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“New Jersey's Cape May Brewery has unquestionably demonstrated its place as one of the country's top brewers. The brewery consistently delivers exceptional beers, and with this year's Top Rated Beer of 2017 -- The Topsail -- it has proven it can brew with the world's best.”

The Topsail Named Beer Connoisseur’s Best Beer of 2017

Well… that’s good news.

They say that no news is good news, but nah. No news is mundanity. Good news is good news.

And we started this year with some pretty good news.

There are a multitude of review sites out there and there are a ton of reviews. Some sites are more respected than others, and The Beer Connoisseur is right up at the top.

This week, they announced their highest-rated beers and brewers of the year, and some familiar names were among those honored.

Best Beer of 2017: The Topsail

Second Runner-Up for Best Brewery of 2017: Cape May Brewing Company

Issue 34 300“Well,” Ryan said. “That’s good news.”

Part of our Barrel Aged Series, The Topsail has been getting some pretty serious accolades. It won a Gold Medal at the US Beer Open Championships last year, and The Beer Connoisseur gave it a rating of 98 — World Class. It was the highest-rated beer on the site this year, edging out offerings from Brouwerij Rodenbach, Heavy Seas, Breckenridge, and Mother Earth.

The Topsail wasn’t the only CMBC brew getting nods from The Beer Connoisseur. Notably, we occupied the top two spots in The Beer Connoisseur’s Top 10 American Wild Ales of 2017, with The Scupper coming in at #2. White Caps came in #3 of the Top 5 Double IPAs of 2017 and #4 in the Top 10 IPAs of 2017. Boughs of Barley (2016) broke the Top 100 Rated Beers of 2017 as well, coming in at #55.

All of that resulted in The Beer Connoisseur naming Cape May Brewing Company the second runner-up for Best Brewery of 2017, saying, “New Jersey’s Cape May Brewery has unquestionably demonstrated its place as one of the country’s top brewers. The brewery consistently delivers exceptional beers, and with this year’s Top Rated Beer of 2017 — The Topsail — it has proven it can brew with the world’s best.”

When asked how it feels, in his best Larry David impression, Head Brewer Brian Hink says, “Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.”


The running joke around the brewery has been that each iteration of the Barrel Aged Series is Brian’s favorite… until the next one is released. However, “once The Topsail came out I stopped saying the new one was the best because it just couldn’t top The Topsail,” he says. “We’ve put out a few remarkable beers since then — and will release more great beers worthy of praise in the future — but this one is going to be a high water mark that’s tough to beat.”

The world of sour beers is a fickle one — they’ve generally been slow to catch on in our home market, but hopefully that’s all about to change.

“Hopefully this award catches some eyes and brings a little more national recognition to CMBC in general, but specifically to the sour program,” Brian says. “Not every brewery plays in the sour playground, so to be not only be playing in it but thriving in that arena is awesome.”

Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm is quick to remind us that we don’t brew beers to win awards. We brew beers because we love them. Fidelity is the watchword around here — as long as we remain true to ourselves we’ll keep turning out great beers.

Nonetheless, the recognition is nice.

“This outcome is pretty out of the blue,” Jimmy says. “We’re a small brewery in an out-of-the-way place at the tip of a peninsula sticking 20 miles out to sea, but I’ve always been proud of the beer we brew. Having the crew at The Beer Connoisseur place us so prominently on their list is a bit unexpected, but a part of me is also screaming damn right! on the inside.”

DSC00645-EditBrian agrees that we tend to get overlooked because we’re a bit off the beaten path.

“What I hope this recognition means is that more people realize that we’re making some really kickass beer down here,” he says. “So, my main hope is that more people out there reach out for our beer and stop by to visit when in South Jersey.”

The Topsail is going quickly, though. We’ve only got a limited supply left in the Brewtique, and those are going fast. There are still some bottles available at accounts, as well, but you’d be well-advised to call first.

But, if you haven’t tasted this beer, get it while you still can. Like the review from The Beer Connoisseur said, “You’ll want to seek this beer out.”

It would be easy for us to sit back and bask in the glow of this illuminating recognition, but it’s not as if this is the be-all-end-all of what we try to do here. Like Jimmy says, “Now’s not the time to rest on our laurels, we’ve got some great ideas in the works and will be coming out with even more stellar beer soon.”

The guys in production have been wowing us left and right since day one. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got up their sleeves for the future.

In the meantime, try to hunt down a bottle of The Topsail while you still can. It’s so very worth it.

And you don’t have to take our word for it.