Kyle Shultz is one of our new Brand Ambassadors! He joined us at the beginning of the year, shortly after moving down to Egg Harbor Township!
“Kyle has been an awesome addition to the team,” says Sales Support Manager Jenna Rae Rohana. “You will be seeing him a bunch this summer pouring samples for customers at all the shore spots in Cape May and Atlantic Counties. He also has completed two events so far (one being the huge AC Beerfest!), where coworkers and event coordinators raved about him. He has been super reliable and always lends a hand when needed (no, seriously, like lifted half kegs for me into an event vehicle when I was at Mill Rd one day and he was only there for event materials)!”
[Ed. note: Jenna Rae’s assessment is a good representation of what Kyle is like—He’s extremely personable and always ready to help out!]
Like a lot of folks here in South Jersey, Kyle’s originally from eastern Pennsylvania.
“I’d been coming down to Ocean City since I was three, so I was comfortable with the area,” he shares.
So far, he has loved going to events and working at different venues. It’s a far cry from his previous life as a correctional officer!
“I retired from corrections. I was also the union president when I left,” he says. “I was at the prison for 21 years, and with the county for about 24 years overall.”
“I’m a sun worshiper, so I’m always outside,” he says. “I spent my last 10 years working in the yard because I wanted to be outside. I like to tan.”
[Ed. note: With summer now in full swing, we know he’s not the only one!]
“At one point, I was in a class with another corrections officer. We both had the same look, but we could read each other,” he says. “It was amazing. I would say something, and he’d finish.”
Something Kyle didn’t expect about retirement was relearning how to smile. Yep, you read that right!
“You never smile in jail. I’m supposed to lose weight, but that hasn’t happened yet.” Kyle laughs. “Usually people smile and they lose weight when they retire.”
“It’s so much better doing something that you actually like,” he says.
It’s definitely been an adjustment for him, though!
“Most of the time, it’s great. Sometimes I wonder, am I smiling too much? I started using the word ‘cute,’ too,” he says. “When the hell did I ever use cute? I didn’t use that in jail ever.”
[Ed. note: Somehow, that doesn’t surprise us at all.]
Kyle’s no stranger to hard work, and he worked hard to get to where he is now.
“At one point, I worked three jobs, paid for the wedding, paid for the house, and my wife was able to finish nursing school rather than having to go part-time,” Kyle says. “It worked out. She got a great opportunity to work at the hospital.”
His wife was offered a position at Shore Medical, and while Kyle was about 10 years out from early retirement, he went ahead and took an earlier out.
Now, he works events with us, but is also a dog walker and pet sitter!
“I work with Fuzzbutt. There are only five of us, and four of us now are former government employees who retired,” he notes.
Kyle himself has four pups, including a 14-year-old Cockapoo, Buster, and a 10-year-old Boxer-Shepherd, Tailz.
“I went through my mid-life crisis, so I got two more dogs,” he says.
[Ed. note: Who can relate? Talk about the best mid-life crisis ever!]
“We got a Yorkie-Pinscher, Gizmo, who’s three. He started driving the older dogs nuts, so I got a blue-eyed rat terrier, too. His name is Django. He’s one now, and he’s crazy,” Kyle says with a laugh.
“Rat terriers are very tough. It takes two years to train them,” he says. “I wanted the challenge. I don’t know what I was thinking.” Kyle smiles.
Now, the two younger dogs do laps together while the others sleep. He’s a big dog lover, and three of his pups are rescues.
When he moved down to South Jersey, Kyle was already familiar with Cape May Brewing Company.
“Before COVID, I was averaging about 65 different breweries a year that I would visit,” he says. “When I started looking at brewery jobs, I held out for a Cape May one, because I knew I wanted to work here.”
“I was here the first year Cape May Brewing Company opened,” he shares. “It was a lot smaller back then. This whole area was surrounded by trees.”
[Ed. note: While there’s still a lot of trees here at the airport, there’s a ton of open field area, too!]
“Those major roads you see now weren’t there,” he says. “I remember my wife driving me. We were going to a couple of breweries at the time. That’s my thing, and she doesn’t really drink, so she drives me. The brewery was brand new, so it was unheard of.”
“I came back two years ago for shits and giggles, and we drove up and this place grew so much,” he says. “It’s really nice here.”
Kyle and his older brother typically go on brewery trips as well.
“He’s about eight years older than I am, and he’s about to retire from government work in accounting,” Kyle says. “It’s great, because I make fun of him. We worked for the same county. He started before me and kept bragging about retiring, so now I’ll call him up and ask him how work is.”
[Ed. note: Just goes to show that you can never live it down if your younger sibling has one up on you!]
“We’ve gone as far down as Tennessee together, and this summer we plan to go up north to check out breweries in Canada,” Kyle shares.
[Ed. note: We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely curious about the beer scene in Canada!]
“One trip, we hit five different states in about seven days. It’s exciting to see a beer on a line up here from a brewery that I’ve been to,” he says.
He’s visited some really cool breweries, too.
“There’s Oakbrook Brewing Company in Reading, PA. I absolutely love them. It’s in a 1950s firehouse, if not older. They still have the manila color on the walls. When I went there, I picked up my brother-in-law’s dad, who is 88. He loves to go. He’ll only have half a beer, but he loves to go. It’s really small, but it’s interesting. They make a great blood orange,” he says.
