Jersey’s the Best — at Brewing Beer

Exit 4 American Trippel bubbles to the top of national competition

One New Jersey brewery will be having a "Hoppy" Easter.

Cherry Hill-based Flying Fish Brewing Company -- a brew that boasts, "Proudly brewed in New Jersey" -- beat out 63 other beers to claim the title of the Washington Post's 2011 Beer Madness Champion.

"Some of my favorite beers were in there and to come out on top was really nice," said Flying Fish founder Gene Muller.

Exit 4 American Trippel topped Lagunitas Maximus by a 6 to 3 vote for the No. 1 spot on Tuesday according to the Washington Post.

The hoppy beer is complex blend, boasting a 9.5-percent alcohol content -- almost double your average beer.

"It's a Belgium Trippel that we throw American dry hops at give it a nice big, fruity, citrus, flavor to it and it stands out," said Director of Operations, Casey Hughes, who also came up with the recipe.

Exit 4 is only two years old but it's no stranger to awards. The 2009 Great American Beer Festival crowned Exit 4 in the Belgo-American Style Ale Category.

"It's always nice to see one of your projects go forward and win a bunch of medals, makes me feel real good," said Hughes.

Despite the multiple medals, it hasn't always been a smooth run for Flying Fish's Jersey Turnpike Exit Series. After Exit 4's debut, the N.J. chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the N.J. Turnpike Authority opposed the beer stating alcohol should not be associated with driving, said Greg Kitsock of the Washington Post.

Flying Fish is now one of the largest brewing companies in the Garden State -- second only to Anheuser-Busch's Newark brewery. Muller told the Washington Post he hopes to expand the company and is currently shopping for a larger building and up-to-date equipment.

New to  Exit 4? Flying Fish suggests pairing it with fish, roasted vegetables, shrimp and strong cheeses.

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