Cape May, NJ — Cape May Brewing Company has been keeping a hectic schedule over the past five months. Through the end of May, the third-largest beer producer in the state of New Jersey will have released a new brew each week for the past 21 weeks.
“It’s a frenzied pace,” says President and CEO Ryan Krill, “but that’s what makes beer fun.”
Such a pace certainly keeps the guys in the brewhouse hopping. “It keeps the brewers on their toes,” says co-owner Chris Henke. “Scheduling can be tough.” It’s not just scheduling the brew calendar, but also the ingredients that make things difficult. For example, where some brewers may use the same yeast strain for several beers, “for our recent Biscuits and Honey ESB, for instance, we used four different yeast strains and four different grains to get the style just right.”
Closing out this fevered pitch of a schedule are their five May releases:
May 5 — Salty Lips
ABV: 4.7%, IBU: 10, Style: Gose
The name says it all! Salty Lips is a Gose — which is closely related to its tart cousin the Berliner Weisse — where using local ingredients from the Cape May Sea Salt Co brings out a slight touch of salinity. This refreshingly tart ale spent 2 days souring in the boil kettle to lower the pH to a pleasant acidity, then had coriander added with the local sea salt and hops before being fermented with a classic American Ale yeast strain. The saltiness strikes your palate before subsiding to a gentle tart bite, finishing with a yeast ester profile of peaches and honeydew, leaving you with a hint of the ocean on your lips.
May 12 — Summer Catch
ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 35, Style: Belgian Wheat
Welcome to summers at the Jersey shore. Soaking up some sun, hot days and cool nights, enjoying the beach, and just loving the heck out of life, make sure you take it all in with some Summer Catch. Citrusy and refreshing, this crushable Belgian-style wheat ale is sure to be your go-to drink all summer long. Citrus on the nose with an easy-drinking yet firm body, Summer Catch is our new summer seasonal aimed at the adventurous craft beer drinkers, yet approachable enough to encourage the yet-to-be converted consumer. At home on the patio during your next cookout, but also ready to be sipped all night long out with your squad, Summer Catch is your new summer ale.
May 19 — The Bog
ABV: 3.9%, SRM: 12, IBU: 9, Style: Cranberry Shandy
Sometimes we’ll create a beer because we’ve always wanted to make a certain style, other times it’s to fill a hole in our lineup, but what happens when we’re making our Cranberry Wheat and accidentally add too much cranberry making it too tart? We embrace it and turn it into a Shandy. What was supposed to be a one off batch has turned into one of our top selling and sought after beers, one that come end of spring we can barely keep in stock. The Bog has become the definitive South Jersey summer beer, a tart cranberry wheat beer blended with lemonade to create an uber-drinkable summer shandy. Designed to enjoy on those sweltering days, this beer is light and refreshing while still packing tons of flavor.
May 26 — Beets by May
ABV: 5.0%, IBU: 40, Style: American Pale Ale with Beets
The Bavarian Purity Law may reign in Germany, but here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., we put whatever we damn well please into our beer! Couple this with our love of local Jersey ingredients — in this case, red and yellow beets — and you have our latest experiment with certified “Jersey Fresh” ingredients: Beets by May. This classic American Pale Ale is specifically designed around the semi-sweet, earthy flavor of fresh beets, complemented by notes of pine, fresh grass, and a touch of orange citrus from the Bravo, Target, and Chinook hops. Topped off with a distinctive color you can see from across the bar, this one simply can’t be missed!
To taste these and some fifteen other CMBC releases, stop by the tasting room at 1288 Hornet Road in Rio Grande any day between noon and 8pm. For more information on tours, taps, and tastings visit capemaybrewery.com or call (609) 849-9933.
About Cape May Brewing Company:
Once upon a time, twenty-something Ryan Krill earned a six-figure salary working in finance and real estate development in Manhattan, while his college roommate, Chris Henke, designed satellites. During a summer weekend at the Jersey shore, they brewed a batch of beer with Ryan’s dad that wasn’t half bad. “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 over 380+ accounts in Jersey and Pennsylvania proudly serving the guys’ award-winning recipes. And CMBC’s fearless leaders have never looked back.