New Jersey-based Flying Fish Brewing Company is interesting because it was the first microbrewery founded “virtually” in 1995—literally starting life as a web page and an idea, with the actual brewery opening in 1996. Today’s beer is their Grand Cru Winter Reserve, a 7.2% Belgian Abbey-styled ale first released in 1998.
This Belgian-style strong golden ale showcases a variety of the ingredients and brewing methods that help differentiate Flying Fish beers. The Grand Cru is fermented at a higher temperature than our other beers adding an undercurrent of fruitiness and clove (although there is no fruit or spice in the beer). Very lightly filtered, the Grand Cru exhibits complex mouthfeel, strong malt flavors, a spicy hop presence and a soothing alcohol warmth, followed by a clean, dry finish. It is excellent with food as well as served by itself.
Not only will this make a great accompaniment to any Christmas meal (perhaps a good beer to revive the traditional Christmas goose meal for?), but if you stock up on a few extra bottles it will help get you through what’s shaping up to be a long winter.