The unsung heroes of Cape May Brewing Company are our drivers. They’re the ones out in the field in 90-plus-degree weather, slinging kegs and cases, ensuring that our beer makes its way to the farthest reaches of our market.
And we’ve currently got a great group of guys doing it.
One of the most recent is Brandon Jones. He’s left behind his former life at Walmart, answering the call of the open road for Cape May Brewing Company.
“He takes his time with what he does, so he doesn’t make mistakes,” says Distribution Manager Justin Vitti. “If I had to explain Brandon in one word, it would be mosey, because he’s somewhere between a slow walk and a happy stride. I’d rather have someone who takes their time and does it right.”
Brandon is originally from Upstate New York. Way, way, waaaaayyyy Upstate New York: a small town about five miles south of the Canadian border called Ellenberg Depot.
“There was a dirt road in my backyard that led to Canada,” he tells us.
He was back-and-forth between almost-Canada and Cape May Court House for most of his life, spending three years at Middle Township before eventually graduating from Northern Adirondack Central School, where he played football.
Brandon is a huge country music fan, pointing to Brantley Gilbert as one of his favorites. He traveled to Hunter Mountain in New York to catch the Taste of Country festival in 2014.
“Being from up there — and we were still about three hours south of where I’m from — it was some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen,” he tells us. “It took you up the side of the mountain and there was a small waterfall on the way up. It was beautiful.”
The festival took place on the mountain, with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams, Jr., and Brantley Gilbert headlining.
“It was funny watching people carry two beers in their hands, sliding down the side of the mountain,” he laughs. “It had just rained so it was still really muddy. It was definitely interesting.”
He’s a Giants fan, but admits that he “can’t sit down to watch sports.” He’d rather be involved, playing. In fact, he’s been an avid scuba diver for about ten years.
“My grandfather got me certified in New York,” he tells us. “I’m what they call an ‘Advanced Open Water Diver’, which is one level above open water. I can go a little deeper than the step below me.”
He’s certified in search and recovery missions, working toward his rescue diver certification, and has frequently dived with his grandfather, exploring wrecks as deep as 110 feet in Lake Champlain.
“That’s the coolest place that I’ve been,” he says. “It’s called The Phoenix. It’s peaceful.”
He hasn’t yet had the chance to do any real diving in Cape May, but he enjoys it here, nonetheless.
“The locals are pretty friendly,” he says.
He spent two-and-a-half years at the Walmart in Rio Grande as an auto care tech — oil changes, tires, etc. — before coming to us.
“Someone came into Walmart and said you were looking for drivers,” he tells us, “so I put my application in.”
He’s glad he did. He was looking for something of a change but wasn’t sure what.
“I wasn’t sure what I was walking into,” he says, “but I’d been at Walmart for such a long time, I knew I wanted something completely different.”
Brandon is certainly enjoying being away from the corporate grind of Walmart.
“It’s much more enjoyable,” he says. “The people are a lot friendlier. The work environment is — I don’t quite want to use ‘laid back’, but it’s relaxed. It’s not the same corporate thing you see everywhere else. It’s professional, but it’s like a small family. We’re growing, but it’s still small enough to be enjoyable.”
And he’s always enjoyed driving.
“That’s ‘my thing’,” he says. “You don’t really lose focus, but you can tune out everything else and do what you have to do. I’ve always loved driving. It’s always been my favorite thing to do.”
He’s enjoying the change of pace so much that he’s considering getting his CDL. The size of our trucks don’t require our drivers to have one, but Brandon is thinking long-term.
One thing he definitely likes is easy access to his favorite Cape May brew, Devil’s Reach.
You’ll see Brandon behind the wheel of one of our trucks, faithfully delivering our beer throughout the New Jersey area — or in the Tasting Room after his route for a shiftie. Be sure to say hello!