Flying Fish Brewing Company - Extra Special Bitter

Flying Fish Brewing Company - Extra Special Bitter

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Flying Fish Brewing Company - Extra Special Bitter

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    40-45° F
Flying Fish's ESB is brewed with a combination of Two-Row Pale, Munich, Caramel and Aromatic malts. Gene uses Chinook, Fuggles, and Kent Goldings hops in three additions throughout the boil, utilizing Chinook and Fuggles primarily for bittering and the Goldings for their aromatic contributions. Look for a spicy, earthy hop nose with traces of caramel evident in this filtered, copper colored ale. We found the taste to start with a malty sweetness and migrate over to a pleasant hop bitterness. Note a dry hop finish. Overall, an extremely well-balanced interpretation of a classic English style.
Founder of the Flying Fish Brewing Co., Gene Muller, took a serious deviation from the standard course of small business development when he built the Flying Fish brewing company. A year prior to the brewery opening, Muller posted details about it on the Web, letting people go behind the taps and see the myriad details that would eventually coalesce into a microbrewery. He also gave beer lovers an on-line chance to roll up their cyber-sleeves and help build the brewery, sequestering their input on such matters as what kinds of beer they liked and disliked as well as which brewing techniques they preferred. He let them design T-shirts and labels. Hell, he even let them name the beers. How fun would that be? You could walk in and order a beer you named.

Additionally, Gene promised his electronic labor force that once the brewery opened, they'd be the first to sample the line up. When that time came in late 1996, he sent out some 4,000 e-mail invitations to the brewery's opening in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, just a swagger, skip and stagger away from Philadelphia. "A hurricane hit two days before the opening," Muller recalled. Bad Luck. "But still, about 200 people showed up. They came from Virginia, Long Island, and Pennsylvania. They wanted to see the brewery; they felt a part of it. One taster even applied for a job as a brewer. It was the birth of the brewery, right on the Web, a virtual microbrewery."

Muller, who formerly worked as a copywriter for ad firms, studied brewing at Chicago's Siebel Institute of Technology, America's oldest brewing school. One of his classmates was Brad Coors, whose family's brewery, Muller notes wryly, is "just a little bit bigger than ours." Flash forward three years. Flying Fish is now the largest craft brewery in New Jersey. It makes four year-round brews in addition to four rotating seasonals.

The Extra Special Bitter (ESB) is Flying Fish's flagship beer, about which esteemed beer writer Michael Jackson wrote, "assertive, very drinkable... nice balance... I could sink quite a few pints of that." About the beer's name, Muller is quick to explain that bitter is not meant to be taken literally. Rather, it is a British colloquialism to describe the national drink of England. "What the Americans call pale ale", Muller says, "the British call bitters."

For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (856) 489-0061 or check out their web site at
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