Posts Tagged With: Flying Fish

Flying Fish ESB Amber Ale

Beer: ESB Amber Ale
 Flying Fish Brewing Company
Style: American Amber Ale
ABV: 5.5%


Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa




Sight: Clear honey colored body with inch of a head that fizzles down to nothingness.

Smell: After dipping my nose into the glass, I’m reminded of nights drinking in German beer gardens. There is an initial Bavarian pretzel smell, which is quickly overpowered by a slightly sweet, astringent smell. No bueno. Tempting fate, I went in for one last sniff, and the lasting memory is rotting apple. For the chemists out there, this aroma is caused by acetaldehyde–a chemical produced during the yeast to booze conversion.

Flavor: My hopes of drinking a Bavarian pretzel were smashed upon first sip. Instead, the muddied flavors in this beer are corn, white toast, syrupy caramel, and pinch of grapefruit hops. If there wasn’t that a brightness from the citrus flavor, this beer would’ve been an incredible let down.

Feel: Thinnish body with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Well, to start, this beer isn’t a straight Amber Ale as its name implies. ESB Amber? Is that a thing? Should it be a thing? Well, it’s a thing (apparently). ESB–or Extra Special Bitter–is a slightly more alcoholic English-style pale ale. Despite it’s misleading name, ESBs are actually quite balanced…not so much bitter. As Amber Ales also usually strive for balance, this beer should be doubly balanced.

And the result of this hybrid? Well, it doesn’t taste like an Amber. Absent are the robust hops flavors, which are replaced with a pretty boring, generic English malt taste. This ale is mostly ESB, with little Amber representation. While wholly drinkable, there’s a whole lot of false advertising going on here.

For the record, Flying Fish describes this as a “classic British extra special bitter made fresh with an American slant.” I really don’t buy the American slant, but this is a decent American interpretation of a British classic. And, for another record, this is not an Amber Ale.


Categories: Amber Ale | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Flying Fish HopFish IPA

Beer: HopFish IPA
Brewery: Flying Fish Brewing Co.
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.5%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Mug
Drinking Establishment: Surf City, Jersey City, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Secondary Consumer: Laura, Ally’s sister



Sight: Clear golden/copper/amber color.  Not much of a head, just a dusting of bubbles.  Nice lacing, though.

Smell: Metallic, fruity hops (like apricot).  A very, very mild pine.

Flavor: The apricot fruitiness is at the forefront, and the hop aftertaste lingers in the back of the throat.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel, almost syrupy, but still crisp.  Moderate-to-high carbonation.

Concluding Remark: NJ brewery Flying Fish uses three hop varieties (Nugget, Ahtahnum, and Columbus) and a combination of American, English, and German malts to create its HopFish IPA.  The result is a refreshing brew with definite drinkability; it’s balanced, not too bitter, and what you’d expect from an IPA.  A good summer beer.

Categories: India Pale Ale | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel

Beer:  Exit 4 American Trippel
Brewery: Flying Fish
Style: Tripel
ABV: 9.5%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Wine glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s kitchen
Primary Consumer: Kerensa



Sight: Crisp golden/orange body filled with tiny rising carbonation bubbles. Very thin white head that ebbs instantly. A trace of lacing is left on the glass.

Scent: It smells like stumbling upon a grove of oranges and tulips. Pleasantly citrusy and floral, with a bit of bitter hops at the end.

Flavor: If I was doing a blind taste test, I would (mistakenly) identify this as an IPA, initially. As I get further into it, I do get a bit of the Tripel phenols-passing-as-bananas flavor, as well as the ubiquitous Belgian Abbey yeast funk. There’s a lingering tropical fruit-n-grass flavor at the end.

Feel: Thin-to-medium, and dry, mouthfeel. Appropriate carbonation.

At the end of the day, there’s a Belgian Tripel in here; it’s just hidden under a pile of hops.

Concluding remarks: For those that are not well acquainted with New Jersey’s vast and wonderful state highway system, the beer’s moniker refers to Exit 4 off of the New Jersey Turnpike. Flying Fish began the “Exit Series” a number of years ago with the goal of brewing “a series of beers as diverse as the great state of New Jersey” (hell yeah!). With the input and participation of local residents, Flying Fish has been working on developing new styles that reflect the many histories associated with each exit (there are 18 in total). Some are obvious; for example, the Exit 9 (the exit for Rutgers University) is a Hoppy Scarlet Ale (Rutgers’ mascot is the Scarlet Knights). Exit 4 is not. So…a little research!

Exit 4 is…Mount Laurel Township.  (Hey planning, history, and law nerds! This is THE Mount Laurel, you know, from the Mount Laurel doctrine that advanced affordable housing efforts through zoning.) More relevant, the Flying Fish brewery is in close proximity to Mount Laurel.  And since Flying Fish claims that they were one of the first U.S. craft brewers to brew Belgian-style beers, they decided that Exit 4 should represent their brewing history. Thus, the Exit 4 is a Belgian Tripel, doused with a(n) (un)healthy dose of American hops (Simcoe and Amarillo, to name a few).

I understand why they would want to call this a Tripel, if only for nostalgic purposes. However, I keep getting sweet, spicy IPA. Potayto, pototahto, right? Yes, I mostly agree. But here at The Year in Beer, we’re (attempting) to dissect, analyze, and evaluate style. So, I gotta be a jerk about it.

All in all, though, this a pretty complex and delicious beast. I absolutely recommend this and challenge you to go explore New Jersey, one Exit at a time.

Categories: Belgian | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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