Veritas, Unitas, Caritas
It’s been all-Villanova, all-the-time here at the brewery for the past few weeks, and we’re loving it. Not only is it where our intrepid founders first met, but, thanks to the University’s 175th anniversary, CMBC’s been getting love in media outlets from Cape May to Cape Disappointment. (Yep. A real place — and they’ve got a Coast Guard station!)
Villanova’s not only a place to get a degree: the University prides itself on turning students out into the world with a set of values rooted in its strong Augustinian tradition.
Of course, those values are in Latin, and are enshrined on the University’s seal.
Ryan and Hank have used those values as a guiding force throughout the development of Cape May Brewing Company — relying on these precepts, burnt into their minds and hearts.
At CMBC, not only are we truthful in our dealings — one of our Core Values is “Be Direct, Honest, and Respectful” — but this dedication to truth goes a little deeper than that.
We threw the Reinheitsgebot out the window long ago, but we’re true to one thing: great beer.
Like the 90 pounds Jersey Fresh honey we use in every batch of Honey Porter. Or the 250 pounds of Jersey Fresh beets we used in Beets by May. Or the malt from Rabbit Hill Farms, the hops from Laughing Hops, and the yeast from East Coast Yeast — all in Three Plows IPA.
Using these fresh, local ingredients ensures that we create the purest product possible.
This dedication to truth in brewing isn’t only evident in our ingredients: it’s in our processes, as well.
For instance: our sour brewery. Sour brewing is a bit of a powder keg (har, har) — those crafty little bacteria responsible for souring the brew are resilient little buggers. And if we get just one tiny, little microorganism in a batch of “clean” beer, that little guy can reproduce indefinitely, contaminating the entire batch.
So, we built a sour brewery. This way, those little guys can be contained and separated — by numerous walls, a road, and some 500 feet — from our main brewing complex. And this way, they’ve got the freedom to reproduce their little brains out, happily contaminating each batch we brew in the sour brewery.
It’s this dedication to great brewing that keeps you guys coming back time and again — to our Tasting Room, to our off-site events, to the extraordinary bars, restaurants, and bottle shops that carry our product.
Which brings us to….
What brings people together more than beer?
If you have an answer to that question, please let us know, because we’re going to branch out into it and have something ready for ‘Nova’s bicentennial.
“Let’s get together for a few….” Pieces of cake? Sandwiches? Minutes of discussion on Kierkegaard and Nietzsche? No one ever says those things. If you know people who do, please suggest that they come down to the brewery for a beer and learn how things are actually done — because beer makes the discussion of any long-dead philosophers that much more interesting. That could be why Ryan majored in Philosophy.
Six years ago, when Hank was unsatisfied with his career in designing satellites, he discussed his apathy with his good friend. “What is it you really want to do?” Ryan asked.
When his response was, “brew beer,” Ryan didn’t let his friend give up on his dream. He encouraged him, he supported him, and he eventually left a promising career of his own to help navigate the uncharted waters of brewing. Together. United.
Now, we consider all of you part of that friendship: our fans and visitors have become part of us. You guys are what makes CMBC great — you’re why we continually push the envelope on variety and innovation. Without you guys, Ryan would still be in real estate and Hank would be on to career #3.
Just like ‘Nova Nation unites Villanova’s alumni, friends, and fans, CMBC is doing the same.
Well… this one is a little more difficult to translate. It’s commonly referred to as “love,” but the Latin verb for love is amat, the noun amare. More than love, caritas is “charitable love,” sort of the reason one is charitable. It’s that driving force in each of us that makes us altruistic toward our fellow man: it’s compassion, it’s benevolence, it’s a recognition of the humanity in each of us.
It’s like namaste, but Latin.
If you missed our most recent Pint Night — our first of the year! — don’t worry. We’ll have more planned. But the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation is only the most recent in a long line of charitable organizations, causes we love, and sponsorships dear to our heart that we’ve championed over the years.
Like all of these in 2016:
- Our Food Drive for the Cape May Community Food Closet
- Our sponsorship of the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival
- Hosting an event for the NJ Audubon Society
- Our sponsorship of Ted(x) Cape May
- Our sponsorship of Bike MS: City to Shore
- Our ongoing work with the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild
- Our sponsorship of the Lakewood BlueClaws
- Our commitment to education through internships
- Our sponsorship of Escape the Cape and TriWildwoods
- Our sponsorship of the Cape May Boat Show
- Our involvement with the Cape May Forum
- Our participation in the Hops Trot
- Assisting Bikes ORO in their launch
At CMBC, we’ve been taking our Core Value of “Be a Good Neighbor” to another level. The spirit of caritas lives in each of us, instilled by the innate goodness and generosity of our founders.
There’s no law that says we have to be charitable — we do it to give back to the community that’s given us so much. Sure, it gets our name out there in return, but it gets our name associated with a positive movement of some sort. Whether that’s feeding the hungry right here in Cape May or celebrating the inherent wholesome Americanness of baseball, we understand that karma is a boomerang. The better neighbors we are, the more it comes back to us.
But, when it comes right down to it, we’re charitable because it feels good. The University’s current motto is “Ignite Change. Go ‘Nova.” Hank, Ryan, and the rest of the Brew Crew have been igniting change left and right for the past few years, just because it feels good.
Knowing that we collected over 400 pounds of food and supplies for needy families in the area feels good. Knowing that we raised several thousand dollars to fight MS feels good. Knowing that we can build a brewery we’re proud of while making a small dent in the enormous amount of necessary change in the world…? Well… caritas is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
And it’s because of you. Your support. All we do is hold these events and sponsorships: it’s your money and support that ends up making them successful. Because of unitas.
And we realize we wouldn’t have nearly the support we have without first putting out a good product. Veritas.
So, as you enjoy a Demisemi this weekend and cheer the ‘Cats to victory, you can thank Villanova for a little more than entertainment on the basketball court and a great new brew. You can thank them for being an institution that instilled the values of Veritas, Unitas, Caritas to Hank and Ryan.
Ignite Change. Go ‘Nova.