A small, charming town famous for its sandy beaches, hiking trails, saltwater fishing, and now, craft beer. What began in 2012 as a cramped basement brewing operation by three local friends, Montauk Brewing Company has evolved to the fastest-selling craft brand family in Metro NY, selling two times faster than their competition.
Evolving out of the vibe of their taproom in Montauk, “Come As You Are” welcomes everyone into the Montauk Brew Co. family and wants everyone to enjoy quality craft beer made right up the coast. Montauk is a true beach lifestyle brand that focuses on living the No Frills Good Life, and that is something that has been built in a very natural way over the last 10 years. Heady Times met with one of the founders, Vaughan Cutillo, to discuss everything we need to know about Montauk Brewing Company coming to the South Jersey market.
Heady Times (HT): Talk about the inception of Montauk Brewing Company.
Vaughan Cutillo (VC): We officially opened our doors to Montauk Brewing Company on June 30, 2012, but we started as a homebrew operation in my cramped basement in 2010. Cofounder, Eric Moss, was actually the one creating the recipes and remains our brewmaster to this day. We were becoming more well-known so the timing was just right. When we first opened, our first delivery vehicle was a beach cruiser with a keg trailer attached to it. The bicycle is a part of our DNA and can be found at the brewery today.
HT: What are some major changes from inception to now?
VC: The last 10 years have been a rocket ship for us and we threw out our crystal ball a long time ago. It’s been an ever-changing and exciting ride for the brand. At the end of the day, it’s our fans that dictate our success, it’s the people who ask for Montauk in bars or grab a six-pack from the shelf that has allowed us to expand the way we have. In November 2022, Montauk Brewing Company was acquired by Tilray Brands. This marks the next chapter for us and with the added relationships and support, we can’t wait to see what the future holds. The partnership with Tilray has been a terrific experience. They identify as a true lifestyle brand and we fit that mold perfectly. This partnership allows us to grow the brand, build upon our already incredible team, and bring more Montauk to more fans than ever before!
HT: Let’s talk beer. What is your flagship? Can retailers expect spring seasonals?
VC: Wave Chaser IPA is our clear flagship. It’s known for its approachability. The perfect beer for IPA and non-IPA drinkers. Wave Chaser is the #1 selling IPA in Metro NY. As far as seasonals, we have our Watermelon Session IPA which has been a part of our portfolio for over six years and is the perfect summertime beer. It’s light and flavorful, but not as fruit-forward as a Jolly Rancher. It’s subtle and made with all-natural watermelon concentrate.
HT: Why did you choose to expand?
VC: We grew to be the #1 selling craft brand in Metro NY with only three wholesalers. The plan was to dig deep, not wide and that strategy has served us extremely well. We have constant requests for our beer across the country, so we certainly see opportunities to expand further. Kramer will be one of the first additions to that growth plan and we couldn’t be more excited to be present in the South Jersey market!
HT: What sets you apart from other breweries?
VC: We’ve organically been able to grow a lifestyle craft brand within the beer space, without spending much in terms of marketing dollars. We do have any TVs in our Taproom as we want to focus on conversations and connections. Our demographic is a wide range of people and our all-inclusive “Come As You Are” way of life adds to that.
To learn more, visit: https://montaukbrewingco.com/pages/home
About Kramer Beverage
Kramer Beverage is South Jersey’s largest award-winning beer wholesaler, owned and operated by four generations of the Kramer family since 1924. Based out of Hammonton, Atlantic County, and services eight counties in southern New Jersey with top brands from MolsonCoors, Constellation, Yuengling, Boston Beer, Heineken USA, Pabst, Diageo, FIFCO, and more. Kramer Beverage also distributes a wide variety of craft beers, from suppliers such as New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, to local favorites including Flying Fish, Double Nickel, Evil Genius, Glasstown, MudHen and 2SP. For more information on Kramer Beverage, please visit www.kramerbev.com.