One of the many ways that fans can interact with Cape May Brewery products is right in their own neighborhoods in local stores and venues. Our team is located all over the region, and as we continue growing, we’re always looking for more Brand Ambassadors to join our team to help introduce people to all the awesome beer and drinks we offer.
Delaware resident Mike Murray joined our team earlier this summer and we’re lucky to have a knowledgeable beer fan on the team!
“Mike Murray is always quick to respond to any and all sampling invites and shows great willingness to work all that has been presented to him,” says Sampling Program Manager Jenna Rae Rohana. “Mike is in a great location, serving Northern DE, but has been helpful in southern PA as well. Throughout his short time with us, he has proven to be extremely receptive to coaching feedback and interested in progressing his role as a Brand Ambassador with our company.”
Mike’s originally from northeast Philly.
“I lived there until I was about 12 years old. My dad got a job at DuPont and we moved to Delaware. I’ve lived most of my life in Delaware, but I moved back to Philly for two years as an adult before moving back here,” he says.
He enjoyed his time being able to explore everything Philly has to offer. “The night life is great, and I’ve always been a fan of breweries, too, so there’s plenty there to explore,” he shares.
Growing up, Mike wrestled throughout his adolescent years and throughout school.
While wrestling, he got to travel for tournaments in areas throughout the region, like Boston.
“That was a lot of fun, and it took a lot of discipline as well, having to make weight and stuff like that,” he says.
What are some things he ate to stay in shape, you ask?
“I spent a lot of time drinking broccoli water and eating rice cakes,” Mike says with a grin.
(Ed. note: B-broccoli water?! ..why??)
“Apparently it has more nutrients in it. By drinking that, you get the nutrients out of it without any weight gain,” he says.
Now, though, Mike is glad to not be on a strict diet.
“I barbeque all the time now. I’m definitely making up for all the missed meals,” he says with a laugh.
Although wrestling isn’t something that he’s left behind entirely yet!
“It’s something I would like to get back into to keep in shape,” he says. “There are a lot of open tournaments and jiu jitsu leagues you can go into. They call it submission grappling, so there are ways to use my wrestling in martial arts now.”
Mike has some experience with combining the two already: he did karate as a kid, and jiu jitsu as an adult as well!
Not only are they great ways to stay in shape and get in some fitness, but they’re perfect for defense as well, since they teach people to restrain someone without injuring anyone, which probably helped Mike in one of his work experiences that you’ll read later!
After high school, Mike went to college for visual communication, which involved graphic design, photography, and web design.
“I really liked rendering graphics on the computer. I can type 80 words per minute, but for my actual handwriting, I have a bit of chicken scratch, so it’s nice that I can use a computer to render things much neater,” he says with a smile.
Mike spent about eight years working between Lowe’s and Home Depot.
“I used to do theft prevention,” he says. “I’d apprehend a lot of the shoplifters and run the safety programs. That was a good experience.”
Then, he spent a couple years in the medical cannabis industry before finding his way to Cape May Brewing Company!
“Cannabis and hops are like brother/sister plants,” he says.
Mike is familiar with the area already, as his grandmother lived in Cape May, and he spent a lot of summers here vacationing as a child.
When he first joined the crew, Mike learned all of the state regulations for selling alcohol, and got to know CMBC more as a company. He already had the beer knowledge, so he was easily able to match up and apply that to all of our offerings!
“I’ve done indoor and outdoor events so far,” he says. “I have a lot of passion for finding the right beer for someone based on their description of what they like. I think I can find a beer for everyone, even if they say they’re not beer drinkers.”
“I’ve been to some events where there were a lot of winos there, and I was able to show them that beer is sophisticated as well,” he says.
“There’s usually at least one or two events a week,” Mike says. “It’s been pretty busy.”
“I see Scott every now and then. He’s a really nice guy; he was really helpful when I first started, and showed me the ropes for my first event,” he said. “Jenna has been excellent; she’s awesome. She’s great at communicating. I really like the team here.”
(Ed. note: Can confirm! Delaware Sales Manager Scott McIntyre and Sampling Program Manager Jenna Rae Rohana are pretty great. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them yet, you might be lucky enough to spot them at one of our off-site events!)
“It’s looking pretty busy for the fall, too. I have all kinds of marks on my calendar already,” he says. “We’re still closely monitoring the COVID situation, though, that’s for sure.”
