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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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Ryan On the Radio

Take a listen to Ryan on the radio with Al Gattullo of Craft Beer Cast on AM 970 – The Answer, talking about five years of growth, the beer garden expansion, the craft beer explosion in New Jersey, plans for the future, and soap. (Ryan comes in around 29:00.)

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Guild Roundup

downloadLegislative success means different things to different people. No one ever gets everything they want, but — like the end of a boxing match — you look around and see who’s still standing and you call them the winner.

We told you about the Smart Container Act before — the bottle deposit endeavor that made very little sense to anyone in the beverage industry. It required, among other things, essentially turning CMBC into a recycling center and a 10-cent tax on glass containers.

We’re all about helping the environment here at CMBC, and we think we do our part. We repurpose our spent grain as feed to local chickens and cows, we reuse all of our glassware in the Tasting Room (unless someone has too much Devil’s Reach and breaks their glass), we’ve turned scrap metal into a state-of-the-art bottling line, we buy as much of our ingredients locally as is humanly possible, and Ryan bikes to work so frequently you’d think he was born on a bike. We’d love to see fewer glass bottles and aluminum cans out there in the world, but there was just no chance we were going to have the facilities to recycle them ourselves.

Ding, dong, the SCA is dead!

Well, maybe not dead as much as tabled. Instead of taxing containers, “it’s now off to plastic bags,” Ryan tells us. The cause is noble but the sponsor of the bill is working with the Food Council for a more achievable piece of legislation.”

CMBC is all about reducing the number of plastic bags out there. They’re a scourge on humanity, and there’s another viable option in paper bags. (#gopaper) With the money being earmarked for lead abatement, it’s definitely money that needs to be raised. The new piece of legislation seems far more logical.

Another really sweet piece of legislation involves creating a Mead and Cider license. (See what we did there? Sweet? Mead? Cider? Hush it. It’s been a long week.)

Currently, only farm wineries are allowed to produce cider and mead. There’s only one mead producer in New Jersey, and they operate on a yearly, renewable permit, subject to revocation at any time. There’s an effort afoot to add a handful of breweries to the list of facilities allowed to produce cider and mead.

With over 100 brews in our lineup, could you imagine the possibilities? “We could start making cider,” says Ryan, “which would be great.”

Mead, essentially fermented honey, would be another great outlet — along with our Jersey Fresh Honey Porter — to use local honey. “It’s another channel for creativity in the New Jersey beverage community.”

Let’s hope that Ry-guy and his cohorts at the Guild are able to get this one passed. It would be a great opportunity for many of New Jersey’s brewers, including CMBC.

 

Ryan and Chris on the Stow Away Series

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On a very busy day at CMBC — busier than a normal Monday, in fact — we had a chance to wrangle both Hank and Ryan in one room at the same time (for the most part) to talk about the upcoming Stow Away Series release.

It should be noted that during the discussion Ryan munched on some carrots and peanut butter, while Hank searched through copious emails and notes to find out exactly when the original pitch was delivered.

Why did we do this beer?

HANK: Well, [Head Brewer Brian Hink]’s been pushing us. Since he started, he’s always wanted to brew sour beers. I’m very interested in fermentations in general. Just different types of fermentation: not just beer, but vinegar, and lactic acid, and acetic acid. So, I’ve always wanted to do it, but we never had the time nor the capacity. Eventually, he wore away enough and we decided to go for it. I ordered a pitch called Bug County — East Coast Yeast Company.

RYAN: (entering, as Chris is pulled away by Nakeya) Hey, what’s up, man?

Yeah, we’re, uh… talking about where the idea came from, basically.

RYAN: For the Stow Away Series?

Yeah, for the Stow Away Series.

RYAN: Well, we always wanted to do something that was really different and fun. So, the whole genesis of of Cape May Brewery in general is to bring this really great craft beer that we see — especially out West — to New Jersey. So, doing that isn’t limited to just making craft beer. The interesting thing is exploring flavors. Because, ultimately, what are we? “We’re a beverage company,” is the least sexy way to say it. Carbonated alcoholic beverage. And let’s not just stick with the basic flavors anymore. Let’s see what different flavor compound possibilities exist.

So why did we want to do the Stow Away Series in particular?

