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The Official Blog of Cape May Brewing Company

Pretty In Pink: Watermelon Wheat Beer Coming Soon

Nothing says summer like a watermelon beer.

Okay, that’s not true. Nothing says summer like a good watermelon beer. There are so many out there that don’t taste like the real, sun-waterripened, fresh-off-the-vine thing, but rather, like the processed, watermelon-flavored hard candies/water ices/jelly beans that can only imitate the real thing.

So, for the making of our own watermelon wheat beer, we brought in over 100 real melons and spent four hours slicing and dicing them into two, two-barrel stainless steel tanks. Then we liquefied it, and added the fruit to a 60% pilsner/40% wheat malt concotion with a neutral house yeast strain.

We know what you’re thinking: that base doesn’t sound very interesting. But that’s precisely the point. The more simple the beer, the more the watermelon flavor can shine. Since our star ingredient is such a delicate thing, we don’t want to overpower it. This is one of those cases where less is indeed more.

While the final product does have that great biscuity taste (and great head retention) lent by the wheat, the main flavor really is the watermelon, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

The beer will premiere at Brews by the Bay on August 29. Just one more reason to purchase those tickets… summer ain’t over yet.

Coffee Stout Is Out

There are those who can’t function without a morning cup – er, pint – of joe.

Luckily for them, our popular Coffee Stout, brewed with Avalon Coffee’s house blend, is back on draft (and on nitro!). Full and roasty, rich and toasty, the 4.6% ABV beer has a heavy body, a massive grain bill, bright acidic notes, chocolate undertones and, perhaps most importantly, it really does taste like coffee.

We mash the brew at a really high temperature – about 158 degrees as opposed to the more typical 150-152 degree range – which creates unfermentable sugars. The result is a super high gravity, which is a technical way of saying the beer is hella hearty.

It’s a daily grind making good beer (see what we did there?), but when it all comes together like this, it’s all worth it.

Sip for yourself at our tasting room, open from noon everyday.



#YOPO Goes Viral — Here’s (Some) Of What’s Being Said

The story of our #YOPO (You Only Pope Once) beer is spreading like gossip at a sorority party. Outlets from Philly to Chicago to Washington to Hawaii to New Zealand want a piece of this papal news, so we’ve curated a list of media soundbites for your reading pleasure. Which have been divinely inspired? See for yourself…

“Hey, maybe the Holy Father will even swap #YOPO in during the Eucharist. Well, if I can’t be there for that, well, then FOMO.” –David Greene, NPR

“Even breweries are getting in on the papal visit. The Cape May Brewing Company, in the seaside town of Cape May, N.J., has created a pale ale to mark the occasion.”–The New York Times

“Argentinians like their beef rare — as rare as a papal visit to the City of Brotherly Love. Few beers are as satisfying with a fresh, juicy, simply grilled steak than a hoppy pale ale. The peppery, piney and citrusy hops are all the seasoning you need to complement the beef’s meaty flavor and its salt-and-pepper crust.” –Evan Benn, Miami Herald food editor, Esquire beer columnist
 “Is it blasphemous or genius or somewhere in between?” --People magazine

“Get it while you can… unless you’re the kind of person who’s willing to wait for a ‘second coming.’” –Food and Wine

“You know how people sometimes  see the image Jesus in a slice of toast or the Virgin Mary on a dog biscuit? Well, around these parts, people will be seeing Pope Francis in the golden glow of a glass of beer.” –Philadelphia Business Journal

“It’s called YOPO. That stands for ‘You Only Pope Once.’ Ask a youth if you still don’t get it.” –Washington Post

“This isn’t even remotely local, but it’s awesome.” –Albuquerque Business Journal

“The idea that they sat in their offices and decided to call their pope inspired brew ‘YOPO’ meaning ‘You Only Pope Once’ and claiming the brew has an ‘unholy amount of hops’ is so white that I have decided that not only are these guys the whitest guys on the planet but I will try everything in my power to get the Pope to take a sip of the YOPO brew, if it’s the last thing I do.” –Barstoolsports.com

“It could be a jocular pontifical greeting: Yo, Po (pe)!… It’s eminently quaffable to match the affable Pontiff!” –examiner.com

“For most Americans and most Pennsylvanians, the trending Twitter phrase “YOPO” – You Only Pope Once – will hold true. Pope Francis’ visit to the Philadelphia marks a once in a lifetime occasion for most residents.” –topix.com

