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Monday, Feb. 19th

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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company
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State of the Brewery, 2019

Last Friday, some 65 Brew Crew members gathered together in the Tasting Room bright and early for breakfast burritos and our annual State of the Brewery address.

This is practically the only chance we have each year to get everyone in the same room at the same time — and those who couldn’t make it were able to stream the event.

It’s the perfect time for everyone to become reacquainted with each other. You know, we’re at about eighty employees here, and weeks can pass without seeing someone.

“It’s great being able to get everyone in the same room at the same time,” Ryan says. “I throw around t-shirts, we talk Core Values, and I get to bring everyone up-to-date on what’s going on at the brewery.”

The State of the Brewery is the first chance many of us get to learn how the previous year went. Were we up? Were we down? Were we flat? (Spoiler: We were up.)

And we like to know these things. The numbers — the nitty gritty — really doesn’t matter. As long as the arrows in the graphs are moving toward the upper right-hand corner, everyone’s pretty happy.

Then, we get a glimpse of what’s to come. What will 2019 bring? Well… you’ll just have to watch this space to find out.

Check out the pictures below!

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“This is the best thing to come out of Jersey since Bon Jovi!”

Extreme Beer Fest

The Brew Crew was at BeerAdvocate’s Extreme Beer Fest in Boston last weekend, pouring Tiny Drink Umbrella: Imperial EBF Edition, New Year’s Resolution, Last Hurrah, and Beer Name Ale.

Everything was extraordinarily well-received, with Tiny Drink Umbrella kicking relatively quickly.

“This is the best thing to come out of Jersey since Bon Jovi!” one attendee enthused.

Well… that might be overstating things a bit — Jon Bon Jovi is practically our patron saint — but it’s still a damn good brew.

We had a great time and loved to see all the people who showed up in CMBC swag! It was great to see the many fans we’ve got in Beantown.

Check out the pictures below!

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“So, I made an executive decision to buy more cans, stress the shit out of [Director of Brewing Operations] Jimmy [Valm], and make it all year long.”

#FlagshipFebruary

While we love our millennials, we know that they get saddled with the slow demise of everything every previous generation ever held dear.

Chain restaurants. Home ownership. Cereal. Golf. Motorcycles. Yogurt. Soap. Diamonds. Fabric Softener. Banks. Tuxedos. Department stores. Designer handbags. Gyms. Lowes. Football. Oil. And freakin’ napkins.

While some of those things deserve to die — screw you, yogurt! –, it appears that millennials are now being slapped with killing the flagship beer. And we don’t think that’s fair.

“A lot of beer drinkers have developed a sort of ADD with respect to the beers they drink, so going for a glass of beer at the bar or pub becomes less a pleasant distraction and more a relentless search for what’s new and exciting. In this mad rush towards the unusual and unknown, we tend to forget the great, familiar and still-wonderful beers that guided us all along the path to the craft beer renaissance,” says beer journalist Stephen Beaumont in an article at Forbes.

So, Beaumont decided to bring back the flagship. He’s launching a campaign called #FlagshipFebruary to remind everyone — millennials included — just how awesome our tried-and-true stalwarts are, and we’re definitely jumping on board.

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"The key to any small craft brewery is innovation and new beers." -- Ryan

Ryan on Cavuto: Coast to Coast

Did you catch it?

Our fearless CEO sat down with Neil Cavuto on Fox News on Saturday morning to discuss how the shutdown is affecting your favorite craft brewers.

Breweries have to submit labels and keg collars to the TTB — the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury — for approval before they’re allowed to send them out into the world.

The Department of the Treasury was part of the government shutdown, and, as such, we could still submit labels, but they just sat there in Washington until they could get approved. There had previously been about a two-week turnaround, and, now that the government is reopened, there’s a 48-day backup at the TTB, so things that we submit now won’t even be glanced at until March.

When it comes down to it, we realize that this is a minor annoyance when compared to 800,000 people not receiving their paychecks. Luckily, we have enough approved beers in our portfolio that we could continue to produce, but we did have to make a few alterations to our plans.

Nonetheless, take a listen to what Ryan had to say.

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At its core, extreme brewing is the pursuit of exceptionally creative ales and lagers via unexpected or innovative ingredients, techniques, and methods.

Extreme Beer Fest

Exxxxtreeeeeeme!

