Our new 15,000 square-foot space at Cape May Airport has received a lot of attention. After all, it houses our gleaming, 30-barrel brewhouse. But this doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about our original location — the one that houses our tasting room — at the airport. In fact, we’re nearly finished renovating this tasting room’s outdoor beer garden (it will be open Friday at 5!) to make sipping al fresco even more enjoyable.
Special thanks to Chris Archbold of Cape Concrete Designs for the cool stamped concrete flooring, which has been given the look, texture, and warm feel of wood thanks to the imprints of large rubber mats. The technique can also be used to mimic slate, brick, or any natural texture.
“As soon as [CMBC President] Ryan came to me with the idea, I knew exactly which stamp to use,” he says. “There’s not a lot of places this would go well, but it works at the brewery because their interior is wood-based, with a bar made from large planks of cedar.”
Chris and his crew have earned a few cold ones in the new space.
“Its the Cape May IPA we like after a hard day on the job,” he says. “It’s just so smooth.”
See the transformation below, then come see it in person…
Cape May Brew Co fans love to travel, and we want to see just how much. Send a pic to [email protected] of yourself (or anyone else you spot) wearing CMBC swag in a faraway city, state or country, and we’ll post it here for all the world to see. Kicking us off is Teresa Christopher, mom of our guy Chris, sporting a CMBC sweatshirt in Iceland. Here’s a fun (or, maybe, not-so-fun) fact: beer was banned there from 1915 until 1989. Happy travels!
It’s Christmas in July! Or it will be on July 25, when the tasting room transforms into the North Pole (if the North Pole offered great beer.) To get you in the spirit, some of CMBC’s elves have shared their most magical Christmas memories. Or, at least, their Christmas memories…
Ryan Krill, president: My family stood me up at church on Christmas Eve when I was in college. I got there early and reserved one of the front rows. The place was packed and there were people standing everywhere. My parents, who were supposed to meet me there, were at a party before and decided to stay and not tell me. That was the last time I went to church.
Alicia Grasso, marketing guru: I used to take horseback riding lessons at a farm in Clermont, and after every lesson, I would climb to the top of the hayloft and snuggle with a little black kitten who would eagerly await my weekly arrival. We became pals and when winter set in, I stopped taking lessons and always hoped the kitten was warm and safe. On Christmas morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn and went downstairs to see if Santa had arrived, when I heard a rustle in the tree. To my surprise, sprawled out across a long Blue Spruce limb was the little black kitten. Santa brought me a pet and a pal who for years used to climb the steps of my bunkbed and sleep next to me in my little loft.
Courtney Rosenberg, aka CSR, graphic designer/social media superstar: My family has always ordered Chinese food on Christmas Eve. We invite my grandmother over and we order lots of yummy food and pig out. It helps to take the stress out of the holiday.
Jim Zolna, tasting room associate: I found out the truth about Santa after my brother told me Santa went down over the South Pacific. I freaked out, and then my dad told me the truth…
Dan Patela, tasting room associate: When I was a little kid, Christmas was all about presents. Not church, not family, not giving. I was
a real brat. Every year, my siblings and I would wake up at the break of dawn to wake up my parents. Their response was always the same. They’d tell us to come back in a couple of hours. So we would just sit on the couch staring at the spoils Santa had brought for like two hours, in utter agony.
Mark Gartland, tour guide: This shows how old I am… but I’ll never forget Christmas 1968. I was 12 and sick with an awful case of the flu, in bed most of the day for several days in a row. But at the same time Apollo 8 was taking humans around the moon for the first time. The moon landing would come in July of 1969 with Apollo 11, but Apollo 8 flew to the moon and back, showing us pictures of the earth from further away than we had ever seen before. It seemed like magic to me, just totally amazing. And I watched this with with grandfather, who had been in his teenage years while the Wright brothers made the first airplane flight. It left me wondering what wondrous changes I might experience in my lifetime, and the excitement of that event far outweighed any of the presents I was to receive.
Ashley Sundstrom, Operations Manager: My family and I are huge Disney Fans so for Christmas if we can, we usually travel to Walt Disney World and spend the holiday in the Happiest Place on Earth. To keep a little bit of Cape May with us though we always eat Christmas Dinner at The Cape May Cafe at the Beach and Yacht Club Resort.
Courtney Gingrich, tasting room associate: My brother, Skylar, and I would wake up WAY before my parents and sneak downstairs to see what the big jolly man brought us. We were allowed to open the stockings together and then go back to bed to wait for Meemaw to come watch us open our gifts. Not embarrassed to say this happened this way until very recently. Ho, ho, ho!
