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.
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.
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.
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.