- May 16, 2018
Not many breweries can say they had a following before a single drop of beer was brewed… but Flying Fish can. In 1996, before founder Gene Muller had even secured a location, he began marketing the brewery on the internet, which was revolutionary at the time. Local beer enthusiasts helped shape the styles and name the beers he would brew before they became reality.
Over the years, Flying Fish has strengthened its ties to the community through donations to local nonprofits, partnerships with various agencies like the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and even through its beers. Their Exit Series of beers, an idea that originated while Muller was stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike, celebrates the characteristics of different exits on the state-long artery.
Since moving brewery operations from Cherry Hill, to a state-of-the-art facility in Somerdale in 2012, Flying Fish has been brewing at triple its original capacity and currently is the largest and most awarded brewery in New Jersey.
Here are 10 things you should know about Flying Fish Brewing Company and its diverse portfolio of beers:
- Founder Gene Muller trained at America’s oldest brewing school, Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology.
- Volans, short for Piscis Volans, which means Flying Fish, is a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere, representing exploration and adventure. Gene wanted his following to explore new tastes rather than what was just popular at the time, so a Flying Fish represented people who were willing to “drink outside their usual pond”.
- The Flying Fish logo was a literal “one-off” sketch done by famous designer Woody Pirtle and is still used on all brewery marks today.
- Sustainability has always been a part of the Flying Fish culture; 463 solar panels provide a significant source of the brewery’s electricity, steam is recaptured to save water in the brewing process, and even a portion of the rainwater is recaptured in rain gardens on the property to help ease erosion from runoff.
- Flying Fish is committed to supporting local nonprofit organizations; each year the brewery donates more than $100,000 in goods, services and merchandise.
- The name of the flagship, Hopfish, was originally spelled “Hop Phish” as an homage to the city and the band. However, the band kindly asked Flying Fish to drop the spelling, and Gene complied.
- Flying Fish beers have won 10 medals at the Great American Beer Fest over the last 22 years, the most of any New Jersey brewery.
- Two new brands, Outside IPA and Onshore Lager, will be the first core-priced, year‑round brand introductions in seven years, and will be available in 6-pack cans and draught.
- There are 13 “sparks and stars” on the Outside IPA label, and 13 seagulls on the Onshore Lager label, which represent the 13 Flying Fish employees in brewing and production.
- Somerdale, NJ is the home of Flying Fish, which is only twelve miles outside of Center City Philadelphia! It’s a short drive across the bridges, and a great taproom to visit.