Annual Guide Outtakes: “Here’s my beer. What do you think?”

Photo by Dan Cutrona

As I mentioned last week, I’m going to be posting bits and pieces that, due to space constraints, didn’t make it into the 2012 Annual Guide. In this outtake, Todd Marcus, brewmaster at Cape Cod Beer, talks about how he cleaned draught lines to get his foot in the door, the brewery’s community-first ethos, and why I shouldn’t have tossed my plastic cup in the trash after a beer tasting.

I usually say I was gathering intelligence along the way (while I was working for Hyannisport Brewing Company). I even went so far as to work part-time for another local business that was involved in draught line cleaning so I could get into these bars and restaurants on the Cape, talk to the managers and bartenders, learn about their draught systems, what worked and didn’t work, what they liked in the beers that were on tap and what they didn’t like. It allowed me some nice ins later on, after Hyannisport Brewing Company closed, when I would say, “Remember when I was here to clean your draught lines and said that I was thinking about opening a brewery some day? Well, here it is, here’s my beer. What do you think?”

Cape Cod Beer started with Red and IPA. Originally, you could only get the IPA if you had the Red on tap. Having the Red and IPA together meant that if a customer tried the IPA and didn’t like it, but they were still somebody who was interested in trying a craft beer, that they’d try the Red and they’d be happy and satisfied with it. To this day, Cape Cod Red still accounts for more than half of our sales.

Recycling is huge for us—it’s a major part of who we are. We typically put out about one big black bag of trash from the brewery every week. Just about everything else from here gets recycled—all of our plastics, all of our metals. To be perfectly honest, I’m going to go pick up that plastic cup you threw in the trash on the way in here and I’m going to put it in the recycling bin. It’s not your fault. It’s just one of the things I’m going to do.

People know that if they’re going to drink our beer, that money they spent is going to stay here on Cape Cod. I’m going to get my paycheck and I’m going to go to the local hardware store, the local jeweler, the local optician. What comes around goes around.

If you look at our brewery’s retail shop—the books, the candles, the coffee, all that stuff—75 cents of every dollar we spent on retail items last year went to someone on Cape Cod. Now, nobody on Cape Cod is combing cotton to make a T-shirt obviously, but at the very least we’re using local screenprinters, local embroiderers, and as many locally sourced items as we can. We’re a great tourist destination, and we’re trying to help these cottage industries by giving them an outlet. We want to say, “We appreciate what you’re doing, trying to live here and enjoy what Cape Cod has to offer, and that you’re trying to make a living doing what you love as well.” Hopefully, as a result, those people are drinking Cape Cod Beer.

Annual Guide Outtakes: “There’s a lot more padding in your writing than you think there is”

To me, the 152 pages of this year’s Cape Cod Life Annual Guide represent a lot of effort. After countless hours of research, talking, and transcription, the best part of the endeavor is holding a copy in my hand for the first time. The worst part comes a little before that. Read more…

Doug Feeney

Commercial Fisherman, Seaworthy Survivor

Dan Cutrona

Read more…

Gene Schott

Thornton W. Burgess Society, Collector, Protector, Preserver

Dan Cutrona   Read more…

Tommy Leonard

Founder of the Falmouth Road Race, Bartender with Mileage on his Wheels

Dan Cutrona Read more…

Dilys & Peter Staaterman

Longnook Meadows Farm, Harvesters of Renewal

Dan Cutrona

PETER STAATERMAN: Thomas Paine and a few others approached the town of Eastham and asked if they could buy a piece of land from the town for farming and whatever else they wanted to do, so they purchased from Bound Brook Island in Wellfleet all the way up to Pilgrim Lake—all the land which is now currently Truro—back in the 1600s. Each guy drew a line from the bay over to the ocean. This section of Truro belonged to the Paines. Read more…

Bob Finch

Author, Wordsmith for the Wilderness

Dan Cutrona Read more…

Dan Wolf

State Senator, Cape Air Co-Founder

Dan Cutrona Read more…

Kathy Cotter & Donna Aliperti

Front Street Restaurant, Culinary Adventurers

Dan Cutrona Read more…

Managing Editor’s Note

Luke Simpson

In the closing moments of a conversation with Senator Dan Wolf, after we had talked about planes, public office, and family, he very directly touched on something obliquely addressed in the rest of these pages: our identity as Cape Codders. In our travels abroad, we’re Americans and New Englanders. Within the confines of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties, we are Vineyarders, Wellfleetians, and all the rest. Where we’re from depends on where we are now.

The inverse is also true: Where we are now depends on where we’re from.

For this issue, I talked with folks from all 17 communities across the region. I doubt many of them thought too deeply about their biographies until I put a tape recorder in front of them. In the course of recounting the beginnings, turns of fate, struggles, and legacies that comprise a life story, I learned from people who arrived here by design and by serendipity, from natives who came home again, and those who never left. For whatever reason, each decided to plant roots here. Each decided to identify as a Cape Codder, a Nantucketer, or a Vineyarder.

There’s a lesson here, and maybe I’m only paying attention because my wife and I finally moved over the bridge last April. Cape Cod is forever in flux, forever being pushed and pulled by its citizens. Today’s staunchest, surliest locals are usually yesterday’s washashores. But whether you head here for a few weeks in the summer, take flight at the first sign of snow on the doppler, or take the good with the bad and call this land your home year-round, there’s room here for all of us. (Eastham’s John Knight offered up this nugget on “Tourists Go Home” bumper stickers: “They go home, and shortly after, we all follow them.”) We are all fortunate to have a relationship with this place, no matter if it’s permanent or fleeting. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.

In this 2012 edition of our Annual Guide, Cape Cod Life is fortunate to once again have Dan Cutrona cast his unmatched eye and express more with pictures than I could hope to do with words. Freelance writer Tracy Hampton—who you might occasionally hear filling in behind the microphone on WCAI—explores the best, the brightest, the can’t miss, and the rarely seen in each community on the Cape and Islands. This issue also features wonderful contributions from ace Vineyard photographer Alison Shaw, our tireless (and very employable) intern Erinn Boon, and several others. We’re proud of it, and we hope you enjoy it.


Jeff Harder

Jeff Harder, Managing Editor

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