“Dubbed as ‘the people’s Pope,’ Pope Francis goes about his life just like everyone else. He rides the bus on occasion, he pays for his own hotel room, he is just like you and I… Clearly, the sign in America that you are beloved and cherished is a beer inspired after you!” –AOL.com

“В США выпустят ограниченную партию пива в честь Папы Франциска. Об этом сообщила компания Cape May Brewing. Пивовары решили назвать напиток YOPO, что является аббревиатурой фразы You Only Pope Once (Папой бываешь только раз).” –Russia’s gaudete.ru (rejoice.ru)

 “Pope Beer! Amen!” – Cat Country 107.3

“If you really want to cash in on Popemania and get Philadelphia-area residents excited about the pontiff’s visit, what do you do? Give. Them. Beer.” –Newsworks

 “I’m pretty sure Yopo is also a hallucinogenic seed found in Central America.” –Trivia-happy commenter on Reddit.

Donavon Frankenreiter Calls Cape May Beer “Amazing”

Credit: Aleksey Moryakov
Photo credits: Aleksey Moryakov

When bluesy, folksy rock singer Donavan Frankenreiter comes on your Pandora station, you picture him playing acoustic guitar barefoot. Between surf sessions. On a white sand beach in front of glassy waves that peel and feather in the background. He is, after all, a professional surfer sponsored by Billabong.

Well, Tuesday night, the Hawaii-based crooner put on some shoes and hit the stage of Cabanas, a Cape May bar and CMBC’s very first client. Afterward, he fell in love with the Cape May Blonde ale we’ve got on tap there.

Many were surprised when advertisements for the show started popping up on banner planes over the beach. This is a recording artist who’s shared stages with the likes of Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson and Ben Harper, after all. A singer-songwriter who’s landed on Australia’s Top 40 charts. A guy who’s responsible for the AAA radio hit “Free.” And someone who regularly performs around the world for a payday of between $40,000 and $75,000, according to Celebrity Talent International.

Unless, of course, he’s performing for charity.

This was the case with the Cabanas show. Proceeds from ticket sales – admission cost $35 per person – benefitted The DeSatnick donald2Foundation, a nonprofit that supports local victims of spinal cord injuries, many of which are surf-related.

DF had the crowd grooving with a mix of tunes old and new, and lyrics – “Pass me a drink or maybe two,” and “We’ll dance like no one is
watching” — that seemed to caption the night.

Around midnight, the famously mustachioed artist headed to the upstairs bar at Room 429 where, while meeting and greeting his fans, he sipped on a Cape May Blonde.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s refreshing and amazing.”

Kind of like Donovan Franenreiter’s music, if you ask us.

As for when the musician will come back to Cape May — for that, I guess we’ll just have to wait until the trade winds blow…

The Best #YOPO Tweets So Far

The story of our #YOPO (You Only Pope Once) beer has gone viral. Outlets from Philly to Chicago to Washington to Hawaii to New Zealand want a piece of this papal news so, of course, the Twittersphere has picked up the buzz. Here are the #YOPO tweets that have made us chuckle so far, and we’ll keep the list updated…



CMBC Is Official Craft Beer Sponsor Of The Mid-Atlantic $500,000

The 100-year-old Cape May Harbor has been many things. A safe haven for mariners in distress. A hiding spot for rum runners during Prohibition. And a major base for Naval operations during World War II. But one of the coolest things to go down here is set to happen next week… and CMBC is the official craft beer sponsor.

We’re talking about South Jersey Marina’s 24th Annual Mid-Atlantic $500,000 tournament. The pride and joy, in many ways, of the entire New Jersey fishing industry, it’s an event that pumps $4 million into the local economy over the course of one week.

Preparations are almost complete for the 24th Annual Mid-Atlantic $500,000. Photo courtesy Exit Zero magazine.
Preparations are almost complete for the 24th Annual Mid-Atlantic $500,000. Photo courtesy Exit Zero magazine.

“Boat for boat, it’s the richest marlin and tuna tournament in the world,” says the marina’s Marketing Director Mark Allen. The prize money is $2.5 million, $500,000 of which is kicked in by the marina itself. If you score big by, say, catching the biggest white marlin, you’ll walk with “upwards of $800,000 or $900,000.” Last year, the tournament saw 21 cash winners, seven of whom walked with six-figure payouts. The big rewards make sense, considering how exclusive it is to compete — think $2,500 entry fee to start.

