Tag Archives: Beer Tasting

2021 Breweries to Visit – Icarus

Even though my 2020 Breweries to Visit list…oh heck we all know what happened to any plans made in 2020. The fact that 2020 was a wash didn’t stop me from making my 2021 Breweries to Visit list. This year’s list focuses heavily only #NJCraftBeer with a few PA breweries in the mix and so far I’m on track with visits. My latest stop was to Icarus Brewing in Lakewood, NJ. I’ve been hearing so many good things about their beer and had to check it out for myself.

I recently met a friend there on a rainy afternoon so outside sitting wasn’t going to work. However, on nice days there is a small makeshift seating area in the parking lot in front of the brewery. Parking appears to be limited unless I missed a second lot. We chose to go early on a Friday in hopes it wouldn’t be crowded at 1:30pm and our plan worked.

The brewery is much smaller than I imagined but the layout doesn’t make you feel cramped and even though it’s in a warehouse they have it set up to be warm and inviting. There are only a handful of tables with the tables along the wall having hanging dividers between them. There are also hooks along the wall and under the bar to hang purses and coats or whatever, as well as, charging outlets. Very nice touch! (no bar seating right now) Since I had my pups with me I chose the corner table next to the bar which was really out of the way from others.

The tap list is diverse from Pilsner, IPA, Pale Ale, Fruit, Stouts and Quads on tap. I was excited to see two Pilsners on the list, my go to style right now and stuck to them and IPA’s for this trip. I was happy with all my choices. The Three B’s Pilsner 6.9% and Pound of Feathers Imperial Pilsner 7.1% both were well done, clean and crisp and my favs of the day. I enjoyed the Pound of Feathers so much I bought 4 pack for my brother. I also really enjoyed the Piner West Coast IPA 7.4%. I love a good old school W.C. IPA and the Piner was exactly what I was in the mood for with hints of pine and citrus.

The artwork on the walls is fun and I even spotted a Grateful Dead painting so you know that made this Gal happy. The have a large collection of vinyl that they play and I love that they display the album sleeve of what is currently playing. Another nice touch!

We brought our own food to enjoy. I stopped on the way to Icarus at Mama Dude’s a fantastic little mom & pop farm to table take out joint…highly recommend them. We enjoyed lunch, beers and catching up which really made for such a relaxing afternoon.

Right now seating is limited to 90 minutes if crowded, no flights and there’s a take out window up front for purchases. The staff is friendly and happy to answer any questions and the brewery is dog friendly. Mama T. and Sullivan felt very welcomed.

Icarus Brewing ~ Facebook ~ Web ~ IG


Black Beauties

FullSizeRenderThere for a while it seemed the “in” thing with craft beer was to make sure when you drank a beer the hops exploded in your mouth and took over every taste bud. Thank goodness that trend is fading some and a beautiful beauty is rising up as the next big thing. I like to refer to it as Black Beauty in other words Black Beers. No not stouts or porter but Black Beers as in Black Lagers, Black IPAs and Black Ryes. I for one am loving this growing trend and hope it trandscends into a main stay brewing style. It’s a wonderful thing that brewers are playing around with some standard styles and brewing them with a twist.

These Black Beauties help put to rest the age old myth about beer – if it’s dark it’s heavy; if it’s light in color it’s light in flavor and body….W R O N G ! ! ! There are many full flavor full bodied light color beers, heck I once had a Blonde that weighed in at 10%,  and plenty of dark beers that would be considered on the light side of the spectrum. So lets just put that misconception to pasture.

1_114565126_3A great way to do just that is the Black beers. These beers are a perfect way to introduce one to a style they may not normally like or enjoy and to those scary “heavy” aka dark beers. I for one can appreciate a well done rye beer but you would be hard pressed to find this gal ordering a pint of one…until now. Welcome the Black Rye, oh my!

The black beers are combining the best of both worlds. These ales tend to be medium bodied beers with a dark hue complimented by just a nice but not overwhelming accent flavor whether it be hops, rye or something else. With the black you have the subtle flavors of roasted malt with cocoa and chicory balanced out by hops or rye. Suddenly this Gal is loving the rye beers, Black ryes that is, Ottercreek Black IPA has become one of my main go to beers and I find Black Lagers to be so delightful. Three styles I previously shied away from and am completely and totally drawn to now.

Black_rye_bottle_webA few favorites:

Founders Black Rye (very happy to see Founders promoting this on the festival circuit)

Broken Goblet Black Rye – my first intro to black ryes

Ottercreek Black IPA – a true delight

Terrapin Brewing  in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing – Black is the New Wit

So next time you find yourself presented with the opportunity to try a Black Beer PLEASE do so. You may just expose yourself to a whole new world of beer.