NJ ABC Permits

Posted in Updates, on 29 March 2016, by , 0 Comments

Bureau of Bureacracy

The Worst Task: Waiting

You might have wondered where we have been as the posts have definitely slowed down.  Well, that is exactly our feeling as the responses and movement has slowed down with the Federal Government and their TTB Permits as well as the State Government and their ABC Permits.  As of February 24th 2016 our (50 Page) Federal Application was read and moved out of the triage stage, but the month since has been deafening silence.  Similarly the (70 Page) ABC Limited Brewery Permit was submitted on February 25th, with us only receiving  confirmation of receipt a mere few days ago.  To add some synchronicity between the two, neither have let us know who our assigned Inspectors/Specialists will be, but I can promise you whoever they assign will be my best friends for the next few months.  Hopefully the glacially slow pace on these are just because of the sheer amount of gold stars and smiley face stickers the Inspectors need for my applications.  bureaucracy

How we Speed up the Permits

So far I have reached out to our local Senators and Assemblymen in Lakewood to insist to the State that our Permits cannot sit in limbo forever since we have a lot of thirsty mouths that are craving our beer and I’m not trying to disappoint a single one of them by not having beer ready to serve.  They have seemed very receptive to helping “carry the flag” to New Jersey for us in speeding up what can be an extremely long and arduous process of sitting and waiting.  Otherwise, all we can do is sit and wait for a call or email from our eventually assigned specialist, ready and waiting to respond with any documentation or questions they might have to ask.

Progress we can Believe in: Equipment

While there is not that much we can physically do to hurry up the speed of the State or Federal Government, their is plenty we can and are doing while we wait.  As important as having permits to brew the beer is, so is having everything setup to brew, and having a place to serve you.  Our equipment is all either finishing up or en route currently.  In the next few weeks we will be scheduling the delivery of our Brewhouse, which will be coming over the road from Ridgway Colorado.  Meanwhile, pieces of our Fermenters/Glycol Chiller keep arriving day by day from various places like Georgia and California, but the actual Fermenters and Bright Tank are currently somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, making their way to New Jersey by the end of April.

Starting the Equipment pile

Exhaust Fan, Air Louvers, Cold Room Compressor, and a mystery box


We’re Gonna Build A Wall

But we’re going to pay for it.  Finalizing pricing and bids with a few different Contractors so we can get the best price for the best work in building a tasting room so each of you can sample our work in a temperature controlled room on days that we just can’t allow you out in the warehouse other than for tours such as our brew days and when its just way too hot outside for anyone to want to stand in a hot warehouse.  For us building this tasting room is what makes “this house a home”, as we design everything to our dreams (that our bank accounts will allow).  As soon as we have our contractor picked we will be applying for our local building permits, which will hopefully be that much easier than anything we’ve seen on the State and Federal level.  This will allow us to pretty up everything in the warehouse as well, getting every water connection, gas connection, electric connection, and lighting all in place so the day our equipment arrives it can snuggle up in its place and be ready and waiting to brew the day our approvals get their final sticker of approval.



Beers on Deck to be Brewed:

Oatmeal American-IPA
Smoked Pilsner

Ginger-Grapefruit Witbeer

Chipotle Porter

Currently in Fermentation:

Irish-American Red Ale

Currently in Barrels:

Imperial Coffee-Rye Porter


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Brewery Construction

Posted in Brewing, Updates, on 19 February 2016, by , 1 Comments

Keys Please

After 6 months of lease negotiations, cautious optimism with approvals from Lakewood, and actual construction of our warehouse, the Brewery Keys are almost ours.  What this means is that we have a door, a window, four walls, a roof, and maybe some electric and heat.  While this might not seem like much as we still can’t brew, we still haven’t even started our own construction, and we still have months more of work ahead of us, its pretty easy to see where we have come compared to where we started.

Construction Framing

Where We Started, once the first of the framing went up.

