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Cape May has been home to the US Coast Guard’s only Training Center since 1982. Each and every “Coastie” calls Cape May home for their eight-week training period, becoming part of our community and becoming some of our best customers.
To honor them, we brewed Always Ready Pale Ale and continually support them and their endeavors.
“We need to gather as a community to make sure those that put their lives on the line for us still have food on the table and a place to lay their head.”
There’s something wrong when the government can’t get it together enough to pay the men and women charged with keeping our shores safe.
Yet, that’s the reality for some 508 servicepeople in the US Coast Guard, stationed right here in Cape May, with another 299 up the Parkway in Atlantic City. They’re out on the high seas, saving lives and intercepting drugs, with no pay.
Not only do our beloved Coasties save lives each and every day, but they’re some of our best customers. As home to the nation’s only Coast Guard Training Center, each and every Coast Guard recruit spends eight weeks in our fair city, usually visiting our Tasting Room at least once.
If our government can’t get it together to help them out, we’ll do it ourselves.
So, this past weekend, to Be a Good Neighbor, we held a Shutdown Donation Day to raise some much-needed funds and collect some food and supplies for the Coasties who have given us so much.
When we brew a beer, we never really know what people are going to think of it. We know we like it — we brew beer that we want to drink. But how will the rest of the world receive it? That’s always the question, and we’ll never really get an answer on that until we’ve committed to brewing a batch and sending it out into the world.
Thankfully, we’ve been pretty lucky in that regard. We’ll brew a batch of beer and people like it.
However, every so often, we’ll have a hit on our hands — but they’re rare. Like a blue diamond. Or a white peacock.
And when we have a hit on our hands, we know it’s time to ride the wave. Extend the run. Press more albums. Make sure as many people as possible have the chance to experience our beer.
While the Coast Guard may be Always Ready, the story is a little different when it comes to brewing beer. We have tons of experience and know-how, we have years of schooling and practical experience, but we’re no longer homebrewers, brewing beer for us and a close group of friends.
We’re brewing it for you: a wide-ranging group of friends. And in order to stay ahead of the game, in order to remain innovative and original, we value your feedback.
That’s where our R.A.D. series comes in: it gives us a chance to take a step back and hear what our fans think.
So, it’s slightly ironic that the first beer to come out of this process is called “Always Ready.” Because it wasn’t.
There are lots of reasons people come to Cape May: the beaches, the restaurants, the arts and culture, the nightlife. But 4,000 of our visitors each year make Cape May their home for eight weeks — adopting our town as their own as they endure their basic training period at the Coast Guard Training Center.
Since 1982, Cape May has been home to the Coast Guard’s only Training Center. Each and every active-duty Coast Guardsman who toils to keep our shores safe has spent time in our shore town.
We’re the Coast Guard’s Hometown, and we wear that title proudly. It’s only fitting that, on February 8th, Cape May Brewing Co. honors that status the best way we know how: with a beer brewed in their honor.
CMBC co-owner Bob Krill – better known as Mopman — has made over 500 of our wooden tap handles. The originals were shaped like the state of New Jersey, and then came the square peg versions. But Bob’s done custom ones, too — for a watermelon wheat beer, for instance,
he once painted a Jersey-shaped handle to look like an actual watermelon, complete with seeds.
“Between my pharmaceutical consulting work, I do the odd jobs at the brewery,” says Bob. “I fill in the gaps, and I enjoy the more artsy stuff. Of course, these tap handles are a pain in the ass. We’re ordering professionally made ones, because otherwise doing this would be a full-time job!”
But Mopman is outdoing himself — PITA work or not. We’re talking about the special USCG handles he’s crafting for use at the US Coast Guard Harbor View All Hands Club. For the lay reader, that’s a really long name for the on-base bar at Training Center Cape May, where 4,000 military hopefuls come for boot camp each year. Here is where 83 percent of the Coast Guard’s entire workforce have endured eight workouts a day, every day, for eight weeks.
It’s fitting, then, that the process for making the Coast Guard tap handles would be no walk in the park. The tedious process includes cutting out wooden New Jerseys before sanding them, priming them and painting them the colors of the Coast Guard cutter racing stripe, red and white. Then Bob will put the hardware on, making sure it’s flush with the wood. In this case, that hardware is a blue Coast Guard medallion.
The finished product will be coming at a celebratory time for the base. The weekend of May 8 through 10 will be a festival commemorating Cape May’s official designation as a “Coast Guard community.” Reads a press release about the honor: “This reflects the deep and enduring nature of the relationships that the region’s residents share with Coast Guard personnel, families, and visitors.” Highlights will include a military parade and flyover, concerts, ship tours, and interactive marine exhibits.
At an on-base barbeque on Saturday, CMBC will be pouring, so we hope to see you there. In the meantime, check out Bob’s tap handles for sale in our tasting room… sir, yes, sir!
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