Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spotlight on Jersey: Flying Fish Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

"What exit?” is a Jersey thing (for some damn reason), so it's fitting that New Jersey's largest craft brewery, Flying Fish, has a whole series of beers devoted to New Jersey Turnpike exits.

Previously one-time beers only available in 750ml bottles, many of those Exit beers are now making their way into six-packs -- and that's a welcome thing, because the Exit series has been Flying Fish's crowning achievement, filled with excellent examples of their underrated brewing expertise.

Exit 16 is one that sounds odd but tastes so right. This is a wild rice Double IPA -- and yes, it's actually brewed with rice. Seriously.

If that brings to mind tasteless macro lagers, though, set your fears aside. This is a complex yet utterly drinkable beer that gives off aromas of citrus and tangerine, and drinks far easier than an 8% IPA should drink. It has all the flavor of a great Double IPA, but with a softness on the palate that really makes it stand out. Superbly balanced, full of hop flavor but not overly bitter, and crazily smooth, this has earned a spot on my list of favorite beers.

This may be the second best thing to come out of Jersey after pork roll, egg and cheese.

NOTE: Portions of this post originally appeared in The Philly Weekly

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