Alicia Grasso, Marketing Director at CMBC, has spent the last six years building the brands of one of the fastest rising stars of the Northeast’s craft brewery scene.
We caught up with Alicia to learn what an average day for the Marketing Director of a successful brewery looks like. She also told us about the new and exciting things happening at CMBC this summer and how they will be celebrating the brewery’s 10th anniversary!
Heady Times (HT): Can you tell us how you got into the industry and how you ended up at Cape May?
Alicia Grasso (AG): As a Cape May, NJ resident, I had heard of this ‘new brewery’ that opened up at the Cape May Airport. I was driving home one day and decided to stop by and see it for myself. An unassuming industrial park storefront from the outside, but jammed with people and noise and fresh beer inside, I was totally surprised and wholly intrigued. I thought to myself, “I’d like to work here someday.” After 13 years spent in marketing and development, I took a leap of faith and left my job. I was going to take a break to spend time with my young family. However, within two weeks, CMBC heard I was a free agent and reached out to me to see if I would be interested in helping them ‘write press releases.’ I took the meeting, drew up a proposal of services and the rest is history. That was six years ago.
HT: What does an average day look like for you?
AG: I’m currently living that WFH life and my mornings are always full of meetings. Every day at 9:00 am, I huddle up with the co-founders and department managers and we report our daily priorities along with any good news or updates. Immediately after, I check in with the marketing team to ensure that we’re all on the same page. Afternoons are usually spent working on longer term strategic projects, brand building and Zooming with other department managers in more one-on-ones. I’m always looking for ways to build the CMBC brand, while keeping an eye on what’s changing in the marketplace. I like to finish my day info-sponging from the beer business dailies and planning my priorities for tomorrow, usually while contemplating cracking a Tan Limes or an Always Ready. There’s never a dull moment when you work in beer.
HT: Can you tell us about your new hard seltzer variety pack and how it came to be?
AG: As seltzers began growing in popularity, like everyone else, we watched the category closely. We began trialing formulae and flavors in 2019. Over the course of a year or so, we perfected our recipes, began working with our design team on branding and planned the launch for March 1st of this year. Luckily, it’s been an awesome response! Made from all-natural cane sugar, our seltzers clock in at a reasonable 4.5% ABV, each one is under a hundred calories and each is 6 grams of carbs or less. Our consumers really respond to the fact that our seltzers contain all-natural flavors – you won’t get any of that weird chemical aftertaste with Cape May Hard Seltzer.
HT: What else should consumers and retailers be excited about from CMBC for 2021?
AG: It’s our 10th anniversary this year (so much to celebrate!), and we have some really fun events planned, including bringing back our Pick of the Batch fall beer festival. We’re also rolling out some tasting room-exclusive beers, many of which might make it into next year’s wider offerings. And we’ve got some Crushin’ It line extensions on the horizon for those fruit beer and IPA enthusiasts. There are a lot of delicious and fun summer products coming down the pike that are sure to round out everyone’s favorite summer pastimes.
HT: What do you like best about working for CMBC?
AG: The people! It’s exciting to work with people who share a passion for craft beer and its culture. It makes for engaging, creative work sessions, abounding with good energy. In return, we create (and ultimately drink) innovative beers and fresh hard seltzers, brimming with unique, collaborative stories with a lot of love behind them.