Diane Stopyra, writing guru: One year, no one in my family felt like decorating. Convinced it wouldn’t be Christmas without decorations, I sat a big, Gumby-like Santa on top of a lamp in the living room. Santa’s ass went up in flames in the middle of Christmas dinner. That was 23 years ago. My father, a firefighter, is still embarrassed.
Susan Gibson, greeter: We always decorated the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.
Jeff Zagiel, greeter/tour guide and Kim Zagiel, sanitation superstar: This Christmas, we were in the Florida Keys. We spent Christmas Eve at a tiki bar and Santa pulled up on a fire engine. Then we spent Christmas on the beach. It was the best!
Brian Hink, Lead Brewer: We all have a million Christmas memories, mostly great, some bad, some funny, but as a brewer I figured I had to share a brewing story! Couple years back, probably 2011ish, I made a Christmas Beer, real typical spiced holiday beer — darkish amber, light to medium bodied, but it was spiced pretty heavily, a bunch of cinnamon sticks, some cloves, a bunch of honey, handful of other spices. It came out perfectly to style, my brothers loved it, friends recommended I make it again. I hated it. I absolutely could not stand it, and to this day stands to be the only batch I felt I failed miserably at. There’s been a couple batches that didn’t come out as expected, but this was the only dumper. Except I didn’t dump it; luckily my brothers willingly took the whole batch off my hands.
Heather Mangano, tasting room manager: When my sister and I were little, our older brother woke us up early on Christmas morning and said he’d left the video camera on all night and that we should watch it. Turns out he got Santa on camera! Found out later that he actually rented a costume and acted out the whole thing- or did he?!
We’re getting stoked for City to Shore, the mammoth biking fundraiser sponsored by the National MS Society. Until the October event, we’ll be profiling members of the Cape May Brew Co cycling team, to find out what inspires them. Hopefully, this will encourage others to join their ranks. (Hint, hint.)
Name: Brian Gillan
Hometown: Somers Point, New Jersey
Occupation: I am a fire protection engineer.
Number of years on the Cape May Brew Co Team: Three.
Why I ride: A cousin of mine has MS, so I’ve seen first-hand what it can do, and I don’t think this disease gets the attention it deserves. The ride also provides motivation for staying in shape.
Why I ride on the CMBC team: It’s a great group of people. And the after-party is always a fun time.
What my go-to brew after a long training ride is: The Cape May IPA.
What my training looks like: I try to ride four or five days a week, about 20 miles a pop.
Fundraising Goal: $400.
What I’ll feel like at the finish: It can be pretty humbling. Crossing the finish line helps keep you from taking simple things – like going for a bike ride – for granted. You also feel tired and dirty, excited for a nap and shower.
What I need people to know: This is worth putting the time in for.
Prior to the 16th century, all beers were ales. And what a vanilla world it was.
But then some crafty Bavarians invented lager, a more “clean”-tasting beer fermented at cooler temperatures (about 50 degrees as opposed to 65ish), and made with top-fermenting, as opposed to bottom-fermenting, yeast strains. Medieval peeps rejoiced.
Except for some.
Some people — we’ll call them medieval hipsters — bucked the trend. They grew nostalgic for the old way and, therefore, brought back an ancient brown-ale brew they called Alt, meaning “old” in German.
Now, you can try the beer at CMBC.
Our iteration is smooth, rich, and clean, a flavor profile that will speak to Yuengling fans. Not yeasty, not too hoppy — this is one well-balanced beverage. ABV is 5.1%.
Cape May Brewery held a trivia event/tap takeover/staff bonding event at Wildwood’s Flow Rider last week. For the uninitiated, Flow Rider is a simulated wave for surfing, so it requires a bit more skill than your typical amusement park ride. Let’s just say there were some sensational spills. Crummy cut-backs. Abysmal bailouts. Bummer bottom turns…
You get the idea.
Nevertheless, we like to think we took the drop with courage. And we’ve got the bruises to prove it…
According to an expert evaluation conducted by CMBC graphic desinger Courntey Rosenberg, Hank’s nephew Riley had probably the craziest wipeout, while Ryan’s girlfriend Kaysi took several. But amongst our staff, it was probably tasting room associate Chuck Wray who was sucked into the wave’s gaping maw in the most spectacular fashion…
“I think the Cape May Blonde tastes the best after an epic wipeout,” says Chuck.
Watch the slow-mo footage here:
And see further proof of our team’s, uh, resilience below:
Hear the news yet? We acquired our 200th New Jersey account, bringing the total number of CMBC clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania up to 361.
