Flying Fish ESB Amber Ale
by craig motyka
Flying Fish ESB Amber Ale
For those who have read my other reviews here you’ll know I like my ambers … That being said this amber holds a special place on my heart because it was the first craft beer I got sick on some time ago … And have been buying ever since. But the the folks at flying fish have decided to move on and discontinue the ESB amber ale and replace it with red fish far inferior by the way.
This beer truly had the best of both worlds sweet and bitter with a smooth finish and abv over 6% I was able to buy the last case today for 20.00 on close out … Sad sad day in the amber market … Farewell ESB amber ale farewell.
BestBeerBuzz edit: Thanks for your post Craig. I’m going to have to agree with you 100% that Flying Fish has some questionable decision practices when it comes to discontinuing their beers.
For the most part, Flying Fish makes standard and somewhat uninspiring beers. But when they hit on a good recipe, they make it remarkable!
A few years back I toured the brewery and spoke with founder Gene Muller. At the time they released the Flying Fish Exit 11 from their NJ Turnpike Exit Series.
I have to tell you that Flying Fish Exit 11 was truly one of the most exquisite beers I have ever tasted and has landed a solid spot on my best beers list. And although its designation as a limited series destined its inevitable end, Flying Fish discontinued what could have been a rock star in their otherwise bland lineup.
I picked up three 750ml bottles during the tour, then once I tasted it, I traveled up and down the Turnpike picking up every last bottle I could find. I managed to get five remaining bottles and saved them for the day I started brewing my own.
Well Craig, three years later, I earned enough cash from this website to put together a small homebrewery, and number two on the recipe list was a replica of the Flying Fish Exit 11. With the help of aNew Jersey home brewing supply shop, I brewed a copy of this masterpiece.
Once it was ready, I took it to the home brewing supply shop and shared the first Exit 11 bottle opened in three years, and with his help, compared it to my interpretation.
The homebrew was quite close, but tasted much fresher and had some more interesting notes (primed with raw cane sugar, a few other changes) and the Exit 11 was meant to drink fresh so it had evidence of oxidizing during age.
But the point is that Exit 11’s discontinuation was in part an inspiration to get me into home brewing. Multiple generations of my home brewing that style has morphed into something entirely my own, with ingredients like organic Gotu Kola and champagne yeast during re-fermentation, and even aging techniques that give it a brandy/summer ale feel.
Mr. Muller served me a small sample of the ESB Amber Ale during the tour, and it was quite nice.
I’m glad you picked up the last case of the Flying Fish Amber Ale – and at a great price! Perhaps you should keep a six pack and refrigerate. You never know, you might get the homebrewing bug yourself and decide to recreate this special ESB.