Thursday, November 3, 2011

Flying Fish talks move to Exit 3

Once upon a time, like in 1995-96, Flying Fish described its emergence on the craft (back then micro) brewing scene as going from minnow to fish.

Now, the soon-to-be-departing-Cherry Hill brewery, and its 14,000-barrel output, is growing from a tuna into marlin, so to speak. A bigger Fish, indeed.

Via the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild newsletter today and its own website, FF offered some details of its planned move to Somerdale (that's Exit 3 in beer series lingo), where it will make beer on a state-of-the-art 50 barrel German-manufactured brewhouse and draw its juice (or some of it) via rooftop solar panels. (Still in Camden County, Somerdale is just a bottle cap's throw from Cherry Hill.)

A decade and a half after launching with an ESB (one that would in six months' time earn compliments from famed beer hunter Michael Jackson), an extra pale ale (a light beer without being nondescript light), a tasty porter still remembered by a few folks (alas it's gone, morphed into an imperial seasonal with the addition of coffee), and quickly weaving an abbey dubbel into the lineup, Flying Fish is tripling its capacity and promising some changes to its flight of beers. (In our recollection, FF has never brewed a lager. And since you can find head brewer Casey Hughes from time to time enjoying a Sly Fox Pikeland Pilsner at Good Dog in Philadelphia, maybe a pils is in the Fish's future.)

Interesting, too, is the fact that FF's expansion comes amid a surge in New Jersey craft brewing, with the addition of seven new licensees since mid-2009, and only a couple of casualties in that bunch (Newark's Port 44 Brew Pub, which closed last summer after only a year on the scene, and Great Blue Brewing, a nano that sort of started and stopped amid some technical troubles, but hasn't thrown in the towel).

It's a good time to be following brewed-in-Jersey.

Jersey beer trivia: Flying Fish is the only brewery in the state (maybe even the country) to have a cartoon drawn for it by a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist. Two-time Pulitzer winner Steve Breen, who worked at the Asbury Park Press in the 1990s, sketched a Cheshire-like cat perched between a pint of Fish and fish in a bowl, devilishly eyeing the brew Fish, not the finned fish.

No comments: