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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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It’s very high-quality malt. You could tell.

Eddie on Misty Dawn Saison

Misty Dawn Saison taps this week. It’s been an interesting process, raising the Misty Dawn from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean to the Tasting Room, and one man is uniquely responsible for its revival.

Cellarman Eddie Siciliano devised this particular recipe, submitted it during our first homebrewing competition, and won decisively.

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...with Eddie’s recipe, we can resurrect the Misty Dawn...

Misty Dawn Sails Again!

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

Back in the 80s, Mop Man and his brother Jimmy found that out the hard way when their beloved 46-foot Chesapeake Bay Bottom fishing boat sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic.

For the past few weeks, we’ve had much the same thing going on with Misty Dawn, our spring Saison named for that ill-fated ship.

Like the Misty Dawn, Misty Dawn Saison was off the radar. We weren’t going to brew it this year.

Nonetheless, in life, sometimes there is a beacon to guide us home. And this time around, we found that beacon in Rabbit Hill malt.

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CMBC Brews and Easter Sweets

Easter is just around the corner, and that means one thing: stealing candy from your kids’ Easter baskets.

No! Our fans would never do something so despicable as literally taking candy from a baby!

Yeah, you would. Stop lying. The blog for a brewery is no place to put on airs.

So we caught up with our Head Chef, JP Thomas, to find out which of our brews pair best with your favorite Easter confections.

Cadbury Creme Eggs + Devil’s Reach

Nothing says Easter more than finding that ubiquitous basket of Cadbury Creme Eggs next to every cash register on the planet. That thick chocolate shell holding back that sweet and creamy fondant? Pure heaven.

JP suggests pairing those eggs with Devil’s Reach. The sweet fondant will cut the high alcohol content and astringency of our flagship Belgian brew, and the richness of the egg will reduce Devil’s Reach’s Belgian, funky, yeasty finish. The sweetness of our Belgian will commingle well with the sweetness of the Cadbury Creme Egg, leaving you thankful that the Easter Bunny didn’t miss your house.

Whopper Robin Eggs + Biscuits and Honey

These little eggs are like little balls of pure joy. Basically a Whopper candy masquerading as an Easter Egg, they’re crunchy, malty, and only slightly sweet — the perfect addition to any Easter basket.

“Malt, malt, malt,” JP says. This combination is basically a “malt bomb,” combining the maltiness of Biscuits and Honey with the maltiness of the Whoppers. The natural sweetness of the honey in Biscuits and Honey will play well with the maltiness of the candy. With only that slight sweetness coming from the chocolate surrounding the candy, this combination could just as easily substitute for your starch during Easter dinner.

Peeps + Avalon Coffee Stout

Everybody has some pretty strong feelings about Peeps: you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. They end up in every basket, usually with copious amounts of Easter grass stuck to their marshmallowy goodness. Just try to keep them out of the microwave, unless you’re doing a science experiment or want to test out a new cleaner you just bought.

Peeps are basically sugar-covered balls of sugar, so you’re looking for something bitter to bring that down a peg. So JP suggests matching them with Avalon Coffee Stout. The bitterness of the coffee and the stout will beautifully counter the super-sweetness of the sugar-encrusted marshmallow. He says to dip the Peeps right into the beer because, “Who doesn’t like a little vanilla with their coffee?” Sounds tasty!

Jelly Beans + Misty Dawn Saison

Jelly Beans are perfect year round, but you’ll always love to find them rolling around your Easter basket. Usually because you’ve eaten everything else, cleaned out the grass, and get to find a little treat at the bottom that the kids have missed.

With all the variety out there with jelly beans, JP expects that our Misty Dawn Saison will pair well with most of them. “Black jelly beans… mmmm… probably not,” JP says, but all of the fruity ones go excellently with the fruitiness of the Saison. The sweet earthiness of the Saison will counterbalance nearly every flavor of jelly bean, including those crazy Jelly Belly flavors like popcorn, boogers, vomit, and cut grass. Yum…?

Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny + Honey Porter

The centerpiece of any well-curated Easter basket, the Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny says Easter more than just about anything. And spring for the solid one, for crying out loud. Those hollow things are the candy equivalent of oatmeal raisin cookies — you think you’re gonna get chocolate chip, but you end up with a mouthful of breakfast. With a hollow bunny, you just end up with a mouthful of air.

Chocolate and porters are like ying and yang. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like Easter and solid milk chocolate bunnies. “They’re just perfect together,” JP says. The natural sweetness of the honey married with the bitterness of the porter is exactly what happens in milk chocolate — the slight sweetness of the chocolate is balanced by its bitterness — which makes this a marriage made in Easter heaven.


If you want to try any of these delectable combinations, all of the brews are on tap in the Tasting Room and available for growler fills in the Brewtique — let us know what you think! Be sure to stop down before Easter Sunday — we’ll be closed that day, busy testing these pairings with our own kids’ candy.

