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“It was cool to talk about a beer with people outside of our team and get some ideas.”

Two Versions of Me

There are few things better than a good collaboration, and our most recent collaboration is a good one.

This time, we’ve partnered with a brewery which, in all likelihood, you’re probably pretty familiar with. A well-respected South Jersey brewery, they’ve been killing it lately, with a meteoric rise that mirrors our own.

We’re talking about Tonewood Brewing Company in Oaklyn, of course. Only a short drive from Cape May, we’re all pretty excited about this collaboration.

A West Coast-style IPA called Two Versions of Me, it will be available in our Tasting Room on Friday, January 22nd, with distribution throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania beginning the following Monday, January 25th.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Tonewood,” Ryan says. “Everyone at Cape May Brewing Company has been impressed, not only with their meteoric growth over the past few years but also with the quality of their liquid. When we discussed fellow New Jersey breweries with which we’d like to collaborate, Tonewood was at the top of everyone’s list.”

It was tough to pin down Eli Facchinei, Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Tonewood, for an interview: they’re currently undertaking an expansion that will double their brewing capacity, and — in addition to co-founder and head brewer — Eli is overseeing that construction, as well. 

Yet, with the help of his childhood friend, our very own Sales Manager Evan Kostka, we were able to connect. And Eli and the staff at Tonewood are excited about the collaboration, as well. 

“Everyone at Tonewood — and myself, as well — has great respect for the beer brewed by the team in Cape May,” says Eli Facchinei, Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Tonewood, “as well as what they’ve done for New Jersey’s craft beer scene, overall. They’ve got a lot of good people down there who care a lot about quality and consistency, so, to come together and brew a beer sounded like a great idea.”

Brian has always been a fan of Tonewood, as well.

“I first met Eli and some of his crew in the Nashville airport on our way to the Craft Brewers Conference in 2018, and we hit it off immediately,” Brian says. “For me personally, Eli being a brewer first and foremost and the owner of the brewery on top of that, and I just love their approach to beer. It’s beer first, everything else second.”

Collaborating in the time of COVID certainly adds an additional dimension to many normal things, the collaboration between Cape May and Tonewood is no exception. 

“For me, my favorite parts of collaborating are hanging out on the production floor talking shop and comparing notes on processes and everything,” Brian says, “and that was what I was looking forward to most about this collaboration. Hearing about how their new facility buildout is going, getting all the nerdy production details about tank sizes and what brewhouse manufacturer, canning line, all the fun info production folk like to know — I was really looking forward to geeking out with Eli about their plans and everything.”

However, as it has done with just about everything for the past ten months, COVID threw a wet blanket over everything.

“But it was still great designing a beer with Eli,” Brian says. “It played out over a number of conference calls in the fall, with the plan to get Eli and some of his crew down here for a brew day, but by the time we started brewing it, the number of COVID cases in New Jersey had begun to spike like crazy, and, unfortunately, we had to cancel the plans to have them come hang out for brewing a batch.”

Two Versions of Me is Tonewood’s third collaboration, after a collaboration with 2SP Brewing Company in Aston, PA, as well as our Friends Giving collaborations.

“It was cool to talk about a beer with people outside of our team and get some ideas,” Eli says. “Doing the Friends Giving collaboration with you guys was a lot of fun, too. But doing a beer with just the two breweries would allow us to really hone in on a beer for which we had a mutual appreciation.”

Packaged in four-packs of 16oz cans, the can dress was designed through a collaboration of both breweries’ design teams.

“I love it!” says Eli. “That was also another great thing in doing this collaboration — it was more than just collaborating on the beer; it was a great experience to have our design teams come together and come up with a cool look on the can. I think the final design reflects both of our brands really well.”

We’re particularly pleased with the design, as well.

“We love everything about this packaging,” says Marketing Director Alicia Grasso. “The name of the beer comes from a Phish song, and, for our purposes, references the fact that each of the two breweries is producing two separate collaboration beers. Our design team ran with that and knocked this one out of the park: reminiscent of 70s retro styling, the can dress is groovy and a little playful, but we’re certain that it will raise consumers’ interest about the liquid inside.”

And the liquid inside is an old-school West Coast-style IPA, clear, slightly bitter, and highly aromatic. Brewed with hyper-fresh and hand-selected Simcoe, Amarillo, and Chinook hops, Two Versions of Me is bursting with notes of pine, resin, and zesty grapefruit.

“I got my start as a brewer out west in Colorado,” Eli says, “brewing West Coast IPAs, and Brian got his start as a homebrewer, brewing those crispy, hoppy, West Coast beers, so it’s a style that we both cut our teeth on at the beginning of our brewing careers.”

“It’s a classic throwback of an IPA,” Brian says. “Clean, crisp, crushable: definitely an IPA of yesteryear that you don’t find nearly enough these days.”

The second of the two collaboration beers — an as-yet-undetermined lager — is slated for a springtime release.

Two Versions of Me will be available in our Tasting Room beginning Friday, January 22nd, with distribution throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania beginning the following Monday, January 25th.

Don’t miss it!