The alcoholic beverage industry is a highly regulated industry. We’re the only industry that has, not one, but two Constitutional amendments — and amending the Constitution is hard. You need a two-thirds majority in Congress, and that never happens.
One of the peccadillos of this business is what we call the three-tier system: producers, distributors, and retailers. The lines between those tiers vary from state to state and they frequently get a little blurred within each state. For example, we routinely sell our product from the Brewtique as a retail product, and we’ve been successfully self-distributing since we opened our doors.
The one thing all of the states agree upon — because of that pesky Commerce Clause in the Constitution, the federal government makes us agree — is that producers of alcoholic beverages cannot cross state lines with their product. For that, we need a distributor — which is why Cape May Brewing Company contracts through Origlio Beverage in Pennsylvania. They come to Cape May with several empty trucks and fill them up to the brim.
If you’re familiar with The Bog — and, if you’re a fan of CMBC, you’re definitely familiar with The Bog — you’re probably aware of the trials and tribulations experienced in canning it. In order to really make it shelf-stable, it needs to be pasteurized, and that’s not something that can be done in Cape May.
But. There are breweries out there that are able to pasteurize it. Unfortunately, none of them are in New Jersey.
So, in order to brew The Bog in Cape May, there would need to be a gigantic pasteurizer that would take up half the brewery and have no room for anything else.
Or The Bog could be brewed by someone with the ability to pasteurize, but there would still have to be a distributor to bring it back home.
Cape May Brewing Company could simply open a distributorship and do it themselves.
So, that’s what happened.
Enter Cape Beverage.