Delaware is masking up indoors, but we’re glad to be back out in the trade again for samplings and tastings to offer folks curious about our newest releases.
“I think everyone has been really fond of Oktoberfest,” he says.
It’s the freshness of the brew that makes this one extra special, as our production is just across the bay, where our team is always hard at work brewing, packaging, and shipping out beer all over the region.
“It’s really refreshing. It’s great to bring out while I’m crabbing,” he says.
Speaking of crabbing, Mike is big into fishing, crabbing, mountain biking, barbequing, and spending some time with his niece and nephew.
“When I spent summers in Cape May growing up, I’d get fudge from the outdoor mall, visit the Playhouse, and fish there,” he says. “I really love going out where the ferry goes out. I’m on the Delaware side of the Delaware Bay, but I prefer fishing the Jersey side.”
“I catch more fish there, or maybe I just know the spots better,” he says with a shrug.
Mike often catches a lot of flounder and croaker in that area, but he likes being able to snag the occasional shark as well.
“There are some big ones. They’ll make you scared to get back in the water,” he says with a grin.
(Ed. note: Uh, is anyone else going to keep a close eye out on the bay next time they visit??)
“The biggest I’ve caught was an eight-foot brown shark,” he says. “They’re actually kind of reddish.”
(Ed. note: Also known as a sandbar shark, for you shark fans out there. Just us? Cool, cool.)
“I got it up to the boat and then cut the line. I didn’t want to have to kill it or stop fishing for the day. I just wanted to fight,” Mike recalls with a smile.
“He kicked my butt for two hours and my arms were feeling like jello, so I just had to let him know that I won,” he says. “It was pretty exhausting.”
(Ed. note: We can only imagine! We’re impressed Mike kept fishing after that!)
Mike’s been back in Newark for about three years, after living in the Bear area throughout most of his teenage years. One of his favorite mountain biking spots is just a few minutes from home: White Clay Creek State Park.
“It’s beautiful. You see people coming in from out of state to go there, and it’s only five minutes from my house,” he says. “So that’s nice.”
As for barbequing, Mike has used beers a number of times when cooking, especially crab.
“Sometimes I’ve even used it as a baste,” he says. “So that it doesn’t dry out the meat. It keeps the external cool so that it doesn’t overcook the outside or undercook the inside.”
“You can throw it in as a little spritzer every now and then too,” he says.
“I’m more of an IPA guy. I really like the hops, but I also like stouts and sours,” he shares.
“Beer can Chicken works really well,” Mike says. “It’s popular in the barbeque community. You crack a beer can open and stuff it into a chicken while it cooks so that it slowly evaporates and keeps the moisture content. It just permeates into the meat.”
(Ed. note: Any fellow BBQ-ers tried this? Send us your pics to @capemaybrewco!)
Family is a big part of Mike’s life. Check out this picture of Mike and his mom with a helicopter!
“I’d taken her for a helicopter tour of New York City. It was on her bucket list and I was able to help her knock it out,” he says. “It was wintertime and there was snow all over the city.”
While he may be a Cape May Brewing Company Ambassador, his favorite title is Uncle Mike.
He has one older sister and a brother-in-law, as well as his niece Shannon and nephew Patrick, who live in South Carolina. He usually tries to visit them as much as he can.
Shannon and Patrick are four and two years old, so they’re not quite big enough for fishing just yet, but they hit up playgrounds and the pool with Uncle Mike when he visits, and they Facetime in between visits.
“They don’t even understand that phones work without pictures,” he says. “When anyone gets on a phone call, but they can’t see them on the screen, they don’t get it anymore. They can’t grasp that concept yet.”
“Shannon is doing martial arts now. I was really excited to get to go down and see that for the holidays,” he shares.
Ultimately, Mike sees himself as a guardian and a lover “on this ever-evolving journey of life.”
“It’s my outlook on life. I feel like I can read people really well and read situations really well, and most communication is nonverbal anyway, so it’s important to be able to assess situations,” he says.
“One of my favorite quotes is: ‘If we don’t change, we don’t grow, and if we don’t grow, we’re not really living.’ It’s by Gail Sheehy,” he says.
Absolutely—well said, Mike!
There are a number of upcoming tastings and events that Mike will be at. For our Delaware and nearby PA folks, you can catch him at the Fairfax Liquors Sampling in Wilmington this Saturday, September 18th. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by and meet Mike! You know he’ll have a great beer recommendation for you!