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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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The Return of White Caps

One of the most closely-held secrets at Cape May Brew Co. is our Quarterly Double IPA series. Well, it’s not really a secret, we just haven’t really talked about it very much. But, it’s an awesome idea! Who doesn’t love a changeup in the schedule every now and again?

The guys in the brewhouse certainly do. As we’ve mentioned before, if they wanted to brew the same swill over and over, there are places they could do that — and they’re all owned by Big Brew.

However, they work here. They get the distinct honor of brewing for Cape May Brew Co. And that brings some privileges.

“As brewers, designing new beers is what we want to do most of all,” says Director of Brewing Operations, Jimmy Valm, “starting with an idea and working the creative juices to formulate a recipe, then seeing it all come to fruition — it’s what gets us up in the morning.  

“That’s what makes this program so much fun, we’ve got some great ideas that we want to play with and our Quarterly DIPAs is one of the programs we have at CMBC to give us that chance.”

Head Brewer Brian Hink sees the craft beer drinker as falling into two segments: the drinker who has his go-tos but is willing to try something new every now and again, and the drinker who wants the newest thing on the tap list. This program appeals to both of them. It’s consistent enough to entice the less-adventurous drinker, but has enough variety that it keeps the uber-adventurous drinker on his toes.

And we have some pretty killer beers in the program, by all accounts. A huge fan favorite, Snag and Drop comes out in the beginning of January. Our Anniversary Ale comes out in July — which makes sense as our anniversary is July 4th. We change up this one each year, with last year’s being a Red DIPA with Zythos, Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. For this year’s Anniversary Ale 6.0, Jimmy tells us that we’ve got something completely different in mind — “something that will really blow people’s socks off.”

City to Shore hits the Tasting Room when the cyclists of the race do, usually the end of September. CMBC sponsors a team in the race each year, and it gives us a great chance to brew a killer beer in honor of them.

Which leaves a hole in the schedule come spring — the perfect time for a smooth, drinkable DIPA like White Caps — which we’re bringing back for round two.

While designing last year’s recipe, Head Brewer Brian Hink thought he knew how to achieve the “newfangled New England IPA” — or NEIPA. Typically hazy, citrusy, tropical, and juicy, NEIPAs are known for their citrus and tropical fruit aroma and flavor, as well as a significant level of haze and turbidity.

“I came close, but there was definitely room for improvement,” he tells us.

An avid homebrewer — as you might imagine — Brian played around at home last year, attempting to lock down the perfect NEIPA. We were sourcing some of his favorite hops this year — including Mosaic, and the “de facto” hops for NEIPAs and one of Brian’s faves.

“With these hops being available for me this year,” he says, “I completely revamped the recipe to showcase those hops and get the overall beer more inline with all of the other NEIPAs out there, of which are few and far between in the state.”

There are only a handful of New Jersey breweries making NEIPAs with any regularity, but none of them are available within two hours of Cape May.

“So what’s a brewer to do when you can’t get the kind of beer you’re looking to drink? You brew it!” he says.

It’s a rough life.

Nonetheless, you may notice a bit of a difference in White Caps this time around.

“We played with the malt bill and the mash temperature to ensure we get that nice soft body we’re looking for,” Jimmy says. “We focused on Mosaic in the dry-hopping this year, which are a great hops variety with a complex aroma of tropical fruits, wild flowers, blueberries, and a touch of earthiness. Coupled with some Amarillo and Citra for an added lemon and orange citrus kick have made a great springtime beer.”

No one likes to hear that one of our best beers is changing a bit. Least of all the people in charge of brewing it, packaging it, selling it, or serving it.

Brian told us that when he mentioned the tweak to the recipe around the brewery, “I kept hearing, ‘Oh man, White Caps was my favorite last year — it better be just as good!’ to which I always replied, ‘It’s going to blow it out of the water.’”

(Haha. White Caps. Water. Funny, Brian.)

Nonetheless, the production and sales team, who all get to try the brews before they’re unleashed onto the public, have all agreed. Brian and Jimmy’s tweaking has certainly paid off.

“I think people will absolutely notice, but notice in a great way!” Brian says. “Last year’s was awesome, but this one takes it to another plane of awesomeness.”

These changes have certainly improved the beer’s drinkability, which, oddly enough, wasn’t even necessary. White Caps ‘16 was sessionable, but White Caps ‘17 is on another level. Last time around, beer lovers raved about its sessionability — which is rare to find in a 7.5% ABV double IPA — but the soft body of White Caps ensured that you’ll start drinking them and be on your third before you realize you finished your first.

“Sessionability is more than just the alcohol content,” Jimmy says. “It also concerns the body and the bitterness level.”

High IBUs and a dry body do not necessarily result in drinkability. It can bring a sharpness that we didn’t quite want in White Caps.

“There’s a pretty low bitterness level in White Caps that, when put in conjunction with the soft body, make a smooth beer that is very sessionable, despite its 7.5% ABV,” Jimmy says.

Brian agrees. “It’s just insanely drinkable. Don’t think that this is a Session IPA or a pale ale, this is a NEDIPA through and through, but this style of beer is just so incredibly drinkable that your glass is empty before you know it.”

White Caps releases in the Tasting Room today. Stop down, empty a few glasses, and let us know what you think.

So these two are going to really add to the complexity of this beer and take it up to a whole new crazy level.

Double Dry-Hopped White Caps

We make a lot of beer around here — like a lot — and everyone around the brewery has their favorites. The BogMop WaterCoastal Evac… the list goes on and on.

