Beer Review: Flying Fish Exit 3 Blueberry Braggot

Name: Exit 3: Blueberry Braggot
Brewing Company: Flying Fish Brewing Co.
Location: Somerdale, NJ
Style: Mead/Braggot
ABV: 15.0%

This is one of my favorite beer glasses, which is why it has made so many appearances here on the Tap Takeover.

From the beer’s description on Flying Fish’s Web site:

Exit 3 is the gateway to a lot of farmland, so we’re using one the state’s favorite crops– blueberries. Braggot is an ancient style– written about since the 12th century. This Braggot features local blueberries and honey, a very limited amount of hops and is fermented with Belgian-style yeast. The result is a straw colored beer with blueberry highlights. On the first sip you will note a light sweetness along with citrus notes followed by a well rounded malt character. The beer has a medium full body.

Flying Fish is one of New Jersey’s first breweries, founded in 1995. As a flagship NJ Craft brewery, they started something very much in the vernacular of New Jersey, the Exit Series. Many NJ people, upon first meeting each other, may ask, “What Exit are you from?” referencing either the NJ Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway. At least when I attended Rutgers (The State University of New Jersey) this was a frequent question. Admittedly, the question can wear thin. The Exit series from Flying Fish references the NJ Turnpike.

Enough about the series as a whole, let’s focus on this special brew.

One of the first things that to know before drinking this brew is that it is not exactly a beer. People expecting a “sweet” or “fruity” beer might be a little disappointed.  As the description above implies, this brew is more of a mead and the 15% ABV is a good first indication that this is a mead or honey wine and not an ordinary beer.

A thick golden liquid pours out of the glass, not nearly as thick as the honey which is so prominent in the brew, but the character is definitely similar. The brew is very sweet, the honey prominent. The blueberries are subtle,  I would have liked their presence to be a little more noticeable throughout than the hints at their presence. But that’s just a minor complaint because Exit 3 is a tasty brew.

I haven’t had too many meads, although I usually get either a cup of mead or a blend of mead and beer at the NY Renaissance Festival on my annual visit. This brew from Flying Fish is one of the more unique adult beverages I’ve had as it really blends qualities that both mead and beer possess. The maltiness is slight and barely noticeable, but it is there. The 15% ABV catches up towards the end.

My father gave me one of his 12oz bottles with the warning that I should have this with as clear a palate as possible. I heeded his advice and waited until well after dinner to pour this one and boy howdy was I pleased. This is a fantastic sipping brew that is perfect for after-dinner and one you should sip over the course of an hour or so. I’m going to have to pick up a four pack of this for myself in the near future.

Exit 3 was originally released in bomber size at about 25 ounces and in very limited quantities. I missed out during that first go round, so it was nice to see Flying Fish re-release this brew in 12oz bottles in 4-packs because it is a very, very tasty brew.

Exit 3 Blueberry Braggot is an exceptional, tasty brew that is definitely off the beaten path of what you’ll find on shelves in your liquor store or at your favorite beer bar. The “Braggot” greatly highlights the brewing ingenuity of one of NJ’s most respected and long-standing breweries. With Hammonton, NJ as the “Blueberry Capital of the World,” this brew does a fine job of playing to that moniker.

Highly recommended.

Original Label. Notice the Garden State is red here, whilst outlined in solid red on the 12oz

Recommended, link to Untappd 4.25-star rating.