RYAN: We wanted to do start doing some barrel-aging work with red wine barrels. A lot of breweries do stuff with bourbon barrels, which is great and all, but not too many people are working with red wine barrels. So, we wanted to explore that a little further.

HANK: (returning) East Coast Yeast. And they have a blend of bacteria and wild yeast called Bug County. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Uh, yeah, it does…

Why did we choose to use 750ml bottles?

RYAN: Because we’re doing a bottle-conditioned beer.

HANK: Yeah, you can bottle-condition in any bottle, really, but those are definitely heartier, they can handle the pressure more. Also, it’s a specialty product. I think I related it more to a wine, and it’s priced like a wine, so it’s more of a specialty product with specialty packaging. It’s just premium.

Have we done 750s before?

RYAN: Once, a long time ago.

What did we bottle?

RYAN: Sawyer’s Swap and Devil’s Reach. We had to do it manually. We had a little hand-filler.

HANK: Oh, my gosh, yeah. That was our first bottling run.

RYAN: (With a mouth full of peanut butter) Mm hm.

How’d they go down? How were they received by the customers?

RYAN: It was received really well, but it was just grueling in terms of being efficient.

IMG_8204Have we gotten any more efficient this time around?

RYAN: (Peanut butter) Mm hm.

How so?

RYAN: We got a really nice filler. The whole production staff knows what they’re doing.

They didn’t before?

RYAN: It was me and Hank. I’d say no.

HANK: Say no more. (Finding it on his computer) December 16, 2013, is when Bug County shipped to us, the secondary fermentation run. It was a little bit of a while ago.

So, why did we want to do barrel-aging work? You said no one’s really doing it, so why did we want to do it?

HANK: Like I said before, I’m really interested in fermentations other than standard fermentations. And barrel’s a whole ‘nother level, because not only are we trying to get these other bacteria and yeast to ferment in this beer, but then the barrel itself is letting a little bit of oxygen in, which just changes up everything going on, the chemistry going on in this barrel. It’s just a very unique product. It’s something you can’t replicate, you can’t rush. Some wineries will use oak spirals to speed the process, but they’re looking for oak flavor. We’re looking for so much more than oak flavor. That aged flavor is just so unique. Plus the other fermentations going on over the two-and-a-half year period.

What does that do for the CMBC, getting those red wine barrels in?

HANK: Costs a lot of money. Money you’re not going to see back for two-and-a-half years.

RYAN: Mm hm. (The peanut butter, again)

You think it’ll pay off?

RYAN: I think it’s a great opportunity to show who we are. That we’re not just trying to make the cheapest beer possible. That we’re trying to make good shit.

HANK: That we’re more than IPAs, ales, lagers. As brewers we want to be creative. That’s who we are at heart, right? We started this company as brewers and we want to have fun designing beers, and we want to let the beers do whatever the hell they’re going to do. The scary part about a barrel: you can put beer in a barrel, you never know what you’re going to get. You could get vinegar. You could a really tasty sour beer. You could get nothing.

And that’s my next question. We’re taking a lot of the process out of our hands and handing it over to the customer in terms of cellaring and aging the beer. How do you guys feel about that? What should the customer expect?

RYAN: Well, we’re giving it to them with instructions.

HANK: In my opinion, I’m gonna drink it now. I can’t sit on beer like that.

RYAN: Yeah.

HANK: I have no patience. I do not have a cellar. I have zero patience to cellar beer. The only beers I’ve cellared were accidental.

You forgot about them?

HANK: Forgot about ’em. And the beer’s perfect to drink right now. You can cellar them and see what happens, and then you become part of the experiment. Because we’ve never cellared this beer before, we’ve never brewed this beer before, so you’re part of this. The consumer is PART OF THIS. If you go ahead and age it for two years, you’re gonna come back and tell us it was better… hopefully not worse… the same… who knows? So, I think that’s the pretty unique part of it. We’re all just learning together. The point where it gets into the consumer’s hands? Who knows. As an engineer, I hate leaving things up to chance. That’s probably one reason it took us so long to get into the barrel. I’d say Brian and the brewers are more like artists, but I have an engineering background, I like everything to be very stark. I like to be in control of the process. And when you throw beer in a barrel? You have zero control over what’s going on.

So, why are you guys excited for it?

RYAN: (Who had been answering emails while Hank spoke rather eloquently on risk) Why am I excited for White Caps?

