Cape May, NJ – Forget power. With great variety comes great responsibility.
The boys behind Cape May Brewing Company have curated the largest tasting room in the state, with 20 or so rotating brews on tap at any given time. But this means they’ve set the bar high for themselves when it comes to creating new recipes. And if there’s one thing CMB likes, it’s a challenge.
So, as just one way to ensure the beer variety at Exit 0 never wavers, CMB launched an employee series. Fourteen people who work for the brewery — from bartenders to truck drivers to graphic designers — have each collaborated with Brew Master Brian Hink in order to conceptualize a new beer. Out of this brainstorming has come everything from Paul’s Bareknuckle Imperial Stout, infused with organic maple syrup, to the Session IPA called Maggie’s Day Off, to an English-style ESB known as Steve’s Biscuits and Honey.
“They’ve each been a homerun,” says President Ryan Krill. Which is not surprising, considering how important customer satisfaction is to everyone on the CMB team. (Okay, let’s be real, they’re competing with one another to see whose keg kicks the quickest.)
Now, the employee series is coming to a temporary end — CMB’s bartenders and truck drivers and graphic designers need to stop researching hops and get back to work, or the brewery will have no one to serve/deliver/market all of that beer everyone’s been dreaming up.
But first, being released on Thursday March 12, is Justin’s Niu IPA (“Niu” is Hawaiian for coconut).
Typically, coconut is not an ingredient you see in beer often, and if you DO see it used, it’s likely part of a heavier porter or stout.
But, as Brew Master Brian says, “We’re craft brewers; we can do whatever the hell we want.”
So Justin Vitti — CMB’s most mustachioed sales rep — spent eight-and-a-half hours toasting 44 pounds of organic coconut in small batches, until it was browned enough for this exotic, one-time release and it’s tropical fruit-heavy nose.
“It’s light, fresh and different, and a great kick-off for spring,” he says.
CMB is expecting this to be a pretty polarizing brew, so stop by their tasting room any day between noon and 8pm to see where you stand.
If nothing else, you’ll be helping Justin win the unspoken competition.
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 hangar 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 nearly 200 bars in Jersey and Pennsylvania proudly serving the guys’ award-winning recipes. And CMBC’s fearless leaders have never looked back.