Our newest Brewtique Associate, Noelle Smuz, has been dying to work here forever, and, now that she does, she’s been doing a great job.
“After hearing of Noelle’s persistence at wanting to be a part of CMBC,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello, “I knew we would be able to find a fit in the Brewtique. I can’t wait to see what the future here holds for her.”
Brewtique Manager Kaitlyn Smith loves having her here, as well.
“She comes in every day with a positive attitude and immediately asks what she can help with,” she says. “She is very friendly with the customers and her teammates which makes her really fun to work with!”
“I’m taking a break at the moment,” she explains. “We’ll see where that goes. I was majoring in accounting, but I’m leaning more towards nutrition, so I’m not going to go back to Stockton. I’ll do Rutgers at Atlantic Cape Community College, and I might have to take a few classes at the New Brunswick campus.”
In addition to her job in the Brewtique, Noelle works as a teller at Sturdy Savings Bank.
“I’m a teller supervisor,” she tells us. “A Senior Teller. I like the people. Most of my customers are really cool, and I get to know a lot of the businesses down here because they all bank at Sturdy.”
Noelle loves to travel, going to warm places and “surf trips,” frequently to Mexico and the Caribbean, though she’s been to Canada a few times, as well. She points to her trip to Ireland as one of her favorites.
She says that the Titanic Experience in Cobh was one of her favorite parts of the trip. The Titanic stopped in Cobh before it crossed the Atlantic.
“Blarney Castle with the big Blarney Stone that you’re supposed to kiss?” she says. “It was cool, but I did not do it.”
According to tradition, kissing the Blarney Stone gives the kisser the “gift of gab.” However, when talking to Noelle, you’ll soon realize that she doesn’t need it — she’s already got tons of personality and will happily talk to anyone about anything — so maybe it’s okay that she skipped it.
“I climbed all the way up, though,” she laughs.
She hopes to someday get to Egypt.
“It’s shaping up,” she says. “But we’ll see. Airfare is really expensive.”
While she doesn’t homebrew herself, her girlfriend recently bought a homebrew kit and she’s looking forward to “helping out.”
“I’ll supervise, though,” she laughs. “And be a taste tester.”
“Even though they continually break my heart year after year after year,” she says.
And her musical tastes are really varied, ranging from Spanish music to punk rock to blues.
“It really depends on what I’m doing,” she says. “If I’m going out dancing, I really like Spanish music, but I’ve also been a big punk rock fan my whole life. Spotify has a really good Punk Goes Pop playlist that’s really fun driving music. But if I’m cleaning my house, Spotify also has a really good Blues, guitar instrumental playlist.
“But if the Spice Girls come to America, I’m telling Chris that I need a week off to recover because I will be in that front row, no matter how much it costs me. I will live out my six-year-old’s dream!”
Noelle loves being outside, particularly on the water.
“My dad has refurbished boats his whole life,” she tells us. “They’re not broken-down or anything — they’re in okay condition — but he literally tears them apart and re-does them. Then he says he’s going to keep it, but he sells it for another one and does the same thing over and over again.”
“I don’t love hiking up mountains,” she says. “One of my best friends lives in Denver, and we try to go hiking, but I barely make it up the path to the mountain because it’s so hard to breathe. I think she’s trying to kill me.
“So… ‘nature walks’.”
About five years ago, the family rescued a dog.
“I love taking him on long walks,” she says. “He’s a lab, Trigger. He’s a brat.”
She’s also training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. Which, we’ve been assured, is totally a thing.
“I got talked into this,” she says. “I’m wearing a tutu. Running thirteen miles in a tutu. I am not athletic. I don’t like running. I like the gym, but I don’t like cardio. I squat and deadlift.”
While she’s been in the area her whole life, Noelle didn’t get down to Cape May much until she began working at Sturdy.
“It’s really nice,” she says. “It’s really, really nice. There’s so much down here that I didn’t realize was here. I couldn’t have told you where the Mall was in Cape May before I started working at Sturdy. There’s a lot of really fun stuff down there.”
When she began looking for a second job, she knew she had an “in” here at the brewery: her brother has long been good friends with Brewer Brad Young.
“I heard that Brad worked here and I asked my brother if he likes it, and he was like, ‘Yeah, he loves it,’” she explains. “So, I went on the website and read the whole blog one night I couldn’t sleep.”
(Oh, by the way… Noelle is our new best friend.)
Regardless, she was determined to work here, having applied a few times.
“Christine told me that a job opened up in the Brewtique,” she says. “I said, ‘I’ll take it! Just let me know when I can meet Chris.’”
Noelle would love to eventually leave the bank and work at the brewery full-time.
“I’d love to grow with the company,” she says. “I really love working in the Brewtique, so, if I move into a different position here, I’d probably want to keep a couple of shifts there. You meet a lot of really fun people, and no one’s ever mad about beer. Unless we’re out of something they really wanted.”
Nevertheless, she’s really enjoying her time here at the brewery.
“Everybody’s really nice,” she says. “When people walk by that I don’t know but I can tell that they work here, they always stop in their tracks and ask if I’m new. So, I meet a lot of people. Everybody’s very, very friendly. And everybody seems to love working here.”
And she definitely loves the beer.
“When I came here, my favorite beer was Crushin’ It,” she says, “but I really like Mop Water right now. But before I worked here and would just come and get beers, Lady in Room #10 was my favorite. Bring it back!”
Since working here, Noelle has learned of the difficulty of exactly replicating a barrel-aged beer.
“I’ve heard that you can’t,” she says, “but I don’t care what you have to do. If you have to go to Italy and get those red wine barrels again, I don’t care. Bring it back! It tasted like a really tart, black cherry with some other stuff in there. It was so good. I’ve been told they can’t do it, but figure it out! Brian, I have faith in you.”
We’ll try, Noelle. Just for you.
Next time you’re in the Brewtique, be sure to say hello to Noelle!