Sure, we can talk about that if you want.

RYAN: I mean, The Keel? Because it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done. (Turning to Hank) You gotta do sound bites, Hank.

HANK: Make sure you tell everyone he was holding a pen in his hand while he said that.

What other barrel-aged beers have you guys tried? Have you gotten any inspiration from any of them?

HANK: We’ve visited so many breweries.

RYAN: The brewery in California.

HANK: Crooked Stave.

RYAN: B-R-U-E-R-Y. Crooked Stave.

HANK: Uh, Cascade? Barrel House? Is that’s what it’s called?

RYAN: Yep, Cascade Barrel House.

HANK: That was our big trip to the West Coast.

That was all in California?

HANK: Cascade Barrel House is Seattle? No, Portland. There’s a bunch of little Belgian breweries — well, they seem little. There’s a good amount out there, now.

Any of them stand out to you as saying, yeah, this one? Or did you take elements from a lot of them?

HANK: We didn’t know where to start. There’s so little documentation out there on how to do this, and when we started this two years ago, there was even less. A lot less than there is now. Now, Brian will tell you all about The Sour Hour, a podcast he listens to, and there’s books you can read. When we started, it was almost a mystery. You know, we’re getting some of the bacteria from this one company, but when to age it? How long to age it? It was all a mystery. This brewer says this, and this brewer says that, and they were completely different. The Keel was just a crap shoot that really turned out well. We tried to control it as much as possible, but it just turned out incredibly well.

The Keel will be released Saturday, June 25, at the Brewtique. For more information, call (609) 849-9933 or email [email protected]

DC Recap

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Last week was a busy week at CMBC — at least off-site. Between Philly Beer Week, SAVOR DC, and the Guild’s Hill Climb, we were really all over the place. We’ve got the top five goings-on in DC for you below.

1. SAVOR DC

Man, was this a blast! SAVOR DC was all about food and beer — and, let’s face it, those two things pretty much make the world go ’round. Brewers Association Executive Chef Adam Dulye paired each of the 75 participating breweries’ brews with a special concoction — pairing Shrimp and Grits with Coastal Evacuation and a Nordic dish of sardines, buttered radishes, rye, hardboiled egg, and chives with Devil’s Reach. “There were so many small bites and they were all so decadent,” says Ryan. “It’s hard to say one was the best.”

IMG_79062. RYAN BENDS THE EAR OF SOME HEAVY-HITTERS

While in DC for the Hill Climb, Ryan got to talk to some of the heavy-hitters in the brewing industry, including Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head, Rob Todd of Alagash, and Jim Koch of Sam Adams. “It was great!”

3. HILL CLIMB

Wearing his “Guild Hat” as the president of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, Ryan had the chance to trot up Capitol Hill to talk to some of our legislators about the Craft Brewer’s Modernization Act.  “It was a great chance to tell our success story.”

4. MEETINGS, MEETINGS EVERYWHERE

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Click the image to bring it full-size

The bill has 11 co-sponsors in New Jersey and 222 co-sponsors nationwide, but Ryan took the chance to change a few more minds. Ryan had eight meetings with Congressmen and Senators and dropped in on six more.  “I was exhausted but I wanted to make sure I got to EVERY office.”

5. ECONOMIC IMPACT REPORT

We put together an Economic Impact Report for Ryan to share with the New Jersey delegation. Each factsheet had general information on the front with specialized information for each district on the back. “It was a smash hit and really popular at the national guilds gathering meeting afterwards.”

BONUS: RYAN’S FAVORITE PART

“There’s a mini train that goes between the Capitol building and the Senate and Congressional offices. SO COOL!” He’s trying to hitch a ride, but it may just have to wait until he’s elected to Congress.

Yes, the most powerful men in the world ride this little train that looks like it just came around the corner of Mister Roger's Neighborhood
Yes, the most powerful men in the world ride this little train that looks like it just came around the corner of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood

CMBC in DC

savormedia_08CMBC is all up in DC’s business this week. Two great events on tap: SAVOR DC and the annual Brewers Association Hill Climb.

Beer and food. That’s what SAVOR DC is all about. As craft beer continues to grow in popularity, we’ve steadily been making headway in the culinary world as legitimate fine dining fare. On June 3rd and 4th, SAVOR DC brings together 76 small and independent craft breweries from 28 states and Washington DC, pairing their most delectable brews with enticing dishes curated by Chef Adam Dulye, Brewers Association executive chef.

