As Labor Day arrives and summer officially comes to a close, many New Jersey beach towns enter into what the locals refer to as "local summer". Embracing this concept is Lakewood, NJ's Icarus Brewing Company who immediately jumped on the trend over Labor Day Weekend with a double bottle release of Kalashnikov variants. Now, according to filings with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), it appears we're getting even more new releases from Icarus - Lil Yacht Juice and BIG C.A.T.
Lil Yacht Juice is a 4.9% ABV Session IPA with Lactose. Jason Goldstein, owner and head brewer at Icarus, told us that "Lil Yacht is a scaled down (malt wise) version of Yacht Juice where we kept the big hop presence and also threw in some lactose since Yacht Juice has a nice sweetness you typically can't find in Session beers. Still Columbus, Mosaic, Lupulin Citra and our house yeast blend like standard Yacht Juice."
When we questioned Goldstein about the hit or miss nature of Session IPAs, he responded, "I'm always a big fan of session IPAs, but this one we're aiming for it to taste much bigger than the 4.9% abv would typically offer."
According to Icarus, Lil Yacht Juice is being planned for a 9/19 release date alongside another production of Power Juicer.
While Lil Yacht Juice takes one of Icarus' most popular offerings and scales it down, BIG C.A.T. does the inverse with one of Icarus' most popular brews. BIG C.A.T. is an 8.2% ABV Imperial Brux Pale Ale with Orange and Grapefruit Zest. Goldstein details BIG C.A.T. as a "scaled up (malt wise) version of Brux C.A.T., pushing it to 8.2% while still being an extremely wheat heavy Imperial Pale Ale fermented with Brux Trois yeast and finished on Mandarin Orange and Grapefruit Zest and backed up with Mandarina Bavaria, Palisade, Azacca, and Lupulin Citra for an even bigger push of Citrus."
BIG C.A.T. is a solo can release scheduled for 9/26; however, Icarus tells us they have some other surprises planned for that week. There will be two special draft releases with BIG C.A.T. - a Munich Dunkel named "Come on and Slam Dunkel" and a brand new Passionfruit Pureed Pale Ale with a name that is still being finalized.
Goldstein wrapped up our conversation by noting that Icarus would be releasing a non-DDH version of Waikikamukau this Wednesday alongside another release of King Arthur's Steed Coconut Porter. While Waikikamukau will be a non-DDH version, it will use the new yeast blend.