“My wife’s family is from Reading, so every time we visit, I make a trip to that brewery,” he says.
“There are some really cool breweries in Florida,” he says. “There was one with just dogs. Everyone had their dogs.”
“I felt like crap because mine wasn’t there, so I was petting everyone else’s dogs,” he shares. “The beer was really good, and I had a blast being that annoying guy coming up to ask to pet your dog.”
“Down in Tennessee, I went to a brewery that was in a former school,” he says. “That was really cool. I remember the ambiance. You would drink in the cafeteria, but there was a gym in the next room. They had those small water faucets—the ones you see for elementary school kids. The whole setup was neat.”
“It’s funny—sometimes the breweries I get so excited for aren’t good, and then the ones I wouldn’t even plan to go to are really good,” he says.
To keep track of the different breweries he’s been to, Kyle collects growlers.
“I don’t put them out; they’re in a big closet. I just bought a new house, and I’m trying to figure out where to put them. I think I have room for about four of them.” Kyle laughs.
“My wife’s not a fan of me putting them around. I don’t know if I’m supposed to keep buying them, or stop. But I can’t stop now, because I have too many,” he says, shaking his head.
Since moving in, Kyle has been working on some additions to his home as well.
“We started right from jump street,” he says. “We worked on the basement, put in a bar room, added a pool house, and another shed in the back. We have an inground pool. It’s a really nice property.”
“It looks just like my old house,” he notes, “And the mother-in-law suite is off from the main house, but still connected. It’s her own place.”
“If I’m not working, I’m helping my mother-in-law out with appointments,” he says. “Thankfully these jobs give me a little bit of leeway with that.”
Kyle started working events a few months ago, from samplings in stores to most recently representing CMBC at the South Jersey Brewcup and Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival.
“Most of the time people talk with you and it’s a fun time,” he shares. “One time, a guy was looking at me and he goes, ‘Cop?’ I’m like, no, corrections.”
[Ed. note: Kyle gets asked that more than you’d think!]
“I looked at him and could tell he was a sheriff’s deputy,” he says with a smile.
“Every place I’ve been to, you meet individuals who stick with you, and talk with you for a while,” he says. “They end up having a really interesting background. It’s funny how you can connect like that over beer.”
In between events with CMBC, Kyle wakes up early and coordinates a schedule for his dog walking job. He appreciates the flexibility in that schedule as well.
“We try to cover each other for our days off,” he says. “If I want to go somewhere for a weekend, I can do that. We’ll go to Reading where our family lives and the owner of the company will come and watch my dogs.”
Mostly, though, Kyle really enjoys the people he gets to meet.
“I’ve met some really nice people,” he says. “I met a young couple who has a Goldendoodle. I had a Goldendoodle twenty years ago. It’s a one-year-old, so I’m going to introduce them to my pack and see if their dog can stay with me while they go on vacation.”
“It’s up to my big guy, and the little Yorkie-Pinscher, Gizmo, is the boss,” he says with a grin.
“There’s a blind dog I see that’s a Golden Retriever. He’s sad and cute at the same time—he bumps into things and then comes back, but if you try to stop him, it startles him, so you don’t know what to do.”
“I love what I do. It’s not like it’s real work,” he says. “If I go over and watch someone’s dog, I’m doing something that I’d probably do for free.”
Whenever Kyle is asked what he did for work before, he always gets a kick out of the reactions people have.
“When I say I was a corrections officer, they look at me funny,” he says. “At one point, if they looked at me, it would have made sense! It’s amazing, though. Everyone is really cool.”
Kyle and his wife Jill have two kids, their son Zyler and daughter Mylee. They adopted them from Kazakhstan in 2004.
“I lived there for two months,” Kyle shares. “It was really interesting. My son is 20 now, and my daughter is 18. She’s a senior at Oakcrest High School.”
As for beers, he’s an IPA drinker, and would typically drink Coastal Evacuation and Cape May IPA while up in PA.
“We never got anything different up there. If I came down during vacation, we’d try some of the other beers,” he says.
“I love IPAs,” he says. “West or East coast, I don’t care. Cape May has a great selection, which is awesome. I come down once a week for my beer, and I also buy a case to go. I end up giving away more than I drink.”
While he’s not usually a fan of hard lemonades, the Cape May Hard Lemonade surprised him.
“Our Hard Lemonade is awesome. It tastes just like the boardwalk,” he says. “My wife loves it, too.”
He even bought one of each type of our hard seltzers, but admits that he hasn’t tried them yet.
“They’re sitting in my fridge looking at me. I haven’t tried them yet. I’m afraid I might like it,” he says with a grin.
“My beer fridge is a full-sized fridge now. I had Cape May lined up on one whole shelf nine cans deep so that I know what’s in there,” he says. “Now, Cape May is taking over the fridge.”
It’s a hazard of the job for sure!
We’re so excited to have Kyle with us, and we’ve loved seeing his smile as he pours brews and chats with folks at our different events!
Keep an eye out for him the next time you’re at one of our events in the area and make sure to say hi!