CMBC is bringing along Coastal Evacuation and Devil’s Reach. Chef Dulye has paired Shrimp and Grits with Coastal Evacuation. “A little bit of heat added to the grits allows the hops to shine, while the crisp outer shell of the bite pulls the malt forward to balance the hops,” he says.

Devil’s Reach is being paired with sardines, buttered radishes, rye, hard boiled egg, and chives. “Classic Nordic flavors of umami, salt and grain work together to showcase what a Belgian yeast strain can do on the palate.”

SAVOR also provides attendees with opportunities to broaden their knowledge in tasting Salons — eighteen educational experiences throughout the weekend. With such titles as “Advanced Beer and Cheese Pairings” and “Beer as Dessert” (there needs to be a class on that?!?), each Salon is lead by two collaborating breweries sharing their brews, so not only will you get some valuable information for your next pairing party, but you’ll be able to meet some of the rock stars of the brewing world in the process.

Tickets are on sale now. Get down to DC this weekend and get some good eats and better brews.

BA_Position-510x600The day before SAVOR DC is the Brewers Association annual Hill Climb. Which hill are they climbing, you ask? Well, there’s only one hill in DC that matters: Capitol Hill. It’s a pretty easy climb, but getting to the top can take some hard work.

“The annual Hill Climb is our chance to sit down with elected officials to discuss what’s going on in the industry,” Ryan says. “And what’s on everyone’s mind right now is the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. This important legislation will effectively halve most breweries’ excise liability.”

Ryan will get a chance to meet with some of his counterparts from across the country and devise a game plan. The trick, he says, will be convincing House and Senate members who aren’t already co-sponsors of the bill or members of their respective Small Brewers Caucuses to add their support to the act.

“The prospects look good,” Ryan says. “I’m looking forward to working with Congress to see this measure passed.”

We’re pulling for you, Ryan! Check back next week to see how the day went.

On The Craft Beer Campaign Trail

Need a break from the presidential race? Ryan spent last week in a different sort of political trench – one with beer.

We’ve written quite a bit about the Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to protecting America’s independent brewers. Its members – CMBC is one – make more than 99 percent of beer in this country. Craft breweries – you know, the ones opening at a rate of more than one per day — owe a debt to the BA and the resources they provide. Ryan has flown to DC on many occasions in order to attend BA-sponsored events, where he’s educated legislators on the importance of the craft beer industry.

But there’s another organization with a seat at this beer-advocacy table, and that’s the Beer Institute. While the BI represents the nation’s Big Beer companies as well as the country’s independent artisans, the goal is similar – to stand up for those who brew.

In fact, during the Small Brew/Fair Beer controversy last year, these two groups worked together to generate a compromise bill that appeases both small-batch startups and multinational conglomerates. Which just goes to show – working together really does lead to good things. (Take note, current party leadership…)

Last Thursday, Ryan met with Beer Institute CEO Jim McGreevy (no, not that Jim McGreevy, fellow Jerseyans) to discuss CMBC’s joining the BI. We’re the first New Jersey brewery to do so, save for Budweiser.

“He seemed really excited about the prospect of more small breweries becoming members,” Ryan says. “And I’m excited as well. This is such a highly regulated industry, we need champions to fight for us and represent us. Surprisingly, the BA and the BI aren’t that far off from one another when it comes to legislative items. Where they disagree is on the fringe stuff. Being connected with both organizations allows us to broaden our reach when it comes to advocacy.”

Jim asked a great deal of questions about CMBC, and relayed the BI’s mission: to promote beer, the responsible consumption of beer, and the enacting of sound public policy relating to beer. And that’s a political agenda we can get behind.

Following this, Ryan attended the 79th Annual Walk to Washington at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. The event is one of New Jersey’s oldest political traditions, and for good reason. Along with Gene Muller of Flying Fish and Don Russell, Executive Director of the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, Ryan mingled with business owners, town leaders and lawmakers, and he discussed the state’s economic future with our Congressional delegation. And, at the annual Beer and Wine reception hosted by the Kaufman Zita Group that evening, members of this Congressional delegation sipped on Devil’s Reach and Coastal Evacuation. (Maybe that’s what’s missing from the ongoing presidential debates…)

Then, Ryan left for Vegas to gamble and get married. Just kidding. He left for Vegas to attend the annual NGA (National Grocers Association) Show, held between February 28 and March 2. At the Mirage Hotel and Casino, industry executives attended workshops, navigated an expo, and networked with manufacturers, including – ahem – beer manufacturers.

