We love our teachers here at CMBC. We’ve got quite a few on staff, and they bring their experience working with students with them to the brewery — handling a large crowd, educating our guests about our beer, and the ability to do it all with a smile.
Former union president Barbara Bur is no different. She’s been working with us all summer, greeting our guests with enthusiasm, joy, and just a little bit of sass — and we couldn’t be happier.
“Barb is always a pleasure to have around the brewery,” says Tasting Room Manager Chris Costello. “Her passion for beer as well as her background in education are an excellent combination for a brewery. She is always willing to take the time and teach our guests about our beer and what we are doing at CMBC. With the type of enthusiasm Barb brings to work here, I think I would like to go back to school and have her as a teacher.”
Originally from Milltown, NJ — up by New Brunswick –, she graduated from Spotswood High School before moving to Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. She’s been teaching preschool at Memorial Elementary School in Lower Township for 31 years.
“I love it,” she says. “I absolutely love it.”
With her experience and training in the HighScope program that they’ll be implementing, Barbara’s recently gotten a new job in the district: Master Teacher. It sounds like she should be wielding some sort of magic wand at Hogwarts, but she’ll be going around to the various preschool rooms to coach, assist, and troubleshoot.
“I’ll still be with the kids,” she says, “which is key for me.”
Barbara’s excited because she learned that they recently received a grant to transition into full-day this year, which will present some challenges, but, ultimately, she thinks it’ll be good for the kids.
“It’ll benefit them,” she says. “They don’t have to go to daycare before or after the school day. They get to be with us all day instead of shifted all over.”
When she’s not teaching, Barbara is an avid runner. She’s done several half-marathons even though she’s a relative recent convert to the sport.
“A good run makes me happy,” she says. “I’ve done the Wild Half two times and I’ve done ten-milers. I’ve only been doing this two-and-a-half years.”
With our sponsorship of this year’s Hallowed Half, we hope Barbara is able to participate, but she’s not sure if she’ll be in town and has been waylaid by minor injuries.
“I’m getting back into it,” she says. “If I’m in town, I’ll do it.”
Hold her to it, y’all!
Having grown up in the New York sphere of influence, Barb’s a New York Giants fan, but we won’t hold it against her.
“Hey, I grew up there!” she says, defensively. “We had season tickets in the family for sixty years.”
When it comes to music, it’s “anything but country.” She went to see Foreigner at the BB&T Center in Camden this past June.
“It was awesome!” she says. “They really put on a good show. I missed it last year, so this was like a make-up for me.”
Having lived here for over thirty years, Barbara enjoys Cape May in the autumn.
“It’s a great town in the fall,” she says. “It’s calmer and cooler — it’s way too hot in the summer. I’m not a fan of the heat.”
Regardless, Barbara has always had a great experience each time she’s come to the brewery. When she decided to put some feelers out for a part-time job, we were high on her list.
“I love coming here,” she says. “And I figured, a little part-time job here? Why not! It’s a fun place. I’m continuing to learn and help promote our beers and get them out there. It’s awesome.”
She’s definitely enjoying it here thus far.
“Everyone is so nice,” she says, “and everyone coming to the brewery, they’re always so happy to come here. It’s nice. Everyone’s excited about beer, and I’m excited about it, so it’s easy to promote it.”
She has no problem at all promoting her favorite CMBC beer, Mop Water — it reminds her of her favorite season.
“I like the spiciness to it,” she says, “and that total fall. It’s so fall. It’s a fall beer. I love it!”
Barbara is going to keep working throughout the school year, so be sure to swing down and say hello to her!