LAKEWOOD, NEW JERSEY
Inside a grey warehouse just past Lakewood’s Post Office, ICARUS BREWING came to fruition November 2015. Head brewer Jason Goldstein, an Ohio State University food science major, trained under the staffs of stalwart breweries Heineken and Newcastle, setting up Rinn Duin (now Toms River Brewing) thereafter.
Icarus has crafted a myriad of wide-ranging one-off elixirs and a few recurring offerings since its inception, taking great care in providing interesting flavor profiles for a legion of fans crowding this venue as soon as it opened on my premier visit on a sunny Thursday afternoon in August ’19.
At the lacquered wood serving station are 24 tap handles, a red and black beer list and small refrigerator with to-go brews. Five barreled tables with block seats fill out the epoxy-floored interior and a Led Zeppelin poster across an Icarus insignia.
Reliable flagship pale ale, Go Flight, expedited juicy lupulin-powdered grapefruit, orange and pineapple tanginess plus limey gooseberry tartness for ‘heavily wheated’ dry malting.
Aussie summertime hoppy pilsner, Extinguish, brought lightly soured apple, pear and grape tannins as well as sweet cantaloupe and honeydew illusions to lightly pungent grain musk.
Oak-barreled Belgian farmhouse yeast left tart pineapple salting, mellow grapefruit tanginess and dry barnyard funk on dry saison, Wax Wings.
Conditioning Icarus’ Yacht Juice base on lime, toasted coconut and habanero peppering, dry North East IPA, It’s Getting Yacht In Here, left a bit of peppery heat upon its lightly vanilla creamed tropical fruit spicing.
Waxy lupulin-powdered Mosaic hop fruiting and heavily wheated oats consumed New England Imperial IPA, Drinking Crayons, leaving lemony tangerine, mango and apricot illusions in its wake.
Lactic triple IPA, Touching The Sun, combined sweetly sour citrus fruiting with mild oats-flaked wheat malts, spreading orange-juiced pineapple, green grape and gooseberry tartness across its lupulin-powdered surface.
Lovely fruitful dry-hopped Abomination collaboration, The Long Fall, a powdered pastry-like Milkshake Triple IPA, tossed creamy Madagascar vanilla beaning at orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess, sour gooseberry-guava licks and lactic milk-sugared barley flouring.
Perfumed coconut water and mild lime bittering serenaded laidback NEIPA, You Put The Yacht In The Coconut, bringing waxy floral citrus tones to the mix.
Clover-honeyed toasted coconut and macadamia usurped AK47, an easygoing Russian Imperial Stout conditioned on Guatemalan coffee and nearly as great as a nightcap as fabulous dessert stout, Smooshing Sweet Parts.
Brewed with marshmallow, hazelnut and chocolate, Smooshing’s rich sweet-toothed template also included spiced cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruiting to fortify its astounding nutty mocha resilience.
During my midafternoon sojourn, October ’23, enjoyed five more wholly inviting suds (and a boozy seltzer) while punk rockers, The Misfits, played on the stereo and head brewer Dave Menges greeted guests.
Impressive Imperial pilsner, Pound Of Nectaron Feathers, let Huell Melon-hopped guava, passionfruit and pineapple tartness plus peachy orange, grapefruit and tangerine spicing (as well as plummy apricot snips) reach light pilsner malt muskiness while maintaining a mildly creamed vanilla sugaring.
Pungent detergent-like lemon oiling and sour lime juicing diluted the cara cara orange, pineapple and coconut adjuncts underlying Smoothie-like Berliner Weisse, Juice Is Worth The Squeeze: Lemon Meringue Pie, letting its sharp lactic acidity amplify latent white grape vinegaring.
Conditioned on tangerine and Madagascar vanilla beans, Orangina-like soda pop sendup, Power Shaker (Orange Cream Pop) : Oat Fluffed, plied lemony pineapple tanginess to the candied orange sugaring tingling the creamily wheated oats base.
Fudgy milkshake-inspired ‘malted milk’ knockoff, Margaret’s Wings, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout, draped Knob Creek bourbon over bittersweet cocoa nibs.
Meanwhile, Heaven Hill bourbon gave double barrel aged barleywine, Life Unraveled, its Maris Otter-malted caramelized toffee sweetness, drifting into dry rye tones, plummy raisin graze and shaved coconut nips.
Even the gluten-free hard seltzer, Labyrinth Pog & Coconut, retained sustainable depth and rangy flavonoids as limey lemon souring pickled coconut-watered passionfruit, guava and mandarin orange tropicalia.