Turns out, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.

“Ten places with licensed liquor locations in New Jersey are going to start carrying our beer as a direct result of this conference,” Ryan says. “It was a great trip.”

Next up on the networking roster: the Craft Brewers Conference. Stay tuned.

Ryan, with New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew, Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, TK and Don Russell, at Walk to Washington last week.
Ryan, with New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew, Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, Assemblyman Bruce Land and Don Russell, at Walk to Washington last week.

Update From Your Guild

After Ryan flew to Maryland to pick up our new truck on Monday of last week, he flew to a meeting of the Garden State Craft Brewers GuildGarden State Brewers Guild Logo at Departed Soles Brewing Company in Jersey City. The recent snowfall made it difficult for some members to make it, but 25 intrepid soles braved the elements. Here’s what went down:

  1. Executive Director Don Russell gave his report, including news on this year’s beer festivals. Brews by the Bay fans should mark their calendars — the 2016 event will take place on September 10.
  2. Eric Orlando of the Kaufman Zita Group gave the legislative report. Remember those three bills that would allow for greater job creation within the industry? Since they weren’t put to a vote before the new year, they had to be resubmitted. Now, we’re waiting for them to be assigned to committee.
  3. Jeremy “Flounder” Lees of Flounder Brewing Co gave the membership report: 38 limited breweries, 11 restricted breweries, 1 contract brewer, 19 in planning, and 21 allied trade. Boom.
  4. Ryan — Guild Prez — went over the importance of the Guild’s Best Practices document. “I want to make sure all of our members are marching to the same beat,” he says. “If we’re not regulating ourselves, it makes it difficult to negotatie, and difficult to to advocate for legislation.”
  5. Ryan also discussed his plans for the upcoming Guild meeting, being held April 4 at Flying Fish. Neighboring guilds from Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania will be invited to attend a presentation given by Matt Stinchfield, Safety Ambassador for the Brewers Association, about affordable practices that can improve well-being in the brewhouse. “There are a lot of people getting into the craft brewing business who have no manufacturing experience, and now they’re tasked with operating heavy machinery and working with dangerous chemicals,” Ryan says. “We’re fortunate enough to have a safety manager on staff, but not everyone has that. I don’t want to see anyone hurt. The party can end real quick if you’re not careful.”
  6. Three new brewery openings were announced, including Slacktide in Cape May County, Dark City in Asbury Park, and (almost launched) Alementary in Hackettstown.
  7. Everyone was reminded to sign up for the Craft Brewers Conference, coming at you May 3-6 in Philadelphia. We’ll be there.
  8. Meeting adjorned. Everyone enjoyed snacks and tasty beer.

 

Guild meeting!
Guild meeting!

 

Dispatch From DC

Ryan, with Senator Cory Booker in DC
Ryan, with Senator Cory Booker in DC

For when you get sick of rehashing the most recent GOP debate with your friends, here’s another bit of political fodder, and it’s a lot less divisive than Trump (or even Trump’s hair): last week, Ryan headed to Capitol Hill with Gene Muller of Flying Fish.

First, they attended the annual holiday party put on by the Brewers Association. Here, brewers mingled with Congressmen and staffers at Rayburn, one of three office buildings for members of the House. While the goal was to eat, drink craft beer, and be merry, this was also a good opportunity to discuss with lawmakers all the good that would come from passing the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which we wrote about here. Reminder: it would have lowered the amount of federal excise tax applied to barrels of beer, thereby allowing for greater job creation within the industry.

We say “would have” because it has since been determined that the bill will not be put to a vote prior to the end of the year. It’s not that there isn’t support for it — Ryan reports a very warm, bipartisan reception. It’s that there are almost 8,000 bills currently before Congress, including a massive spending bill lawmakers are determined to push through before 2016. Sometimes, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles (the beer spills?).

