Our newest Packaging Operator, Carl Gansert, has some serious chops.
“I hired Carl because he’s a good guy with some solid experience,” says Packaging Manager Mark Graves. “He’s expressed a passion to be in this industry, which I saw from the limited time I met him, and he seems to be a high-character guy who fits in with the kind of person Cape May loves to hire. All those factors considered, it was an easy decision to make.”
Originally from Linwood, he moved to Sea Isle around seventh grade, eventually attending Ocean City and Middle Township for high school. He attended Stockton University for Finance, graduating in the spring of 2017.
“I did four years worth of college in three years,” he says, proudly. “I banged out two semesters two summers in a row, so I got it all done in three years. I wanted to get it done. I took a break after high school, though. I went back when I was 23 and just banged it out.”
After college, he worked construction with his father’s mold remediation and pest control company, then got a job behind the bar at another brewery in the area.
“I was bartending for the first six months I was there,” he says, “and then I did some time in the back, as well.”
He began homebrewing before he started working there but hasn’t had as much time since he’s been working here and surrounded by brewing.
“I did a few IPAs, I did a few stouts, some wheat beers,” he tells us. “Nothing crazy; just replicas. I didn’t really get into creating my own recipes. Just trying to get a feel for it.
Carl loves to travel, pointing to a few trips to Hawaii as being some of the highlights, swimming with sharks and climbing mountains.
Swimming. With. Sharks.
“That was… intense,” he says.
He says he’s “not a shark person,” but a buddy convinced him to forgo skydiving in favor of getting into a cage attached to a boat in open, shark-infested waters.
As ya do.
“Let’s face that fear,” he laughs. “I’ll just hop in a cage and do that.”
The leaders of the dive didn’t do much to allay his fears.
“They were cracking jokes the whole way out there,” he says. “‘If there are any issues, call the Coast Guard and tell them we’re in the same place as yesterday.’ I was like, ‘Dude, don’t say that’ Then he was like, ‘Some of the sharks are small enough that they can swim through the cage. If they do, just turn them around and shove them out.’ I was like, ‘Dude, I’m not gonna get in if you keep saying stuff like this!’ He was like, ‘Just punch ‘em on the nose and they’ll go away.’”
The small ones weren’t the problem. The big, thirty-foot sharks with gashes on their side from fighting were the problem.
“They were huge,” he says. “But that was pretty sweet. I really enjoyed the experience.”
He enjoyed mountain climbing in Hawaii, as well.
“It was one of those peaks where you can see the entire island once you’re on top,” he says. “It was on Oahu — it was about three hours up and three hours back, but once you get up there, you can see the southern side and the northeastern side of the island. That was just an amazing experience.”
He says he’s “all over the place” when it comes to music.
“I go to all sorts of shows,” he says. “I’ll go to hip-hop shows, I’ll go to a Dead show or a Phish show. Random jam bands. Bluegrass.”
When it comes to sports, he says he used to follow them a lot more, “but I’ll just skateboard, now. Surf. Stuff like that.”
Carl worked with Cellarman Brad Young at his previous position, and Brad clued him into the open position here.
“It seemed like a great opportunity,” he says. “It’s great for learning purposes; there’s a lot going on over here. Experience-wise, there are a lot of people to learn from. It’s definitely a better environment for learning the industry. I really enjoyed the last place I was at, this is just a step up.”
There’s a lot to learn on the brewery floor, and Carl is looking forward to soaking it all in.
“I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible about the back-of-the-house, about the production side, working in the cellar, more about the brewing process,” he says. “Being in close quarters with all those guys is helpful. You’re able to pick somebody’s brain if you have any questions; everybody’s pretty intellectual back there.
“I’ve learned quite a bit already. I’m already comfortable with the processes. It didn’t really take too long.”
Everyone in production is waiting with bated breath for the new canning line to be commissioned, and Carl is no different.
“It’s huge,” he laughs. “I can’t wait to see it function. I love how everything’s consolidated into one machine: the PakTechs, the labeler. It’s gonna be three times faster, super efficient. It’s going to be interesting to see.”
He’s been enjoying Cape May, as well. The city is so far south that even growing up in Cape May County, it’s easy to stay loyal to your own shore point.
“I spend a lot more time in Cape May now that I’m working here,” he laughs. “I used to just stay my way, but I’ve been enjoying it. I’ve gone out with a couple of coworkers, checking out a couple of different places in Wildwood and some places down this way.”
He says that Cape May is a bit of a different vibe than his usual haunt of Sea Isle.
“Sea Isle is more of a college-party town,” he says, “whereas this is a little more upscale, the Cape May area.”
And he’s been enjoying himself at CMBC.
“Everyone was super friendly when I came,” he says. “I was already familiar with a few people, just being in the industry.”
He’s glad to see his favorite Cape May brew return just before he started here.
“When Catch the Drift first came out, that was definitely one of my favorites,” he says. “I love the hop profile. I’ve kinda faded away from New England IPAs, but when that first came out last summer, it was what I was looking for.”
You’re likely to run into Carl in the Tasting Room at some point. Be sure to say hello!