Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen our packaged beer sales far outpace what we thought they’d be, so we needed to bring on some extra hands in the packaging department. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go much further than our very own Tasting Room to find the perfect candidate.
“Sean found us during open interviews this past summer and we are sure glad he did,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello. “Sean was looking to get into the craft beer industry and working in the Tasting Room was a great place for him to start. He was an awesome team player during his time in the Tasting Room, and he’s done everything from Brewtique Associate to Delivery Driver. Sean embraces our culture and was always ‘Being A Pro’. While we are sad to not see Sean here at the Tasting Room every day, we’re stoked that he was able to make the transition to production where he can continue to learn more about craft beer.”
And the production team welcomed him with open arms.
“Sean is a good guy with an interest in what we are doing at production,” says Packaging Manager Mark Graves. It’s easy to find someone to do the job, it is hard to find someone with a passion for the job, and Sean definitely has a passion, not only for craft beer but for Cape May Brewing Company.”
Welcome Sean Loder!
Prior to Cape May Brewing Company, Sean worked for Spirit Airlines in one of their Spirit Stores as a forklift operator, sometimes tasked with driving parts from EHT to Philadelphia. Unfamiliar with the concept of a Spirit Store, we asked Sean for a little more information, and it kinda sounds like he was working for a model airplane company except for actual airplanes.
“It’s essentially their AutoZone for their mechanics,” he explains. “We’d have anything from nuts and bolts to computers. We’d stock some really big stuff like nose wheels.”
Sean says that it’s pretty similar to what he’s doing now — moving stuff from one place to another — but, instead of ensuring that airplanes have all of the parts they need so they don’t fall out of the sky, he’s making sure that we can make beer. Equally important vocations, in our opinion.
He enjoyed what he was doing; however, once COVID hit and airplane travel dwindled to nothing, Sean was laid off and needed to find another job.
“I’d applied here in the past,” he tells us. “This time, I applied in the Tasting Room, but my goal was to get over to production. When I got laid off, there were only Tasting Room positions available, but I’ve wanted to work here for a few years, so getting an in was really cool.”
With a profound interest in beer and brewing, Sean tells us that working in production had always been a goal for him.
“I’ve always wanted to learn how to brew beer and learn how to describe beer,” he says, “to really get down to it and not say, ‘Oh, this is a good beer.’ Beer is a passion that I’d always wanted to turn into something bigger.”
He’s been thinking about homebrewing, but hasn’t yet found the time. Luckily, we have a number of homebrewers in the Brew Crew that he can use as a resource.
“I’m always asking questions since I started here,” he laughs. “Since day one.”
Sean is really interested in learning all he can about the brewing process, and there’s a lot to learn.
“I got a huge rundown my first day,” he says. “Basically an overload of everything that’s done here. But I want to take in anything I can take from here, and hopefully, one day, be a brewer here.”
When he’s not working, Sean loves songwriting, having taught himself the guitar when he was fourteen.
Sean is a big music fan, saying that he likes anything from the 90s alternative/grunge scene, pointing to Stone Temple Pilots as one of his favorites. In addition, he enjoys classic rock like Led Zeppelin and The Doors.
“And I’m a huge Grateful Dead fan,” he says. “I go to Dead and Company every year if I can. They’re great. John Mayer definitely does justice to Jerry Garcia. And a half.”
In addition, he enjoys going kayaking “as soon as it gets above freezing.”
Once, he went whitewater rafting in Tennessee. Only once.
“I was in the back of the raft where you have to tuck your feet in,” he says, “and we hit some level four rapids, and I went flying out the back. I caught some air! I had to wait around in the water until someone else came through to pick me up. That was pretty crazy. They were the most intense rapids, we hit a bump, and I went airborne.”
While Sean enjoyed working in the Tasting Room, it was definitely a change of pace for him.
“I’m not used to how personable everyone was,” he says. “Whenever I had a problem, everyone was pretty understanding and worked with me on it. That was new to me, as weird as that sounds. It’s not like this everywhere.”
He says that the biggest eye-opener for him was that his hard work was noticed and appreciated.
“A lot of places, I’ll work my ass off and never get any recognition. The only thing that would happen is that I’d end up doing other people’s work,” he laughs. “That’s the saying: if you get really good at your job, you get to do other people’s jobs.”
While he was a little nervous in the beginning, Sean says that things are going well now.
“It’s going well,” he says. “I asked them how they think I’ve been doing, and they said that I’ve been doing well. That’s enough for me so far.”
And he hasn’t had any trouble fitting in. We recently had a company event — our first since COVID, a socially-distanced crab bake in the Brewtanical Garden — and Sean had a great time.
“I hung out with everyone,” he says, “and it’s like I’ve been working here a year, not a few days. That was really cool.”
“I think that’s definitely my new favorite,” he says. “It’s citrusy, but not so bitter. It’s got the consistency of orange juice, but it’s not overbearingly hoppy to the point where you think it might be with a triple IPA. It goes down so smooth for a 10% ABV triple IPA.”
And you have your chance to find out if you agree with Sean. You can grab Double Dry-Hopped Snag & Drop this weekend, available only in the Brewtique.
We’re sure Sean will be there, too. If you run into him, be sure to say hello!