flew the brews over to Iron Hill Brewery in Wilmington before their final leg of the trip out to Denver. Several of the area breweries are banding together to save money on transport, and Iron Hill is sending them all out to Denver on a refrigerated truck. We can ensure the beers arrive in top condition, and we all get to go in together on the shipping costs and share in the savings.

So, does Jimmy have his #PhelpsFace on? “I think we have some good prospects,” he says. “We chose some of our favorite beers to enter, but there are a lot of great breweries out there. But, you know, as much as winning an award is the ultimate goal of these competitions, we are also given feedback on the beers. These comments from professional judges are vital to improving the quality of our beers.”

Check back the second week of October. Hopefully we’ll have some good news to report.

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