Ryan Krill and Chris Henke
Co-founders of Cape May Brewing Co.
(Editor’s Note: This is part of a series in which we scoured the country to find 30 innovative brewers and beer professionals under 30 years old, each of whom hopes to further the scope and breadth of the American craft beer scene.)
Ryan Krill (30) and Chris Henke (29)
Cape May, NJ
All About Beer: Tell us about your brewery.
Ryan Krill: We started as a nanobrewery and recently stepped up to a 5-barrel brewhouse with 15-barrel fermenters.
How did you first get into brewing?
Henke: I really enjoyed craft beer so a roommate bought me a homebrew kit as a Christmas Gift. I was 23 or 24.
Krill: I first started brewing in my small apartment in Brooklyn, New York at 26. There was a great local homebrew shop that was introduced to me by my then roommate, Jarrett.
What was the first beer you ever brewed and where did you do it?
Krill: My first beer was a partial mash wheat beer kit we got from Brooklyn Homebrew and brewed on a cold Sunday. We added coriander and orange zest to spiff it up. It turned out pretty well and at that moment I was hooked.
Henke: Extract IPA in my kitchen in North Wales, PA.
Do you have a mentor in the brewing world?
Krill: Not formally, but Gene Muller of Flying Fish Brewing Co. has been a tremendous wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
Henke: At the brewery we are constantly designing, building and installing equipment ourselves. Frank Koebert, an engineer that I used to work with, taught me a lot of hands-on engineering and trade skills that I use on a daily basis.
What inspires you when you’re brewing?
Krill: Knowing that I’m creating something of my own invention and that it is contributing to society in a way that improves people’s quality of life.
Henke: The regulars that come into the brewery every weekend to fill their growlers
What do you attribute to your success?
Krill: Patience and determination. Oh, and sanitation.
Henke: Having the right people involved. Our individual skills complement each other.
What do you think drives the popularity of craft beer?
Krill: The seemingly endless variety of delicious new beers and … the endless pursuit of the hoppiest, most bitter, mouth puckering IPA ever.
Henke: People love to have choices
In general, how do you think the next generation of brewers will shake up the craft beer world?
Krill: They are going to accelerate the popularity of craft beer domestically and help build a reputation for the United States as a craft beer country.
Henke: Local beer will be defined as beer brewed within 20 miles—not just (in) the same state.
In particular, how will you contribute to that shake up?
Krill: By making good beer, experimenting with new recipes and introducing people to beer made with love.
Henke: Provide quality, fresh, craft beer to Cape May County
Last one: Cascadian dark ale or Black IPA?
Krill: Cascadian dark ale!
Henke: No comment.
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