Cape May Brewing Company not only has some of the best beers on tap in the country, but they also may have sparked the fire that is the South Jersey brewing scene. Since opening in 2011, they have sold to hundreds of places in the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas. Today, they are the most popular in the area, inspiring other companies to strive for excellence.
Cape May Brewery is a fairly frequent stop on my list of breweries. The beers they serve are good enough to dream about. You get a hankering for them once in a while and when the craving starts, you just have to go get one. The clean yet hoppy taste in their traditional IPA is the equivalent to the perfect cup of coffee on an early morning. The taste you wish could stay forever.
I arrived at the brewery and was obviously excited to try some beer. But what I was really looking for today was someone who could teach me something about this business. When I was assigned to write a Q and A article, I wasn’t sure how to approach it. Then I met Dan Petela, Assistant Tasting Room Manager and Beertender at Cape May Brewing Company.
Dan would give me some very interesting information not only about Cape May Brewing Company, but about the brewing scene as a whole and what he loves about it.
Q: What’s the typical day like working at Cape May Brewing Company?
A: “It’s always pretty busy. I’m an assistant manager and also a beertender and sometimes it can get a little hectic, but it’s fun. Serving beers and flights, giving tours is a lot of the work, but tasting the beers is the best part.”
Q: What is the best part about it?
A: “Free beer, talking about beer, serving beer, everything about beer I love.”
Q: What is your favorite beer?
A: “My favorite beers are always the new ones on tap. Coastal Evacuation with brett is is back on tap and that’s definitely one of the best. It’s similar to our regular Coastal Evacuation double IPA except it’s dryer, has a higher alcohol percentage, and is fermented two times.”
Q: When did the company open and when did you start working?
A: “We opened in 2011. The owners were brewing with a 12 gallon system and they worked up from there. I started drinking here when they opened and a couple years later got a job here. So yea, I have been drinking for five and working for three. ”
Q: Do you guys see a lot of business from tourists? People visiting in the summer?
A: Typical Cape May County really. A lot of tourists in the summer time while the locals are out working. But once this time of year hits, from fall to spring the locals support us greatly.”
Q: What do you think of the rapidly growing brewing scene in South Jersey? Since you guys opened, many breweries followed and became successful. Is there any competition?
A: “A rising tide raises all ships. The more the merrier when it comes to the growing brewery scene. Why come to Cape May County to visit one brewery when you can visit five? It makes the town a bigger beer destination, which helps everybody out.”
By the end of my day, I tried some of my favorite beers and learned a whole lot about the business. Thanks again to Cape May Brewing Company for having me and thanks to Dan for the interview. Check out the brewery as soon as you can, it’s to die for.