But there’s one that we wait with bated breath. One that we beg the brewers to bring back. One that we look forward to time and again.

Two words: White Caps.

Seriously, we all go a little crazy(ier) over this beer.

When the guys told us that, for our next limited can release, they’d be throwing even more hops at this already-hoppy brew, we knew we were in for something special.

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“Me love you long time.”

White Caps is Back!

There are beers that we brew only once, to be celebrated in our history and sought after by our fans, and there are those that we keep coming back to time and time again.

White Caps is definitely one of the latter.

Brewed with hefty portions of wheat and oats, White Caps has a soft mouthfeel, a pillowy head, and a robust body. Featuring Mosaic and Citra hops, this effervescent Double IPA explodes with notes of papaya, mango, stone fruits, and citrus.

In fact, we love this one so much, we’ve decided to put it into 16-ounce cans! Following on the heels of our extraordinarily successful (and quick-selling) 16-ounce release of City to Shore, we’re following one great DIPA with another, because 12-ounces of this bad boy just isn’t enough — only a full pint will do. They’ll go out for distribution sometime next week, so be sure to hit up your local liquor store!

In the meantime, check out some of the great things people had to say about this delectable brew.

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You Choo-choo-choose us!

Two days, three sessions, 154 breweries, over 1,00 brews. Did you hit them all?

If you did… well… you’re lucky to be alive and reading this blog. That’s a lot of beer. But that’s how you make the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival into the second largest beer festival in the nation, and even event organizer Jon Henderson is a little surprised at the juggernaut that AC Beerfest has become.

“We work really hard to program and promote this event,” he tells us. “We were never looking for those kind of accolades when we started the event, but twelve years later we are proud of what we accomplished and glad that others see what a fun event we’ve created as an avenue to celebrate craft beer.”

He attributes the success to “hard work, love of great beer, and dedicated staff and supporters.”

Between the beers from breweries across the country, the music from Flogging Molly, Front Bottoms, and Streetlight Manifesto (among others), and the insane activities, AC Beerfest was undoubtedly the biggest party in the country last weekend.

And CMBC came out on top.

For the third year in a row, we’ve been named People’s Choice!

It’s a huge honor, that the revelers at the event took the time to recognize that we were their favorite. It’s one of those awards that mean the most to us, simply because it’s a recognition not by beer geeks and judges — though we like those, too! — but by fans of craft beer. We’ve said it time and again: we wouldn’t be who we are without our fans, and we mean it. Events like AC Beerfest get us in front of more beer aficionados, giving us the chance to get more fans. We love it, and we love bringing more fans into the fold.

“It’s the 3rd year CMBC has taken People’s Choice,” Jon said. “The people speak for what they like and the word is Cape May. The brewery has worked hard to become what it is and create great beer. It’s well deserved.”

We also won Best NJ Brewery!

Can’t beat that, either! It’s a great honor to be recognized amongst your peers, in your home state. We’ve got some stiff competition in New Jersey, but we’re honored to be considered among the best of them.

And White Caps got a nice nod, as well! It came in third place in the IPA category — and, as you probably know, these days, IPA is king.

In the Atlantic City Press’s coverage of the event, one of our very own got some recognition, as well. Courtney Rosenberg, our Social Media Coordinator, spoke of the pride we have that such a great event is right up the street.

“It’s evolved an insane amount, and we’re proud just because it’s local to us,” she was quoted as saying.

Now that it’s over, there’s even more pride for AC Beerfest. Not only is it local, but we also did pretty well this time around.

In all, it was a killer weekend. We’re looking forward to next year!

Love for White Caps

White Caps is back! Our quarterly DIPA is back for round two on Friday, so we decided to check in to see what people thought about it the last time it was in the Tasting Room.

Consensus? Good stuff. A good, crushable double IPA — and those are decidedly rare.

See what else people had to say about this juicy, fruity, sessionable double IPA.

“Excellent double IPA. So crushable for a double.” — Mike S., Untappd

“Nice golden color. Decent hop flavor and aroma.” — raymow, RateBeer

“Creamy mouthfeel. Tropical fruit flavors. Moderate bitterness. Tasty.” Bryan M., Untappd

“Hazy gold with white head. Nose is hops, pale malt, grape must. Smooth, the grape must runs into the hops somewhat, some mango and star fruit late.” — DocLock, RateBeer

“Cloudy pale gold pour with a large soft white meringue head. Lots of messy lace. Unexpected milky orange taste. Light toasted caramel malts. Lemon pips. Pink peaches. Green tangerines. Fresh cut grass. Started with a light creamy finish.” — NikkTwist, RateBeer

“Big shoes to fill. Solid attempt. Big flavor.” — Troy M., Untappd

“Pours a slightly hazy gold. Aroma, fruit and slight citrus aromas. Nice blend of hop and fruits for flavor. Very nice DIPA.” — Deadpool, Ratebeer

“Surprisingly drinkable for a DIPA.” — Keegan D., Untappd

“Hazy Amber with little white head; aroma is mild hop spice; flavor is malt forward then bitter hops; feels medium with decent fizz; finishes dry bitter mild sweet malt notes.” — Closey22, RateBeer

“Nice beer. Tasted more like a session than a double.” — Jason V., Untappd

“Clear gold white lacy head. Citrus nose. Creamier palate, well balanced hop malt profile. Easy to drink.” — BiddleBrau, RateBeer

“Another good pick from the wardens NJ trip. Surprisingly light IPA, very good. First day back at work post camp out was rough to say the least.” — John T., Untappd (It sounds like there was a great story here, and we only got the last line….)

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