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“It's approachable for the Everyman beer drinker, but it has a subtle complexity that the craft beer drinker really enjoys.”

Wild Wooder is Here!

Morey’s Piers in Wildwood is celebrating 50 years of quality entertainment at the Jersey Shore, and we’re along for the ride.

Er… rides. Morey’s has over sixty rides for the young and young-at-heart, all overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean on the thrilling Wildwood boardwalk.

Now, while you trod the boards and take your chances on such rides as Cygnus X-1, Atmosfear!, Ghost Ship, The Great Nor’Easter, the Sea Serpent, or the all-new Runaway Tram, you’ll be able to sip on Cape May Brewing Company’s newest creation: Wild Wooder.

1M6A0301We’d been tossing around the idea of doing a Kölsch for a while, and it made a lot of sense for this collaboration.

Kölsches were originally brewed in the Cologne region of Germany back in the 17th century. You see, at the time, lagers were gaining in popularity, and that was beginning to hurt the brewers of Cologne, who only produced ales.

So, since everyone involved was German, the Cologne city council outlawed brewing lagers, forbidding the sale of any bottom-fermented beer within the city walls of Cologne. Yet, the people were still clamoring for these cool, crisp beers.

So, since everyone involved was German, they used a bit of that ingenuity that Germans are known for, as well as a bit of the inventiveness that comes with it. They discovered that they could follow the law by brewing the beer using a top-fermented ale yeast but fermenting it at much lower temperatures and letting it age in some really cold caves that only a few people knew about. The result was a lager-like, crisp brew.

“You can actually do a lot with only one strain of yeast,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. “When you play around with the fermentation temperature, you can drastically change the expressiveness of the yeast.”

Like just about everything else in brewing, it’s a tightrope walk.

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“If you go too cold you could stall out your fermentation, and if you go too hot you could ferment way too fast and produce some potentially unwanted off-flavors or even kill the yeast,” she tells us. “At the cooler temperatures, you’re forming less of those fruity and floral compounds and, instead, allowing the malt and hops to shine through.”

So, when we were looking for the perfect beer for this collaboration, we knew that something like a Kölsch was a brew that was going to have wide appeal.

“It’s approachable for the Everyman beer drinker,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink, “but it has a subtle complexity that the craft beer drinker really enjoys.”

And, as we sometimes do, we came at this recipe from two directions: we wanted to brew something that was close to being a traditional Kölsch… but not too traditional. We wanted to put our own, independent, craft brew-y spin on things.

“It’s traditional-ish,” Brian says. “The grain bill is very traditional — and nothing but premium German grain at that.”

We used a simple and light grain bill of Pilsner and wheat: the Pilsner is very traditional for a Kölsch, but the wheat is a little non-traditional, lightening up the body a touch.

“Kölsches are designed to be perfectly balanced,” Brian says, “and the grain bill is enough that it provides a backdrop for everything while offering a touch of that crackery-biscuity thing that you want a nice Kölsch to have.”

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We went the same way when it comes to the hops bill, too: traditional, but not too traditional. Half the hops are that Noble stalwart, Saaz, while the other half is that gum-smackin’ upstart, Hallertau Blanc. We’ve used Hallertau Blanc a few times in the past: as far back as Cape May IPL, in Maize Haze and Fizz the Season, and as recently as Sophisticated Lady.

Hallertau Blanc is a newer German varietal that is pleasant enough to work great in Lagers, Pilsners, Hefeweizens, etc, but also intriguing enough to play around with on Saisons, IPAs, IPLs, so it made a lot of sense to let that be the bulk of the hop profile,” Brian tells us. “It paired beautifully off the Saaz’s earthy-grassy-slightly spicy Noble-ness, and I’m really glad we used two hops in the way we did.”

And clocking in at a modest 4.7% ABV, Wild Wooder ABV Kölsch-style Ale is a light and crisp brew with notes of straw and hay. Enticing yet approachable, you’ll find a clean subtle bitterness, a refreshing spritziness, and an unparalleled quaffability.

“It’s the perfect summer beer: light bodied and crisp, a firm hop presence which balances everything out and makes it more sessionable, and just all around super refreshing,” Brian tells us.

We’ll be releasing this brew on Friday, May 24th, just in time to kick off the Memorial Day Weekend, and the good folks from Morey’s Piers will be in our Tasting Room from 2 to 6pm to help celebrate!

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At our Wild Wooder release party, you’ll be able to sample some of Morey’s Piers’ Boardwalk favorites that will have you longing for summer days on the Boardwalk.

And, watch the Runaway Tram car, please! Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a new ride on the pier. You thought the boardwalk Tram Car was out of control…wait ‘til you see this family-friendly coaster. To celebrate the new ride and their anniversary, Morey’s recreated a mini-version of the world famous Tram Car and is bringing it to us. You’ll be able to get your picture taken with the Mini Tram outside the Tasting Room!

Our Beertenders will be on hand in their Beerguard gear, ensuring that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. In addition, there’ll be prizes galore as you take a chance on Morey’s Prize Wheel.

And, don’t forget: there’ll be plenty of Wild Wooder Kölsch-style Ale on tap to keep you hydrated, along with nearly twenty of CMBC’s other delicious brews.

Don’t miss out! See you then!