But we can take heart for three reasons:

  1. The bill got *very* close to a vote, which is in itself a victory.
  2. Even though it’s now *technically* dead, the bill will likely be reintroduced next year.
  3. Ryan’s visit to DC was not in vain.

In addition to the holiday party, our fearless leader attended an event of the New Jersey State Society put on at Union Station, which allowed for greater networking with the likes of Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Donald Norcross, and Congressman Tom MacArthur. And then there were the congressional office visits, during which time Ryan and Gene cold-called eight lawmakers to discuss with them the importance of joining the House Small Brewers Caucus (aka — the squad responsible for educating fellow elected officials on the value of craft beer… and bills like the Modernization Act). Since there are now breweries in nearly every legislative district, politicians have a vested interest in hitching their wagons here.

The good news: after these meetings, five more Congressional leaders signed on to support the Modernization Act (remember, greater support will increase its chances of being reintroduced next session), and four joined the caucus.

The bottom line: we’ve built momentum, and that means there’s good things to come for craft beer in the new year.

Our beer makes it to Capitol Hill, to be enjoyed by the men and women making our laws. Politicians... they're just like us.
Our beer makes it to Capitol Hill, to be enjoyed by the men and women making our laws. Politicians… they’re just like us.

Updates From Your Guild

December 7 marked the final Garden State Craft Brewers Guild meeting of the year, held at Forgotten Boardwalk Brewery in Cherry Hill. A record 65 people attended… although only two of them sported holiday-themed outfits.

“I’m very disappointed in the showing of holiday cheer here,” said Forgotten Boardwalk’s Jamie Queli, dressed in a ‘Happy Llamaka’ sweater picturing a Llama in Hasidic dress.Garden State Brewers Guild Logo

Regardless, the meeting — and the bottle-share shindig that followed — were a success. Here’s what went down:

  1. Our guy Ryan was reelected as president! This time around, he will serve a two year – instead of one-year – term, per a new policy.

“I’m stoked!” he said. “Among my goals for 2016 is developing subcommittees: marketing, government affairs and events. There are some very talented people in our guild who want to be involved. I want to give them an outlet.”

Also on Ryan’s agenda: working to reintroduce legislation that’s important for job creation, modernizing and cleaning up the by-laws, increasing allied trade memberhip, hosting a safety conference with fellow guilds and the safety ambassador from the Brewers Association, and getting the ball rolling on two new beer festivals.

  1. Ryan, far right, meets vendors at Monday's meeting.
    Ryan, far right, meets vendors at Monday’s meeting.

    Ryan gave the group a rundown of the year in review. Here are the highlights:

Last June, Guild representatives lobbied 10 Congressional Offices at a Brewers Association Hill Climb. They met face-to-face with Senator David Norcross and Congressman Bill Pascrell.

A new website was launched, and digital outreach increased via a more streamlined newsletter.

A Best Practices Document was unveiled, to guide new breweries as they navigate the confusing legalese surrounding Jersey tasting rooms.

Renowned beer writer Don Russell became first Executive Director.

The Guild hosted two successful beer festivals: Battleship and Brews by the Bay.

An economic impact report was developed, covering everything from the jobs provided by craft beer in New Jersey (9,500) to the number of Springsteen songs that mention beer (five).

The Guild collaborated with the Pennsylvania Brewers Guild for the first annual Mid-Atlantic Brewers Symposium.

Job creation legislation was lobbied for at the state level (more on that below).

  1. Don gave his director’s report, which included a positive review of last week’s state lobby session. For the event — which was modeled after a Brewers Association Hill Climb – Don, Ryan,
    Our guy Chris with Gene Muller of Flying Fish.
    Our guy Chris with Gene Muller of Flying Fish.

    Gene Muller of Flying Fish, Mike Kane of Kane Brewing, and Guild lobbyist Eric Orlando headed to the State House in Trenton for four hours in order to discuss with policymakers Jersey’s emerging craft beer industry, as well as its challenges.

  1. Eric gave the legislative report which included an update on the pending, small-brewery legislation that was discussed at the aforementioned lobby day. (Think: a bill that would allow for the sale of beer at local farmers markets, a bill that would allow for the consumption of food at certain brewery tasting rooms, and a bill that would allow brewpubs to self-distribute a small amount of beer.)