Where these Keys Will Take us

Now that the building is officially ours (as the rent checks will show), we can finally get started on our end of the work.  Our first step is to finalize our Architectural and Engineering drawings so that we can apply for our Lakewood Building Permits as well as look at bids for the Tasting Room construction.  As soon as we have these bids we should be able to finally close our SBA Loan, which will be nice as it gets really hard to pay for all these fancy Stainless Steel Kettles and Fermenters without this loan.  Now that the building is ours we can also submit our Federal Brewers Notice to the TTB (Tax & Trade Bureau), which as of December 2015 had a 150+ day processing time (hopefully we bring down the average, hoping for around 100-120 so we can open by June).  While the Federal Permits are “In Process” we will be working with both New Jersey for our State Permits as well as ironing everything out with Lakewood to make for a smooth opening with minimal headaches from being the first Brewery they have approved.


What these Keys Will Do for You

All of this means that we should hopefully be on the process to open by Early Summer, which is of course behind our desired schedule, but very expected.  In the meantime we have plenty of Pilot batches in the works:

  1. Imperial Coffee Rye Porter – Just about ready to be Put into Kegs &/Or Oak Barrels
  2. Smoked Pilsner
  3. Ginger Grapefruit Witbeer
  4. Irish Chocolate Red Ale
  5. Chipotle Porter
  6. American Amarillo IPA
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Brewery Building

Posted in Brewing, Updates, on 14 January 2016, by , 0 Comments

What we’ve done (Fermenting Money):

Last time we talked we were bogged down in paperwork, and guess what?  That never ends.  While we’ve made some headway with our banks toward our full SBA (Small Business Administration) approval, we still have plenty of work to go.  Also since we last talked we have confirmed our Brewhouse design as well as placing our Cold Side (2 x10BBL Fermenters 2 x20 BBL Fermenters 1 x20 BBL Bright Tank + Glycol Chiller + Keg Washer) on order.  Not sure I’ll ever be used to writing checks this large, but at least our manufacturers (Bennett Forgeworks for the Brewhouse, and Premier/Prochiller for the Cold Side) are the best at what they do, so I can feel comfortable knowing they’ll allow me to brew the best beer possible.  We haven’t figure out the perfect recipe for fermenting money just quite yet, but having quality manufacturers on our side certainly can’t hurt.




Premier Stainless Fermenters – On Order

Fermenting a Beer

Our Weizenbock Pilot Batch is also nearing completion, it has been fermenting away for the last two weeks and is just about ready to be cold crashed so we can get it in kegs for carbonation.  So far every sample we’ve taken off the fermenter has been distinctly clove with banana, which is exactly what we were aiming for.

Weizenbock Fermentation

Spunding Valve for Pressurized Fermentation

Fermenting a Building

Not too much on the construction end, but we do have a door and a window, which is convenient because it seems winter is finally hitting.

Brewery Window and Door

Soon to Come:

In the next few weeks we should be Kegging the Weizenbock and getting our next Pilot Brewed (Coffee Rye Imperial Porter).  As the construction wraps up on the building we’ll start applying for our own building permits to get our Tenant Fit-out going, so we can build up the Tasting Room and have everything prepared for the Brewhouse arrival (End of February).  In addition to all of this we are starting to work on our Federal TTB forms so we can apply for permits the second the property is turned over to us, can’t do anything without the tax-mans approval.

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Posted in Updates, on 9 November 2015, by , 0 Comments

Don’t Just Stand for Something Great, Brew It.

Our mission is to cultivate a line of craft beer that will be beloved by beer lovers in the greater Ocean County area.  This will be achieved by creating a much needed destination for craft beer lovers to gather.  Our taproom will cater to new drinkers as well as those drinkers with more sophisticated palates, providing an experience in both beer and brewing.  Our customers can expect a wide variety of hand crafted beers on rotating taps always inspiring with something new as well as taking inspiration from our community.


Icarus Brewing


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