And it’s worth it just for the party that takes place Friday, August 21.

“We spend $45,000 on booze,” Mark says. This year, that booze includes craft beer from yours truly.

The  celebration takes place beside the water, lit by the soft bulbs of 60-foot yachts in port, underneath a 20,000-square-foot tent worth about $35,000. There’s food (picture a buffet line manned by 30), music (we have it on good authority that Jimmy Buffet offered to play one year), and about 150 vendors (shop for jewelry and shoes, in addition to fishing gear).

“It’s not just a fishing competition,” Mark says. “People can bring their wives and their kids without worrying.” Fishermen may have a reputation for getting a little rowdy elsewhere, but at the Mid-Atlantic “no one is dropping their drawers or doing anything obscene.”

Visit themidatlantic.com for the event schedule.

Best of luck to all participants… we’ll see you under the tent.

Pope Prep

To commemorate Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia this September, we’re releasing a beer called #YOPO, or ‘You Only Pope Once.’ emoji

We played around with the idea of a beer made with Argentinian hops, in order to pay homage to the pontiff’s home country. Here’s the email our Prez Ryan sent to several Argentinian breweries:

Hola, Mi nombre es Ryan y yo ejecutar una cervecería (capemaybrewery.com) en los EE.UU.. Quiero hacer una cerveza con lúpulo argentinos, pero no puedo encontrar ninguna para comprar. ¿Sabes dónde puedo comprar saltos argentinos o podemos comprar una pequeña cantidad de usted? Necesito unos 5 kilos.

We also considered incorporating other unusual ingredients, like yerba mate, a caffeinated beverage made from the flora of South American rainforests and a favorite drink of Pope Franics.

But, alas, it’s not easy getting foreign hops through customs. And exotic rainforest teas aren’t  the most practical, either.

canonization_2014-_the_canonization_of_saint_john_xxiii_and_saint_john_paul_ii_14036966125So we settled on something even better: a pale ale containing an unholy amount of hops – about three pounds per barrel. This amounts to nine varieties, including several – like Simcoe and Citra — which were named “winners” in a recent report from the Brewers Association for being types most lusted after by craft beer makers.

“The final product pairs great with a nice cut of Argentinean beef,” says CMBC sales rep Justin. (Heh.)

#YOPO will be available at our tasting room beginning Monday, September 21, and in accounts throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey mid-September.

“We’re always looking for ways to push the envelope,” Ryan says. “At the same time, it’s never a gimmick we’re after. #YOPO will get a laugh from pop culture enthusiasts, sure, but it’s also a tasty and layered beer in its own right.”

We can’t wait for you to try a heavenly pint.

In the meantime, follow CMBC’s social media channels to check out the Pope, er, the Flat Pope, as he comes on the beer journey with us.

First up: kegging!


On Location

Gary Monterosso — one of the nation’s leading beer authorities — recently filmed an episode of his simulcast program What’s On Tap at CMBC.

Watch it for the education (learn what malted barley actually means!), to hear about the trajectory of CMBC (like when our bottles will be back in action!), and  for the hunky eye candy (just seeing if you’re paying attention…).

Grab some popcorn and click here.

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Fair Enough

We love organizations who make the world better, and when they do it with beer, even better.

That’s why we’re excited to tell our Philly-based fans about the goings on at Oyster House on Samson Street. From August 17 until August 22logo — when our beer is on tap — the restaurant will host a local seafood week during which time customers can sample the offerings of six sustainable Jersey shellfish growers, most from Cape May.

Here’s the kicker: 50 percent of proceeds from food and drink sales will benefit Fair Food, an association that advocates for family farms and promotes an humane agriculture system for the Philadelphia region.

For those of you who can’t get to the city, you can always grab a growler from our tasting room to pair with shellfish at home. CMBC’s Chief Operating Officer Chris “Hank” Henke recommends pairing something light, refreshing and “extra thirst-quenching” — like the Tower 23 Berliner Weisse — with a briny catch from the bay.

Happy shucking!


Cape May Brew Co On The Move

In this week’s installment of Brewery Swag In Cool Places, we bring you Timmy Durst, who wore a Cape May Brew Co hat to the Phillies game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Bark on July 22. The Phitin’ Phils took the Rays 5-4 in the 10th, when David Herrera singled to left center, and Domonic Brown scored for the win. Now that’s worth a beer.


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