“It’s very cool,” says President Ryan Krill. “Especially because we’re doing everything from start to finish, from accounting to distribution to trouble-shooting draft lines. We’re not working with a wholesaler.”
So… who is the newest member of the CMBC family? It’s The Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway, about 10 miles from the Atlantic City Boardwalk. It’s a beautiful, 300-room property that was built in 1914 and sits on 670 acres at the edge of the popular fishing spot called Reed’s Bay. And man, it’s swanky. Think tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, jogging trails, a spa, and two golf courses that have hosted PGA and LPGA tournaments. Now, those pros can reward themselves for a good day on the links with a pint of Coastal Evacuation, Bog, or Sophisticated Lady.
Says General Manager Andrew Stegen: “We really like the story behind CMBC. It’s nice to be able to support the success of young entrepreneurs especially when their brand and product are so great. We love that they are local, that they recycle their grains to local farms and they have great tasting beer. Our F&B Manager, Sabrina Morris, has toured a few other breweries in NJ and was really impressed with the staff, the tap room, the tour and of course the great beer!”
In 2010, Stockton University purchased the resort. President Dr. Saatkamp “envisioned owning this magnificent facility… and allowing Stockton to advance the educational mission…”
In other words: the place is still a rocking hotel and golf club, but it’s also the place where hospitality and tourism students can hone their skills. And it makes for some killer off-campus housing too.
Our freshmen-year selves — who sweated it out in 10-by-12, non-air conditioned dorms with ripped John Belushi posters on the wall — are jealous.
Because we’ve hit our 200th New Jersey account, we’re celebrating by offering free shipping on orders of $200 or more from our online store.
How ’bout them apples?
Actually, how ’bout them hats? We just got them in…
And we’re carrying new koolies, too. By the way, there are approximately seven billion different words for koozie, including “stubby holder,” “beer huggie,” “coldy-holdy,” and — for the less inventive — “insulated can holder.” Oh, the things you learn on the internet…
Last week, we hit a milestone by acquiring our 200th New Jersey account: The Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway. So we caught up with our sales team: Justin Vitti, a CrossFit-loving solver of Rubik Cube algorithms, and Richie Rallo, a vegan Jersey boy who says “rad” a lot (but not in this interview, strangely). Here’s what the guys had to say about number 200:
So, which one of you nabbed the 200th account?
Richie: Technically me. But it was a team effort. There’s no ‘I’ in team.
Justin: But there is a ‘me.’
Are you guys competitive with each other?
Richie: Not at all.
Justin: We work well together.
Oh, c’mon. Not even a little competitive?
Richie: If I could grow a mustache, we’d be competitive.
… But you have a mustache.
Richie: Yea, unless you take a few steps back, and then you can’t even see it. Pisses me off, too, because my father has a dope mustache.
How will you celebrate the 200th?
Richie: Maybe a round of golf at the Stockton Seaview Resort. Nah, I don’t think they’d let us riffraff on the course there.
What’s the dream account?
Justin: I have dream accounts in Philly. They’ve got some of the best beer bars in the country. We’re already in many of the institutions, like Standard Tap, Johnny Brenda’s and The Grey Lodge Pub, and there’s more I’m working on.
What’s the best part of your job?
Justin: Reporters asking me what the best part of my job is. Also, every day is different. You have a routine you follow but you’re always
getting thrown new things. Beer is always changing and people’s tastes are always changing.
Richie: I like walking into a place where we’re already on tap and seeing people drinking our beer and raving about it.
Does beer taste better when you’ve sold it?
Richie: Yea, you could say that. Some people think it’s funny and some people thinks it’s arrogant that I always order Cape May beer, but I was doing that before I worked here.
What’s the best part of working together?
J: We’re two different personalities, but we complement one another. I struggle a lot with the hard sale, and Richie’s got it.
R: We zig and zag together.
What’s the most annoying thing about working together?
J: Richie’s a vegan.
R: Justin eats a lot of meat.
J: Yes. I’m Paleo 100 percent, 70 percent of the time.
Any reason you’re especially excited the 200th account is the Stockton Resort?
R: That was one that took a lot of paperwork. The conversation has been going on a while; the email thread goes back to January. There was a change in management, and then they got busy – an LPGA tournament came through, then it was the Fourth of July, so it’s nice to see it come to fruition.
What’s the goal moving forward?
R: I see Delaware as the next milestone, aside from self-distributing throughout the entire state of Jersey.
J: North Jersey is next. Right now, we distribute up to the border of Burlington County. Logistically speaking, Delaware, too. We’re on the ferry so we have that relationship already. The other angle would be New York.
