Menu
Are you 21?

Yes -or- No

This content is for adults 21 and up.

Slider
Image is not available
Image is not available
The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
Slider

Set sail with The Scupper!

img_9925

The third release in our Barrel Aged series is almost here.

If you were fortunate enough to try The Keel before it disappeared, and if you’ve been cellaring your bottle of The Skeg because The Keel blew your mind, then it’s time to open The Scupper.

And if you haven’t jumped on board with the Barrel Aged Series, what are you waiting for?

You may be wondering what a scupper is. (Even if you’re not, let’s pretend that you are.) Is it one who scups? That which scups? How does one scup?

No, it’s none of those things. A scupper is basically a hole in the side of a ship meant to carry water overboard. It’s wet out there on the high seas, and water on the deck can be a problem. You need to have some way of releasing it, and the scupper provides that.

So, are you going to want to dump this one over the side? Not. At. All. The Scupper’s waaaayyyy too good for that.

img_9870With most of our brews, we use one of two yeast strains: either our house ale strain — very clean and neutral, or our Belgian strain — a little more “yeasty” and expressive. We obviously don’t limit ourselves to only these, but the latter is what was used in Misty Dawn, the base of The Scupper.

The concept behind the Barrel Aged Series is to play with different yeast and bacteria to give us wildly different beers, with the lactic acid and sour notes at the forefront. These brews use a much more complex palette of microflora: up to ten different strains of Brettanomyces, some crazy Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, with a touch of Acetobacter in there, as well.

This latest installment of the Barrel Aged Series builds on what we built before with The Keel and The Skeg. With The Keel, we kinda just threw in everything we could find — judiciously and well-researched, of course — and the ultimate effect was, by all accounts, freakin’ awesome. (Yeah, 94 on Beer Connoisseur!)

With The Skeg, the idea was to see what would happen when Brettanomyces could get funky with a really hoppy base. The beer going in was all about the hops (no treble), so the end result focused on Brett metabolizing and evolving the hop character.

However, with The Scupper, we focused on an already-complex base — Misty Dawn will keep your palette entertained for awhile on its own. When we added four strains of Brett in there, it “just completely chewed up and spit out something otherworldly in flavor,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink.

Follow this logic: “If Brett were a world class DJ,” says Brian, “this remix could become more popular than the original song, like in ‘Stronger’ when Kanye sampled Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger’ it just took something that was already great and just took it to a whole new level of greatness. That’s what the Scupper is all about.”

Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm agrees. “What we have here with The Scupper is a beer with a very different flavor profile than our previous Barrel Aged Series releases, and also one that will mature and age to a much greater extent than the other releases would, as well.”

img_9886After spending four months in those beautiful French Oak red wine barrels — the same ones that carried The Keel — we bottle conditioned this brew for another three months.

Brian gives us this analogy: “Remember back in college when you’d work for months on a term paper and you would just never be happy with it, and then for another one you would stay up the entire night right before it was due and somehow you managed to pull out your best work at the 11th hour?”

(Of course not, Brian! All of our work was always completed in a timely fashion so that we might be asleep by 9:30 pm.)

“Bottle conditioning this beer for four months under pressure was like pulling that all nighter and doing your best work.”

We wanted to let The Scupper sit for another few months to let the Brett work its brettful magic on the sugars and esters, but instead of putting it in a fermenter or barrel, we put it in a pressurized bottle. The extra CO2 puts a little more stress on the Brett, causing it to work a little more brettful magic. The result is more funky flavors, with “barnyard” and “horsey” flavors coming to the forefront and in higher quantities. As the sugars begin to run out, the Brett starts to metabolize the esters produced during the brew’s original fermentation as Misty Dawn. So, as the Bretty flavors are added, the other esters start to fade in a beautifully choreographed dance, leaving behind a brew unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

Asking Brian what he likes about any of the beers in the Barrel Aged series is sort of like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. He likes “everything!” about this one. “The complexity, the funk, the vinous notes and slight woodsy character thanks to the barrels it rested in for three months, how it’s bone dry — it has a lower gravity than water, so there’s just nothing left — and yet it has a juiciness to it that leaves you longing for another sip, and even the approachability of it. I think this is the best-looking of the three brews so far, too, but that obviously wouldn’t mean anything to me if the beer didn’t come out right, but for this one it definitely makes it shine that much brighter.”

Jimmy is a big fan of the funky, wild beers. “The terms “barnyard” and “horsey” may not seem too appealing — and in most IPAs or Pilsners they certainly aren’t — but when these flavors are used correctly they can be very tasty, especially when accompanied with woodsy notes from barrel aging, a touch of sour from Lactobacillus, and some vinous flavors. The Scupper is definitely funky, but right now it’s a just the right level of funk that any drinker new to the wild beer scene can latch onto it without being put off by the unique flavor profile.”

img_9876Like all the brews in the Barrel Aged Series, The Scupper is meant to be cellared for as long as you can take not drinking it. (But don’t let it go beyond two years. Please. If you do, we don’t vouch for it… but we’d love to know how it drank.)

Jimmy’s definitely stashing a few bottles in his cellar. “In a year or two it’ll be at that level of funk that makes me smile from ear to ear.  At the moment it’s more leathery with a hint of tobacco. The woodsiness and the slight vinous notes from the red wine barrel are right there, but the horse and deeper funk notes are in the background, tempting the beer nerd in me, and these will further develop over time.”

Brian agrees. “In another few months of proper cellaring — a stable temperature between 55 and 65 degrees and out of direct sunlight — this beer will just keep getting better and better.”

