CAPE MAY, N.J. — Cape May Brewing Company is pleased to announce a collaboration with another well-respected South Jersey brewery, Tonewood Brewing Company of Oaklyn, NJ. The two will cooperate on two upcoming beers, the first being a West Coast-style IPA called Two Versions of Me.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Tonewood,” says Cape May Brewing Company CEO Ryan Krill. “Everyone at Cape May Brewing Company has been impressed, not only with their meteoric growth over the past few years, but also with the quality of their liquid. When we discussed fellow New Jersey breweries with which we’d like to collaborate, Tonewood was at the top of everyone’s list.”
Currently undertaking an expansion that will double their brewing capacity, the staff at Tonewood was excited to collaborate with Cape May, as well.
“Everyone at Tonewood — and myself, as well — has great respect for the beer brewed by the team in Cape May,” says Eli Facchinei, Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Tonewood, “as well as what they’ve done for New Jersey’s craft beer scene, overall. They’ve got a lot of good people down there who care a lot about quality and consistency, so, to come together and brew a beer sounded like a great idea.”
Cape May Brewing Company’s Special Projects and Production Planning Manager Brian Hink has always been a fan of Tonewood, as well.
“For me personally, Eli [Facchinei] being a brewer first and foremost and the owner of the brewery on top of that, and I just love their approach to beer,” says Hink. “It’s beer first, everything else second.”
Collaborating in the time of COVID certainly adds an additional dimension to many normal things, the collaboration between Cape May and Tonewood is no exception.
“COVID definitely threw a giant wet blanket on the collaboration,” Hink says. “But it was still great designing a beer with Eli. It played out over a number of conference calls in the fall, with the plan to get Eli and some of his crew down here for a brew day, but by the time we started brewing it, the number of COVID cases in New Jersey had begun to spike like crazy, and, unfortunately, we had to cancel the plans to have them come hang out for brewing a batch.”
Two Versions of Me is Tonewood’s third collaboration, after a collaboration with 2SP Brewing Company in Aston, PA, as well as Friends Giving, a collaboration of five South Jersey and Philadelphia-area breweries including Cape May. The proceeds from Friends Giving are donated to charities focused on alleviating food insecurity in the area.
“It was cool to talk about a beer with people outside of our team and get some ideas,” Facchinei says. “Doing the Friends Giving collaboration with you guys was a lot of fun, too. But doing a beer with just the two breweries would allow us to really hone in on a beer for which we had a mutual appreciation.”
Packaged in four-packs of 16oz cans, the can dress was designed through a collaboration of both breweries’ design teams.
“I love it!” says Facchinei. “That was also another great thing in doing this collaboration — it was more than just collaborating on the beer; it was a great experience to have our design teams come together and come up with a cool look on the can. I think the final design reflects both of our brands really well.”
The folks at Cape May are particularly pleased with the design, as well.
“We love everything about this packaging,” says Cape May Brewing Company’s Marketing Director Alicia Grasso. “The name of the beer comes from a Phish song, and, for our purposes, references the fact that each of the two breweries is producing two separate collaboration beers. Our design team ran with that and knocked this one out of the park: reminiscent of 70s retro styling, the can dress is groovy and a little playful, but we’re certain that it will raise consumers’ interest about the liquid inside.”
And the liquid inside is an old-school West Coast-style IPA, clear, slightly bitter, and highly aromatic. Brewed with hyper-fresh and hand-selected Simcoe, Amarillo, and Chinook hops, Two Versions of Me is bursting with notes of pine, resin, and zesty grapefruit.
“I got my start as a brewer out west in Colorado,” says Facchinei, “brewing West Coast IPAs, and Brian [Hink] got his start as a homebrewer, brewing those crispy, hoppy, West Coast beers, so it’s a style that we both cut our teeth on at the beginning of our brewing careers.”
“It’s a classic throwback of an IPA,” says Hink. “Clean, crisp, crushable: definitely an IPA of yesteryear that you don’t find nearly enough these days.”
The second of the two collaboration beers — an as-yet-undetermined lager — is slated for a springtime release.
Two Versions of Me will be available in Cape May Brewing Company’s Tasting Room beginning Friday, January 22nd, with distribution throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania beginning the following Monday, January 25th.
For more information on Tonewood Brewing, call (856) 833-1500 or see their website at www.tonewoodbrewing.com. For more information on Cape May Brewing Company, call (609) 849-9933 or see their website at www.capemaybrewery.com.
About Cape May Brewing Company:
Once upon a time, 20-something Ryan Krill earned a six-figure salary working in finance and real estate development in Manhattan, while his college roommate, Chris Henke, designed commercial satellites. During a summer weekend at the Jersey shore, they brewed a batch of beer with Ryan’s dad. “Should we open a brewery?” Ryan asked, only half-serious. But, by the following year, the three guys had secured a space at Cape May Airport where they concocted a makeshift brew system and honed their beer-making skills. In 2011, they started with one client. Today, there are hundreds of accounts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania proudly serving the guys’ award-winning recipes. And CMBC’s fearless leaders have never looked back.