Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
Growing up, I went through phases where I would collect things – pogs, baseball cards, comic books – and often trade these things with my friends. Now that I’m in my early 30s, I’ve learned that I’m still trading, though now it’s something much different – beer. It’s a lot easier to swap these days rather than the tense bartering of collectibles back then, with my friends happy to hand off new and rare beers, always keeping an eye on what’s being distributed and what’s new in the craft beer industry, at least on the east coast. Last weekend my buddy went to Icarus Brewing Company, an up-and-coming beer maker along the Jersey Shore that’s been making buzz locally and he grabbed me a four-pack, which included Double Dry Hopped Power Juicer.
Located just a stone’s throw from Point Pleasant in Lakewood, Icarus was founded in early 2017 and is now led by Head Brewmaster Jason Goldstein, who specialized in Food Fermentation while earning a degree in Food Science from Ohio State University. Goldstein also trained in Brewlab at the University of Sunderland, receiving a diploma in British Brewing Technology, and previously spent time at smaller startup breweries. It’s safe to say he knows his stuff, which is why word is spreading of Icarus’ ability to craft delicious IPAs. To date, the brewery has brewed 2,120 barrels, with their beers available in 180 stores in New Jersey, according to a chart on their site. I know little about their beer lineup and if there are any year-round efforts but I can tell from social media Icarus is consistently pumping out a steady stream of unique limited releases. The only problem is that it’s a smaller brewery, so sometimes the quantities are small and don’t last.
Double Dry Hopped Power Juicer seems to be somewhat of a series for Icarus as the company has 11 variations of DDH beers, some with slight tweaks other with completely different names. Power Juicer comes in four-pack pounders and costs $20 – about the standard rate for a beer of this caliber. The label is green with various colors mixed in to look like a streak of wet paint, with hops in the background. The label does a solid job in explaining this 7.5 percent ABV effort and what drinkers can expect, so much so that I decided to skip the explanation portion of this feature:
Heavily Wheated and Oated North East Imperial India Pale Ale with Lactose copiously dry hopped with Galaxy, Columbus, Lupulin Citra and Double Dry Hopped with Cashmere.
Given my friend’s staunch approval of this beer, I was excited to crack it open and check it out. I am a huge fan of dry hopped beers and Imperial IPAs, so if the two often complimentary flavors can be married together really well, I’m all for it. When I cracked it open, the smell of citrus was glorious and everything I was hoping it would be, as I distinctly recognized notes of pineapple and mango, which went along well with the pine aroma. It poured pretty nicely too, though I might’ve liked a little more off-white head to compliment the straw-like look of this medium-bodied beer. The mouthfeel, at least for me, transitioned nicely, beginning with a a slight sweetness from the lactose and moving to a juicebomb with a light, bitter ending.
Power Juicer is an upper-echelon beer to me and one of the better I’ve had that’s brewed within driving distance. It’s unbelievably easy to drink and extremely well executed. I was told it was good but I’m more impressed than I thought I might be and that means I’m going to have to try more from Icarus in the not too distant future. The average score on BeerAdvocate, as rated by nine people, is a 4.27 and I actually think that’s a little low. I would give it an 8.9 out of 10. The only slight knock came from pouring and the lack of head but, other than that, this is a superb beer.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might just try something from your favorite brewery.