Barrel Aged Birdie Scotch Ale

Posted in Craft Beer, on 27 February 2017, by , 2 Comments

Around half a year ago when I was still posting our bi-weekly updates someone commented to me:”You know Jason, there’s no way you’ll still have this blog going once the Breweries open, you’ll just be too busy and lose any care to explain to us the tiny details of whats going on”, well mysterious commenter: You’re both right and wrong, I am extremely busy, but everyone still deserves to be an integral part of building the brewery with us, and today that is by brewing our first Stout.

Developing the Stout:

After living  and studying in England for half a year I learned two major things: The English loved their Stouts, and also that they had the most brutal love-hate relationship with the Irish.  Based off of this I decided to focus on the love for Stouts rather than delve into their geopolitical strife and attempt to understand what the differences between United Kingdom, Great Britain, British Isles etc all meant.  To do this I broke down the most important parts of a Stout: roastiness, chocolate, and almost a sweet molasses backbone.  Rather than brew a true Dry Irish Stout I figured we are in the Jersey Shore, the land of an entire month of St Patricks Day Parades, where most people are descendants of Irish Immigrants, lets brew an “Irish Extra” stout.  Irish Extra Stouts tend to be a little bit stronger and have a slightly more pronounced roasted character than a standard Dry Irish Stout.


Brew sheet

Putting together the recipe sheet

Roast Barley swirls

Mashing in the Irish Extra Stout

Malt Bill

Irish Extra Stouts are direct descendants of English Porters, using things like Flaked and Roasted barley as using the grain unmalted was a cheaper prospect than using all malted grains.  Trying to stay as true to style as possible we used a base of Maris Otter malt (English Malt), and a healthy amount of Flaked Barley for body as well as Roasted Barley for its dry roastiness and bitterness.  Rather than just stop there we also used both Chocolate Malt and Coffee Malt to add a depth and character to the roast reminiscent of dark chocolates and black coffee as accents.  While this is an extremely simple recipe, it is often the simplest recipes that offer the most character.


True to what would be used in the UK (or is it the British Isles???) we used East Kent Golding for both bitterness and for a slight amount of Aroma.  East Kent Golding is probably the most English of English varieties of hops but seeing as how hops in Ireland were imported from England, well that is our best option.

Learning to use a scale.

On the Left: What Spence believed to be 48 ounces of East Kent Golding, on the right: what 48 ounces really are.



We pulled the Yeast from our American Brown Ale (London Ale III) and reused it for the Irish Stout, and is still fermenting at this point quite happily.  We are keeping the fermentation temperature at 67F for the majority of the Fermentation and hoping the gravity drops far enough for the alcohol to end around 6% abv.

Whats Next

Our end-goal for our Irish Stout is to release it on St Patricks day weekend (Not Belmar St Patricks Parade weekend nor Seaside St Patricks Parade weekend, but instead March 17th).  Planning to have the entire tasting room dedicated to Stouts/Porters/Irish Reds/one-offs of each for the weekend to celebrate like only the Irish (and certainly not the English) would.  Currently working on the next round of brewdays which should include: Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Blonde, Northeast IPA, Weizenbock, Coffee Saison, and maybe even a nice big Russian Imperial Stout.

As of right now we’re currently on tap at 22 bars with more added every week as well as in planning for a few upcoming beer festivals including Atlantic City Beer Fest, as well as Beer on The Boards.

Currently in Fermenation

Fermenter 1: Australian IPA (Release Date: 3/3/17)

Fermenter 2: American Brown Ale (Release Date: 3/4/17)

Fermenter 4: Foreign Extra Stout (Release Date 3/17/17)

Currently in Barrels: Birdie Scotch Ale on Rye Whiskey

Birdie Scotch ale on Bourbon Whiskey

Imperial Yukon Cornelius Coffee Porter on Buckwheat Whiskey

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Icarus Brewing Sales

Posted in Craft Beer, on 13 February 2017, by , 0 Comments

During my travels across the Garden State, customers and clients often tell me that I have the coolest job in the world. I think back to when I was a bartender/waiter/ house painter and only dreamed of getting to hang out with beer for a living. Now that it has somehow happened to me, I remind myself of how awesome it is at the beginning of each day and every time I get stressed. The truth is that it might just be the coolest job in the world, and I try to earn it and never take it for granted.

My days and responsibilities are all over the place, just like I hoped. I’ve helped epoxy our bar, come up with names for our beers, painted our chalkboard wall in the warehouse, juiced up all of the oranges by hand for our house soda (we have a juicer now, so things are looking up for my hands), cut out our tap handles and spray painted them, kegged numerous batches of our beer, and trekked out across the greater Monmouth and Ocean County area in search of bars and restaurants to get our beer on tap.

Making Ginger Ale

Some of the projects that fall into the title of “Salesman”

When I took my job with Icarus, I was between this offer and a tech start up. I knew I wanted to be at a start up because I wanted to see something from the beginning and do something different every day. Icarus was the road less traveled in this case. A tech start up would have been the safer choice, but something about working in a place that had so much room for creativity (and beer) made me unable to resist. Icarus also has Chewie the Golden Huskie, which was a big selling point for me (and everyone who sees him during tasting room hours, I’d like to think.) Needless to say, I hope to be with Icarus Brewing for a very long time.

Since I was brought on, a lot has changed. During my second interview, I tried my first Icarus beer, the still fermenting and then unnamed Yukon Cornelius Coffee Porter. Now we are almost sold out of our first batch, and you can currently get the Yukon at many of the sixteen locations where we are currently on tap.

Spence Learning how to fill kegs

Spences first Kegging run

Even my meetings are drastically different from when I started. At first I was just meeting with people telling them that beer was coming and to trust me that it was good. Then I was carrying around samples of Yukon in repurposed Grolsch bottles. Now I have seven different beers to sample for people (six since the exciting moment this weekend when the first batch of Panic Pale Ale kicked), and I now have non-Grolsch bottles that I sample from…okay one of them is still a Grolsch. The Icarus motto is: Work in progress.

I have now been an assistant brewer, worked out deals to get us on tap all up and down the Jersey Shore, let my beer snobbery run wild, and I get to say the word “vorlauf” on a daily basis. Life is pretty cool.

Tap listing plot

Where We’re Currently on tap in Ocean County, I swear its our taplist and not something nefarious























And since brevity is the essence of wit, I will leave you with that for now. Things coming up on the Icarus docket include Atlantic City Beer Fest, a canning run of the Panic Pale Ale, hats, and our first IPA. What will the future hold for Chewie and the Icarus gang? Tune in next time to find out in my sequel blog post, 2 Fast 2 Icarus.


Our first taste of a beer Brewed at Icarus

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