This morning Cape May Brewing Company announced their plans to “acquire the assets” of Somerdale NJ’s Flying Fish Brewing Company.
The team at Cape May Brewing Company calls the move “a union of our two brands”.
This acquisition represents the union of our two brands – ones that charted the course for craft brewing in New Jersey with a shared foundation of entrepreneurial spirit, strong local pride, passion for innovation, and a deep appreciation for brand fans.Cape May Brewing Company, Regarding the Acquisition of Somerdale’s Flying Fish Brewing
The press release style website post goes on to say the acquisition is a strategic investment for Cape May brewing targeted at:
- Significantly increasing the company’s manufacturing warehousing space
- Boost annual production capacity
- Add manufacturing capabilities to support the expansion of the product portfolio.
“This is a massive milestone for both Cape May and Flying Fish, who we’ve long admired as a true pioneer of craft brewing in the Garden State since its founding in 1995,” says CEO and Co-founder Ryan Krill. “We are thrilled to expand our product portfolio and are approaching this acquisition with a focus on our core values, passion for brewing, and commitment to serving our customers with the highest quality brews.”Ryan Krill Cape May Brewing Company, Regarding the Acquisition of Somerdale’s Flying Fish Brewing
The article at the Cape May Brewing site goes on to say that as part of the agreement Flying Fish will continue to be distributed by its wholesale distributor partners and Cape May Brewing beers will continue to operate at their existing location in Cape May County, New Jersey.
What they don’t clarify is the long range plan… Will we see the Somerdale location also brewing the very popular Cape May brewery brand of beers, and having Cape May beers available in the Camden County Tasting Room?
Based on the growing popularity of the Cape May beers that seems likely (but unconfirmed).
And also, to what extent will the Flying Fish beers continue to be a part of the New Jersey craft beer scene long-term?
Will have to wait and see how this shakes out! I’ll be reaching out to the folks at Cape May Brewing. Hey guys I have a small place “In the Crest” and could stop down any day to chat!
It seems the two breweries have long been friends, as back in 2018 they created the New Jersey Brewers Guild. Today the owners of both breweries represent two of the five Guild Board Member seats.
Flying Fish Brewing Co.
Flying Fish Brewing Co. is truly a pioneer in the New Jersey craft brewery scene.
They started back in 1996 in a much smaller location in Cherry Hill New Jersey. At the time microbreweries really weren’t a thing in New Jersey.
Well technically it seems their first beers were sold in 1995 in a virtual brewery.. with the internet as their only storefront!
28 years of craft brewing beer in New Jersey… that’s a mighty big and impressive number!
Their most famous beers were the “Exit Series” named after exits of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Back in 2012 their brewery sales were outstripping the original Cherry Hill building’s production capacity, and a new much larger location was secured in Somerdale NJ.
The large and separate warehouse facility in Somerdale allowed them to develop a brewing and tasting room facility which would support their growth plans, while being environmentally advanced.
They installed 463 solar panels, and solar tube lighting in the warehouse. The steam is recaptured in the brewing process, and they added rain gardens at the property… it all made Flying Fish Somerdale one of the most sustainable breweries in the world!
Today they are distributed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland… and they also distribute through Total Wine stores locations which are outside of their normal distribution area.
The Somerdale Tasting Room is at the front of the large production facility (which used to press Motown vinyl records when it was built in the 1960s) and is located at 900 Kennedy Blvd. in Somerdale NJ, next to the Walmart on the White Horse Pike.
Cape May Brewing Co – Amazing Growth
A 2017 Courier-Post article detailed how Flying Fish brought on a new president, and founder Gene Muller turned over much of the daily management of the brewery.
At the time the Courier states Flying Fish was New Jersey’s largest independent brewery with the article listing them as producing 25,000 barrels of craft beer annually.
Meanwhile, Cape May Brewing has been seeing unprecedented growth with their beer product lines since being founded in 2011.
A 2021 article at Brewing Industry Guide states that in just five years Cape May Brewing went from 6,300 barrels of production, to an estimated 50,000 barrels in 2021.
In 2019 it was reported that Cape May Brewing company made a deal to have Yards Brewing in Philadelphia brew some of the CMBC beers, as demand was outpacing the production capacity in South Jersey (Philly Voice)
By taking over ownership of the Flying Fish facility, it will enable Cape May Brewing to be in more control of the brewing process around their extended production needs.
Keep in mind that is with Cape May focusing on just three markets; New Jersey, Philadelphia and surrounding communities, and Delaware.
Clearly Cape May Brewing has their focus set on more growth (adding additional markets?), and will need more production capacity to support it!
So again while I don’t fully know the details of how they plan on utilizing the Somerdale Flying Fish Brewery facility in a longer term sense, it’s likely to play a part in the ongoing growth of the Cape May Brewing Company.
Links And Location
Flying Fish Brewing Co.
900 Kennedy Blvd
Somerdale, NJ 08083
Cape May Brewing
1250 Hornet Road (Cape May Airport Complex)
Rio Grande, NJ