For a brewery this size, is it typical to have only two guys covering the territory you’re covering?
J: We do more work than some of your typical brewery reps would do, because we don’t go through a wholesaler.
R: Other reps don’t take orders like we do, for example. That’s all done through distributors.
Does that make you feel… stressed? Proud? Sexy?
R: It helps us control everything, from quality to delivery to customer service.
And what sets your customer service apart?
J: I really care about the product. I’ve been a supporter of this brand since before I worked here. The beer can stand up to some of the most top-rated beers out there.
R: Aside from that, we’re both local guys. I have a second phone with brewery contacts, but I only need it for half of my accounts. Everyone else I had a relationship with prior.
Having driven all over the state for your job, what’s the most underrated thing about Jersey?
R: Diversity. Everyone thinks we have this hair gel, fist-pump, Snookie thing going on.
J: There’s a whole country western thing happening to the Northwest of us. And almost a Philadelphia mindset when you get to Camden and Gloucester County. Down here, I mean, we’re laid back beach people.
You know how CMBC leaders Ryan and Chris ditched their respective hamster wheels (one in real estate development, the other in engineering) to launch a brewery, even though it meant giving up stable jobs and steady paychecks? Escape the Cube, a digital series sponsored by AT&T that profiles people who transition from comfortable corporate jobs to “the excitement of entrepreneurial adventure,” stopped by the brewery on June 25 to chat with our guys. They’ll appear in a September-slated segment, which we’ll upload as soon as it’s ready.
In the meantime, here’s what Producer Jordan Berman had to say about the experience… and about “escaping the cube” in general…
How long were you there shooting/interviewing for the three-minute segment?
We arrived at the tasting room to set-up at 10am and spent almost an hour conducting the interview with Ryan and Chris. My crew then spent several hours capturing b-roll footage in the tasting room, brewery, and office…basically trying to make it look like Ryan and Chris were being productive : ) Our crew sampled some amazing beers when we wrapped close to 3pm. It was a great day and we captured amazing footage.
Any fun, behind-the-scenes anecdotes to share?
The first thing I learned, is that if you’re in the craft brewing business, you must have decent facial hair…unless you happen to be a woman! The Cape May brewers certainly prove that out. We had a lot of fun with Ryan and Chris getting to know their story and also learning about the actual brewing process. When I found out about Ryan’s role in the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild, I asked him when he’s running for Governor….but looks like he’s pretty much dedicated to making great beer. It was also awesome hanging with Bob, Ryan’s dad, after the shoot wrapped. He pointed out a picture of Ryan on the wall sipping his first beer at the age of two. So, Ryan clearly got an early start in the business!
What sets CMBC apart from other Escape the Cube subjects?
I think people will be drawn to the CMBC episode by two things. First, the very nature of what Ryan and Chris do is so fascinating and appealing to so many people: making amazing craft beer. Second, these 2 college buddies typify the core attribute of any successful business: great partners that truly complement each other. You really see the joy and passion in their faces when they talk about the beer and the business of making the beer in Cape May.
What makes it so tough for people to “escape the cube?”
I think the biggest thing is fear of the unknown. Yes, you need an idea you’re passionate about, people to help bring that idea to life, and the resources to get it off the ground to break away from the inertia of creating something new. However, most people don’t take that step of putting an escape plan into action because they fear failure and believe they need the comfort of knowing what’s around the corner, which you often do in a corporate job. In a sense, entrepreneurs are the MacGuyver’s of the business world in that they must solve problems as they come up, even if those problems are outside their core competence or expertise. So, it takes a leap of faith to believe you’ll be able to improvise when tested and that fast good can be slow great. Building a new business is an exercise in making mistakes and quickly re-calibrating to right the ship. Not everyone has the stomach lining to handle that kind of anxiety.
And finally, do you work in a cubicle, because that would be hilarious…
I most definitely do NOT work in a cubicle! I split time between my home office and an entrepreneurial co-working space in Princeton called TigerLabs that has an open floor plan. Plus, I can pretty much work wherever needed to serve OFC: Office Channel’s clients like AT&T, which is presenting the Escape The Cube series. As context, I escaped the cube four years ago when I left a senior marketing role at MTV to launch OFC where I wanted to engage the at-work audience with unique storytelling. It’s a little known fact that a majority of web video is watched during 9-5pm with peak viewing at 2pm. The YouTube break has essentially replaced the cigarette and coffee break. So, I built a team and set out to inspire those cubicle dwellers I left behind by bringing to life amazing stories like the one we captured with Ryan, Chris and the CMBC team.