“The Assembly was in session on this day,” Eric explained. “We set up in the hall that connects to the caucus rooms, so we were able to interact with all 80 members. The reception was really positive – the legislatures were surprised to learn how many breweries are present within their respective districts, or interested to know how they can get a brewery into their district. I think there is support for this package of bills. Whether or not they go to a vote depends on many factors, including whether there is support for them from legislative leadership.”

  1. Guild leadership reminded everyone to sign up for the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference, put on by the Brewers Association this spring in Philadelphia (watch this space for updates), and click here for a refresher on last year’s event.
  1. Guild leadership informed the group of FIVE recent brewery openings (Man Skirt in Hackettstown, Berlin Brewing in Berlin, Double Nickel in Pennsauken, Tomfoolery in Hammonton, and Belford Brewing in Belford.)
  1. Then, everyone ate pizza, drank Jersey fresh beer, participated in a raffle drawing, and perused the offerings of nine different vendors, selling everything from legal services to insurance to brewers grain.

Considering there will be 60 breweries and counting in New Jersey come 2016, there was a lot to celebrate.

 

Big Things For The CMBC Crew…

Our team is always brewing big beers. But recently, we’ve have some big personal events on tap, too. Here’s your proof that a brewery really IS a microcosm of life…

HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY, MOP MAN!

It was 2010 when Bob Krill — aka Mop Man — announced to his colleagues after a 40-year career in big pharmaceuticals that he’d be mop manopening a brewery with his son and his son’s college roommate. Although some people called him nuts, Bob’s never looked back.

“It’s a journey and we’re only at the beginning,” he says. “We’re not in it to become Budweiser, only to put a notch in Jersey’s beer belt, and I’m not just a daytripper… this is a long-term deal. It’s hard work, but we’re having fun, too. And if we can help people out along the way by creating some jobs, that’s very cool. It’s funny… when you tell people you’re involved with clinical trials, they tune you right out. Tell them you brew beer, and man, they’re all ears.”

November 1 marked Bob’s 70th birthday. He requested a steak “the size of a human head” (we call that a “Bobism”), so that’s exactly what he got. Family and friends — including Bob’s dog Brewster — celebrated with a tasty dinner. And, of course, beer. Lots of beer.

HAPPY ENGAGEMENT, JUSTIN!

Sales rep Justin Vitti takes quite a bit of gentle ribbing in our weekly newsletter, but only because he’s such a good sport. We couldn’t bejustin vitti happier for him and girlfriend Mariel Kauffman on their recent engagement.

Justin had the rock for six months, but he waited until the perfect, organic moment to pop the question: when Mariel was upset over a favorite piece of jewelry that needed repair. “Maybe we could just replace it,” Justin told her, ever so suavely whipping out a diamond.

Now, it’s on to seating arrangements and cake tastings. So far, only one thing about the ceremony has been set in stone: there will be beer. Lots of beer.

HAPPY WEDDING, LAUREN!

nuptialMop Man and his son, CMBC Prez Ryan Krill, will be at Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia this weekend for the wedding of their daughter/sister, Lauren Krill. She’s getting hitched to Alex Ruiz, whom she met while working for The Vanguard Group in Arizona.

At the reception, our Coastal Evacuation beer will be on tap, and our Devil’s Reach will be served in bottles with wax caps hand-dipped by Mop Map and CMBC’s Courtney Rosenberg. We’ve cleverly disguised the latter brew via custom labels (created in-house) as “Nuptiale.”

The CMBC team wishes the lovebirds an epic marriage full of laughter, adventure, and beer. Lots of beer.

HAPPY PROMOTIONS, ZACK AND BRIAN!

Brian Hink — Taurus, Kerouak fan, affable lover of pizza — has been promoted from CMBC Brewer to CMBC’s Head Brewer. What does this For Dientail? Managing the entire production team; developing standard operating procedures for the brewhouse, cellar and packaging processes; and liasing with our human resources department. Hey, with an ever-increasing employee count, we’ve got a lot of humans to resource!

Also on the promotion front… Zach Pashley, a six-year veteran of the Coast Guard and a tasting room/events associate for CMBC, has been named Assistant Tasting Room Manager.

“I’m really looking forward to the increased responsibility,” he says. “And for the opportunity to be one of the faces of a company I truly believe in.”

Nice work, boys. Now have yourselves a beer. Or lots of beer.

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