We’re not sure when everyone started using the word “extreme” to describe everything, but it had to be sometime after 1990 when Vanilla Ice told us that he’ll “glow to the extreme, rock the mic like a vandal.”

Either way, they were all wrong, including poor Mr. Ice. There’s only one thing that can be properly classified as “extreme”, and that’s BeerAdvocate’s Extreme Beer Fest, February 1st and 2nd in Boston.

We’ve done some pretty major festivals — the Great American Beer Festival, SAVOR, Sour Wild Funk Fest — and we’re thrilled to add this one to our list.

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“I appreciate what they are trying to do with tariffs,” he said in the article. “But it definitely has unintended consequences for small businesses like ours.”

Varney & Co.

From the ICYMI files….

(…that’s In Case You Missed It for the uninitiated….)

…Ryan was on Varney & Co. on the Fox Business Network, discussing President Trump’s proposed tariffs on aluminum imports!

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You’ll be able to get The Bog at your local liquor store!

Cape Beverage

We work in a highly regulated industry. We’re the only industry that has, not one, but two Constitutional amendments — and amending the Constitution is hard. You need a two-thirds majority in Congress, and that never happens.

One of the peccadillos of this business is what we call the three-tier system: producers, distributors, and retailers. The lines between those tiers frequently get a little blurred and they vary from state to state. For example, we routinely sell our product from the Brewtique as a retail product, and we’ve been successfully self-distributing since we opened our doors.

The one thing all of the states agree upon — because of that pesky Commerce Clause in the Constitution, the federal government makes us agree — is that producers cannot cross state lines with their product. For that, we need a distributor — which is why we contract through Origlio Beverage in Pennsylvania. They come to Cape May with several empty trucks and fill them up to the brim.

If you’re familiar with The Bog — and, if you’re a fan of CMBC, you’re definitely familiar with The Bog — you’re probably aware of the trials and tribulations we’ve experienced in canning it. In order to really make it shelf-stable, it needs to be pasteurized, and that’s not something we can do in Cape May.

But. There are breweries out there that are able to pasteurize it. Unfortunately, none of them are in New Jersey.

So, we could brew The Bog here and install a gigantic pasteurizer that would take up half the brewery and have no room for anything else.

Or we can contract brew The Bog through someone with the ability to pasteurize, but we’d still have to pay a distributor to bring it back home.

Or.

We could simply open our own distributorship and do it ourselves.

So, that’s what we’re doing.

Enter Cape Beverage.

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This will, in all likelihood, be the very last time anyone will have the chance to drink The Topsail....

Rhinegeist Rare Beer Fest

It’s nice when our reputation precedes us.

Rhinegeist’s Rare Beer Fest is invite-only, so, when Events Coordinator Randi Friel got wind of the festival, she shot them an email to find out more.

“Once I shot them the email,” she says, “another person at Rhinegeist got back to me immediately, saying that they’d heard of us and would love for us to come.”

So, this weekend, Sales Manager Mike Laferrera and Distribution Manager Justin Vitti are packing up some Coastal Evacuation with Brett and BeerConnoisseur’s Best Beer of 2017, The Topsail, and heading to Cincinnati!

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Definitely a hop I'll bring in to play around with on a future batch.

Hops Selection 2018

Each year, the major hops producers in the Pacific Northwest extend an invitation to some of the more prominent breweries to select their source of hops for the next production year. It’s an honor to be asked, and those of us who venture out west get their choice of crops, while others gets the commercial blends that they end up producing.

Last week, Ryan and Head Brewer Brian Hink visited three of the largest producers of hops in the world.

“It was a really good year this year,” Ryan says. “Everything we saw this year was really nice. The Azacca was really nice this year, and the Centennial was great. All of it. It was a good week. It’s such a great experience being out there. We’re really fortunate to be invited.”

We got together with Brian for a little Q&A. While they were there, we sent along photographer Conner Allen who got some seriously killer pics. Check ‘em out!

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Their brews are completely unique and inventive, utterly delicious, and really just spoke to everything I love about craft beer.

Great Notion

As far as CMBC is concerned, 2018 will go down as the Year of the Collaboration.

So far this year, we’ve had Referend, DC Brau, Carton, Left Hand, and, believe it or not, we’ve got a few more up our sleeve before the year is out.

While they were traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest, faithfully choosing the crops of hops we’ll be using over the next year, they had the chance to stop by Great Notion in Portland, Oregon, to devise yet another collaboration beer to add to our quickly-growing portfolio.

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