The Harrowing Tale Behind Our Latest Release

The story of the Misty Dawn Saison begins 24 years ago, on the roof of a wooden boat 20 miles out to sea. It was a cold November night, and Mop Man stood on this roof along with his brother Jimmy, waiting to go down with the ship.

“My son Ryan is still in therapy over this incident,” Mop Man says.

Earlier that day, the two men along with 10-year-old Ryan had boarded the Misty Dawn, a 46-foot Chesapeake Bay Bottom boat docked at Cape May’s Canyon Club, or what was then called Cape Island Marina. The guys geared up for a day of reeling in blue fish, dolphin, or whatever happened to be biting in the open ocean. Mop Man had purchased the old clamming boat 10 years prior, and had taken countless fishing trips since that time. No one expected this day to be any different.

But as Mop Man steered the Misty Dawn out of Cape May’s harbor and along the canal that connects this body of water with the Delaware Bay, a deafening noise reverberated across the deck. The keel of the boat, which ran bow to stern and formed the very foundation of theMisty Dawn, had completely rotted off below the surface, striking a propeller and piercing the bottom of the vessel. Mop Man raised the hatch to see his worst fear confirmed – water shooting into the cabin at a startling pace.

“I knew she was destined for the bottom,” he says. “We turned around and headed back to the marina, but officials there told us they couldn’t help. Without a keel, there was no way to remove the Misty Dawn from the water via the traditional method — a giant sling – at least not without snapping the boat in half. We didn’t have much time. She was still taking on water; the pump was running constantly. What were we going to do? Leave her to sink in the harbor at any moment and create a big ecological mess?”

The men got to work immediately, emptying the fuel tank and removing everything from the boat that could be carried off. Then, they set off on their last journey aboard the Misty Dawn, determined to get her as far into the ocean as possible before the inevitable. Before they weighed anchor, they put Ryan on a 40-foot sailboat with an employee of the marina and asked them to follow behind.

“This was before GPS, before cell phones,” Mop Man says. “We gave them a general direction, and hoped they would find us.”

By the time the engines gave out 20 miles later, it was well after dark. But under the moonlight, the brothers could still see how dire their situation had become. Without any flotation devices – “What good does a life vest do in frigid water?” – they climbed onto the Misty Dawn’s roof above a 17-by-20-foot steering room where a bathroom and kitchenette were nearly engulfed by water. For 30 minutes they waited, desperately searching for the sailboat that would rescue them.

“I remember thinking: we should probably have a life raft on board,” Mop Man says.

After a half-an-hour, the sailboat did turn up, and the brothers were able to leap to safety from the top of the Misty Dawn, which had about 30 minutes left before it, too, would be covered by ocean.

“It was a pretty traumatizing experience to see my father holding a pick-axe and standing on a sinking boat,” Ryan says.

A few days later, pieces of the Misty Dawn washed up on Cape May’s beach, and Mop Man loaded them onto his truck.

“It’s a little embarrassing to think about now,” he says. “The whole thing nearly gave my wife a heart attack, and my brother has not gone fishing with me since. But no one got killed, so there’s that.”

As for a refreshing Saison to commemorate the sinking of the Misty Dawn?

“I like it,” Mop Man says. “I like it a lot.”

Is our new release worth going down with the ship? See for yourself in our tasting room, beginning today at noon.

The Arrival Of The Misty Dawn Saison

You know how magazines brought out their March issues in early February? And department stores started selling bathing suits in winter (likely the reason sales rep Justin Vitti has been hitting up cross-fit with a vengeance)? The beer industry is no different.

It’s a race.

Manufacturers assume you’ll stick to the first seasonal beer you try, which is why you see pumpkin brews lining shelves in August, or heavy winter stouts being poured on Halloween. Madness.

Whatever happened to delayed gratification?

So take a break from whatever spring concoction you started drinking in… what, January? And get thee to the tasting room today. We’re releasing our Misty Dawn Saison — formerly the Cape May Saison — and it’s the perfect season kickoff. Right around the time that, you know, the season’s kicking off…

Saisons got their start in a French-speaking region of southern Belgium in the 19th century. At this time, when water wasn’t always safe for drinking, farmers would give the refreshing beers to their workers for hydration. Each farmer had his own recipe, usually dictated by “whatever he had leftover in the barn,” explains Chris.

So, save for their dry flavor profiles and no-nonsense yeast strains that “could probably ferment a Volvo,” saisons have always been a loosely-defined style.

It’s why our brew team loves them so much… they’re a blank canvas. A blank canvas we’re choosing to make fruity and spicy, thanks to the addition of coriander, sweet orange peel and lots of Saaz hops, which lend an earthly aroma.

Come taste it (on tap starting today!), and remember: when it comes to trying something new, it’s never too early.

Misty Dawn, in all her glory...
Misty Dawn, in all her glory…

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