We used to say that no one enjoys retirement more than Mop Man.
That is… until we met Paul Greer.
We’ve recently brought him on as a Greeter and Brand Ambassador, and Paul’s been loving every minute of his time here. With his innate love for beer and deep history with the brewery, his tours are some of the most informative and entertaining in Cape May, and he loves being able to meet every person as they come through the door.
So, here’s Paul!
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Paul’s been living in Avalon for 40 years. He did his undergraduate work at Penn State with his graduate studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland. After traveling the world building nuclear facilities for the better part of 20 years, he and his love for beer returned to Philadelphia.
“I’ve had beer in Egypt,” he says. “I’ve had beer in Japan. Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, St. Vincent, Grenadines, Mexico.
“Beer is universal. It’s almost everywhere you go, in both advanced and developing countries. Beer is a constant. It really is cool.”
Paul and his daughter Katie have a jealousy-inducing claim to fame: they were here the day we opened our doors for the first time.
“Katie’s a bit of a beer snob,” he says, lovingly, “and, for the better part of a year, we’d followed your online exploits — “Here we come, here we come!” — and we’d drive by the door here. We couldn’t wait. When Day One finally happened, we were here.”
Through this, Paul has built something of a friendship with Ryan, Hank, and Mop Man.
“They’re great people,” he says.
Paul has been “fully retired” for about three years, but he’s not the kind of guy that seems content to sit around and yell at the squirrels to stay away from his birdfeeder.
“During the season I still go surfing just about every morning before I come to work, when the water temperature gets above 55,” he reports. “I’m an avid runner. I just did the ‘Dopey’ down in Disney. On four successive days, you do a 5K, a 10K, a half-marathon, and a marathon.”
Bear in mind, this man is of retirement age. That’s almost fifty miles in four days.
“A lot of people say it’s appropriately named,” he jokes. “I just did that this past January, and it was a hoot.”
Regardless, you can tell that Paul is a guy who definitely enjoys his life.
“I love having fun,” he says. “I spent a lot of time here, and Mop Man said, ‘Come on over,’ and I asked, ‘Why would I want to screw up a perfectly good retirement? I don’t want to give up any of my surfing time.’ But it is fun here.”
Paul certainly loves Cape May, but, as a member of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Cape May County, he gets to see the places far from the tourists’ eyes.
“There is poverty in the county that would make your head spin,” he says. “Most people are familiar with the little band of affluence that goes around where the water is, but when you get in the middle, there is just absolute, abject poverty.
“So we build homes. I do that with some of my other free time.”
Habitat is headquartered in Cape May Court House, and they build homes in Upper, Middle, and Lower Townships.
“There are homes around here that still have tarps on their roofs from Jonas four years ago,” he says. “A lot of times, you may be thinking that you’ve had a tough day. But when you talk to these families and hear their stories, it just tears your heart out.”
Yet, even his work with Habitat brings him to the brewery.
“Sometimes, after a thirsty build, we’ll come down here and hang together,” he reports. “It’s a familiar place.”
When it comes down to it, Paul is loving the work here.
“I come here, and I have fun,” he says. “I love working with people — when I give the tours. It’s not just giving the tours, but how do you eyeball the person who is just bored to tears, and how do you bring him or her out?”
And he’s looking forward to seeing what the future holds in store for the brewery.
“I’m looking forward to watching us launch like a rocket,” he says. “I think I know where we’re going, and I’m old enough having seen it before. We’re right place, right time, right product, right leadership. I think we’ve got a rocket ride ahead of us.”
Paul is definitely loving his time here, but it was not without its learning curve.
“I’m an old fart,” he jokes. “I used to be the president of an engineering company, and you had your memos and your organization and all the rest, and I come on board here and Caitlyn says, ‘Here’s Slack.’ And that’s how a lot of the communication goes around. It’s informal. For me, it’s refreshing. It’s a whole new world out there, and I’m getting to see it.”
But what he really enjoys seeing is his favorite beer, Devil’s Reach.
“When I’m home and have a fire going, I love to sip a Devil’s Reach. And Cape May IPA. It was the first beer I had and it’s still one of my favorites.”
Nonetheless, if you’re lucky enough to have a life turn out as Paul’s has, you can consider yourself a very lucky person.
“I love it. I absolutely love it. And it’s good to be at that point in your life when you’re having fun. The Habitat work I love, and this is just a great combination. I’m very lucky. Life is good.”
Be sure to say hello to Paul the next time you’re down!