The kingpin of the South Jersey brewing scene is Cape May Brewery, and it only felt right to dedicate one of my final tastings to them. Without them, Jersey would have no beer and I would have no blog. The team opened their doors in 2011, asking the question “Where’s all the beer down here?” Today, they have sold to hundreds of bars all across the tri-state area.
Inspiring all the places I’ve covered, including Slacktide and Ludlam Island, Cape May Brewery really sparked something special. So when I went down to the brewery this time, I wasn’t so much looking for a new favorite beer as I was looking for someone to tell me their story. How did they get here? What made them want to dedicate their life to beer?
When I got to the brewery, I received the same homey feeling I get every time I arrive there. This day was particularly special because it was May 4th (May the Fourth Be With You Day). The brewery likes to celebrate special theme days, and today they showed Star Wars all day. The place was jam packed with Star Wars heads who dressed up for the occasion. They even served new ales called “The Dark Side” and “The light Side.”
“They always know how to get people in the doors over here,” said Jen Frankle, a frequent customer over at the brewery. “I hate to admit it, but I think I like the Dark Side better.”
After some conversation with other customers, one of the bartenders introduced me to a man named Zack.
Zack Pashely, Tasting Room Manager over at Cape May Brewing Company, is as passionate about beer as anyone. He has turned that passion into a career, where he gets to serve and taste new beer every day.
“I went to a party, a friend of mine was brewing his own batch of beer in the backyard, and I got hooked right from there,” said Pashely explaining when he took an interest in beer.
Pashely went on to tell me about what it’s like to work at the brewery.
“I love working with beer. I love working for a company I trust, for people I can trust. We are truly a family and get to enjoy working around beer every day. I’ve been here for a year and a half, and I hope the next year and a half goes exactly the same. Cape May brewin’.”
Pashely also commented on the recent spark in brewery business in the area and what makes Cape May Brewery unique.
“Peronally I love it (The other breweries opening up). A rising tide raises all ships and a brewing scene brings more people here for beer-cations. We inspire each other.”
Pashely continues, saying “Every other brewery in Cape May County has its own feel, but this place is welcoming. You come in, and you’ve made a friend in the first 30 seconds.”
Check out Cape May Brewery as soon as possible. It is truly one of the coolest places all of South Jersey has to offer.
Below is a video of Zack Pashely’s FULL interview. Thanks to Zack and Cape May Brewery for having me!