Andrew Monastra has been our draft technician for almost four years, traveling around South Jersey, ensuring that the lines that serve our beer are squeaky clean, giving you the freshest and best-tasting beer possible.
“Andrew has a no-nonsense attitude that is very reflective in his work,” says Distribution Manager Justin Vitti. “When he first interviewed for the driver position, we left the room with a common thought ‘this guy just wants to get his job done’. Since then, he has grown and learned everything about being a well-rounded technician in the industry, including a full 3-day seminar covering all the ins-and-outs that even myself or Hank didn’t know to teach him. He is a crucial part of the Distribution Team’s spirit and morale.”
Originally from just up the road a ways in Wildwood Crest, Andrew attended Wildwood Catholic before a short stint at Neumann University in Aston, PA, first for Sports Medicine, then Criminal Justice.
“I attended college, but I didn’t actually go,” he laughs. “My first day of class — before the syllabus had even gone out — we were told to write a ten-page paper. So I changed my major to Criminal Justice. I did that for a year, then stopped going.”
Andrew stayed in the Philly area for another three years, working construction and at a pizza place. He moved home, eventually running the kitchen at the Blue Water Grille in the Bolero restaurant in Wildwood.
“And, yes, we do have beer on tap there,” he says. “Because of me.”
He was working behind the line — on saute, on grill, on whatever was required on a given night — but realized that restaurant work was long unforgiving hours.
“There was never an end goal,” he says. “It was always work, work, work. I was working seven days a week; I’d go in at 6am and be there until we closed. Wintertime, we’d work, but it wasn’t full-time like it is here.”
One of Andrew’s best friends — “who’s like my brother” — was working here as a driver at the time and tipped him off to an opening as a driver. Since then, he’s been promoted to Line Technician, and now, along with Brendon, he’s our final defense against bad beer, ensuring that the lines in your favorite watering hole are cleaned on a regular basis.
“We go into the accounts and clean the beer lines,” Andrew explains about his job. “We service them and make sure that the beer is pouring fine out of them. We make sure it’s clean and that the beer is tasting good. We make sure that everything is running properly so that our beer is pouring the best.”
We keep our accounts on a three-week rotation schedule, so Andrew or Brendon will pass through your favorite spot up to twice a month.
“Even if some of them don’t want us to do it that often — which, we need to flush the lines and they don’t want to waste the beer, which is understandable,” he continues, “we’ll still stop in to clean out the faucets so we can make sure that everything still coming out okay.”
Every so often, Andrew will need to do some minor repairs on a line, particularly inside the faucet or concerning the coupler between the line and the keg.
“Sometimes, over the summer when they’re packed, they’re not paying too much attention to organizing things,” Andrew explains, “so sometimes a keg might hit it or something might break off. And there’s a stem inside the faucet that is pulled by the tap handle; every once in a while it’ll snap off.”
Andrew’s been doing this since before the Cape Beverage days when everything was run through the brewery, which is a bit of an oddity in this industry.
“As far as I know,” he says, “there are a handful of other breweries that have their delivery guys fit in a line cleaning somewhere if they ask for it, but I don’t really know any breweries that do what we do.”
Even some of the larger distributors don’t put as much emphasis on line maintenance as we do.
“Some of the guys from some of the other distributors get a lot of crap from accounts because they only come once every three months to clean the lines,” he reports. “Some of our accounts won’t even put them on for that reason: they don’t come often enough to clean the lines.”
As such, Andrew has some horror stories. We’re not going to relay them here; suffice it to say that, if you should see Andrew out-and-about, you’ll know that you can trust our beer wherever it is that you’re drinking.
“Since I’ve been doing this,” he says, “there are bars that I know that I’ll never drink draft beer.”
Regardless, as a self-professed “people person”, he enjoys the job.
“I like to talk to people,” he says. “And we’re doing a good service, but it’s also customer service — we’re talking to people, making sure they’re happy with everything, making sure that their beer lines are pouring perfectly. That’s what I like.”
Andrew’s been married to Jenna since 2015, having met while working together at the Boathouse Restaurant in Wildwood over ten years ago, he as a cook, she as a bartender.
“I asked her if she wanted to go out one night and she never left,” Andrew laughs.
Together, they have two dogs, a black lab named Ace and a black cur/shar-pei mix named Jax, and their wedding featured a prominent ice sculpture of Ace. Recently, the two traveled to Puerto Rico.
“We were in Old San Juan,” he says. “We did an ATV tour through the rain forest and went zip-lining.”
They went on a 1500-foot zip-line, beginning 1000 feet in the air.
“I loved the rush, flying down that cable,” he says. “I got in a little trouble — the guy said I wasn’t supposed to let go, but I kept making videos on the way down.”
Andrew is a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, but we like him anyway.
“Growing up, we stayed with my grandmother a lot,” he explains, not at all defensively. “She was a Cowboys fan — why? I don’t know. She was from Philadelphia, as well. My brothers and sisters were all Cowboys fans, and, as they got older, they all became Eagles fans. I just stayed a Cowboys fan.”
Of course, when Andrew was younger, the Cowboys were actually good.
“I didn’t even care that they were good then,” he says. “I like watching them now, but, if I miss a Sunday game, my life’s not going to change. They’re not gonna pay my bills.”
However, Andrew admits to following players more than he follows teams.
“I like watching certain basketball players. I like watching LeBron James play,” he says. “But, if I have to pick, the Cowboys are my team.”
When he’s out in the field, he’s usually got country music playing in the truck, with his favorites being Eric Church and Frank Foster. He’s even visited the Country Hall of Fame in Nashville.
“But, I’ll listen to pretty much anything,” he admits. “If it’s on and it’s got a good beat to it, I’ll listen to it.”
Andrew really loves his pizza, which makes sense as he’d previously run a pizza shop.
“Good dough makes good pizza,” he says. “Carini’s has the best. I once paid $65 for delivery to where I live now. For one pizza. My wife yelled at me, but I was tired of dealing with the pizza up there.”
He also enjoys deer hunting, having traveled to North Carolina and a few other places in pursuit of game.
“I’d really love to make it up to Alaska one day and do a bear hunt,” he says. “That’s my plan.”
Andrew also loves his Harley-Davidson.
“I’ve had it for three-and-a-half years,” he says. “Before that, I had a custom chopper.”
And he really enjoys living in this area.
“I love the historic atmosphere of Cape May,” he says. “I like the old houses. All of the old areas, I like. But, honestly, I prefer a cabin in the woods. I like living off the island. My whole family moved on the island, then off the island. When I bought my house in Wildwood, my dad told me I should have bought off the island. He said I wouldn’t like it, but I did it anyway because he told me not to.”
He’s enjoyed his time here at CMBC: he loves our team’s work ethic.
“It’s close,” he says. “Everyone’s working together; everyone’s talking together. I like that. I like that it’s a small business. It’s something cool from my hometown that’s grown into an awesome business.”
Having been around for several years, Andrew’s had the chance to sample most of our beers, yet he has two that he can point to as favorites.
“I like Biscuits & Honey,” he says. “I like the taste. I love honey, so, to me, the taste when I drink it is just good. And I like Corrosion. I never liked sour beers; I hated IPAs. That was the first one I tried that was a sour and an IPA, and it just blew me away.”
If you see Andrew out in the field, be sure to say hello!