Do you need more than that?

The Scupper releases at noon, Saturday, October 22nd from The Brewtique. Same deal: $20 a pop, limit of three bottles per visit. See you there!

Checking in on The Scupper

Head Brewer Brian Hink and Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm decided to check in with The Scupper to see how it’s been aging. It sounds like they’re both pretty happy with where the brew is now.

“Definitely more tartness up front,” Brian says.

Jimmy agreed: “A little bit more sharp. Still really nice and dry. Very palatable. Very nice stuff.”

They both think it’s not super funky, but the fruit character has changed a bit. The apple and pear character of the saison has given way to stonefruits, apricots, peaches, and mangoes.

“I think it’s going to keep progressing nicely,” Brian says.

The Scupper is still available for purchase in the Brewtique, $20 a bottle. Three-packs of The Skeg, The Scupper, and The Topsail are available for the reduced price of $55.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Your holiday menu

Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday meal. You’re gathering the family ‘round the fire, singing Christmas carols, decking the halls, and cracking open your bottle of Boughs of Barley… but what’s on the table?

We caught up with Head Chef JP Thomas — before he took off for the sunnier climes of Florida — to come up with three holiday dishes using one of our brews as an ingredient. All of these dishes on their own would be fantastic, but with a little bit of Cape May brew, they’ll push you right over the edge.

And, seriously, if you’re making any of these, let us know what time we should be there.

APPETIZER: BAKED BRIE WITH A SCUPPER BERRY COMPOTE

1 wheel of Brie cheese
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk

Directions

  1. Place wheel of brie in center of pastry sheet, wrap and place on sheet tray. Brush outside with egg yolk and bake in a 400° oven until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool and top with berry sauce.

SCUPPER SAUCE

16oz Scupper
2 pints of mixed berries (blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, etc.)
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Reduce liquid until only about 3/4 of a cup remains.
  2. Strain and press berries to remove pulp and seeds.

ENTREE: BAKED HAM WITH MOP WATER GLAZE

1-10 to 12 pound Ham
Cloves
1 bottle Mop Water
6oz brown sugar

Directions

  1. Stud ham with cloves about an inch apart and rub with sugar.
  2. Place about half an inch of water in bottom of pan, cover with foil and place in a 375° oven.
  3. Every 20 minutes pour 3oz of Mop Waterover the ham and recover.
  4. Uncover for the last 20 minutes of cooking and allow to brown.

DESSERT: KING PORTER STOMP LAVA CAKE

3.5oz dark chocolate
10 tbs butter
1 tsp espresso powder
1.5 C powdered sugar
1/3 C cocoa powder
2 tbs chocolate chips
6oz King Porter Stomp
3 eggs
3 egg yolks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Butter six soufflé dishes very well. The best way to do this is to soften butter (or use vegetable shortening or margarine) and a wadded up paper towel, smear a large amount inside each dish, making sure to get into the edges.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the chocolate and butter. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add King Porter Stomp and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and powdered sugar. Pour chocolate mixture over egg mixture, stir to combine. Sprinkle cocoa powder, espresso powder and flour over chocolate mixture, stir until just combined. Divide equally between souffle dishes, making sure not to fill more than 2/3 full. Press about 4 to 5 chocolate chips into the very center of each cake (can be made one day ahead, cover and chill).
  4. Bake at 425 until the outside is set, but the center is still liquid, about 9 minutes, no more than 13.
  5. Note: Glass baking dishes cook much faster than ceramic dishes. Take these out of the oven when it looks as if they “need a few more minutes,” you want a very runny center.
  6. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake. Place a plate on top of each ramekin, turn upside down, lift ramekin to reveal cake. Serve immediately.

JP does it again! Three courses, three great brews: The Scupper, Mop Water, and King Porter Stomp. And, luckily, they’re all available in bottles! Any questions, let us know in the comments.

Swing down to the brewery to stock up on the brews for these delectable delights. We’re here noon through 8pm every day.

The Brew Crew on The Scupper

img_1144

On the most gorgeous October day within memory, we grabbed some of the staff at CMBC to find out what they liked about The Scupper.

“It was delicious. It’s got a nice balance between the Brett and the tartness. Nice, well-rounded…. It’s got a nice Brett character to it. It’s got a nice Saison, a little tart, a little funky. It’s just really frickin’ good.” — Brewer, Mark Graves

“It’s good. It’s unique, man. There’s nothing really down here like that, local-wise, and I feel like we’re kind of the first of many starting that out: that whole oaked, barrel-aged process is pretty cool. So it’s neat to see it come out every so often, and The Keel and The Scupper are definitely two really good beers. I’m looking forward to the other ones we’ve got coming out.” — Sales Manager, Bill McCaughey

“It has that nice Brett undertone, but it has a nice fruity flavor to it from the Saison. You get that undertone of fruit flavors.” — Head Chef, JP Thomas

“I thought it was tasty. Good flavor. I like the Saison as the base.” — Sales Manager Chuck Wray

“I thought it was delicious. It had a lot of the wine characteristics from the barrel and it was real easy to drink. Not too much Brett, but just enough.” — Brewer, Andrew Ewing

“I thought the purple on the glass was really pretty.” — Sales and Distribution Coordinator Justin Vitti

Curious? Come down to the tasting room on Saturday at noon and grab yourself a bottle to see for yourself.

Brian on The Scupper

Head Brewer Brian Hink has been pushing CMBC for the Barrel Aged Series more-or-less since he started working here. In this new video, he tells us what to expect from The Scupper. “I’m super happy how it came out.”

End of products

No more pages to load