Talking Fish with Flying Fish Founder Gene Muller

The craft beer industry in NJ is an extremely close knit community that is very supportive of new breweries and homebrewers. Do you think this friendly, collaborative approach will survive as the number of breweries, and competition, increases?

I’m a big believer in the idea of a rising tide lifts all boats. As we get more new breweries in NJ I don’t see any reason why folks would stop collaborating. There’s no advantage to isolate yourself.

In 2013 you released F.U. Sandy, which has raised a phenomenal sum of money for Hurricane Sandy relief, but it sold out quickly. Will Flying Fish fans be able to enjoy this beer again?

We were able to donate $75,000 to NJ based charities to rebuild houses, provide social services and help restore the ecosystem to better protect jobs and the environment. We just re-released Sandy in 12oz bottles in a 12-pack as well as draft. It should be available pretty much for the rest of the year and we will continue to donate part of the proceeds to further those restoration efforts.

Flying Fish is known for its focus on local culture, and for accepting ideas from the NJ craft beer community. Have the brewing suggestions you’ve received from fans ever surprised you?

Yes, though the best ones I can’t repeat in print! ;)

The craft beer community is highly engaged in the beers they consume – you never hear of anyone walking into a beer bar and saying “I don’t care, give me whatever.”

How is progress on the new outdoor beer garden, and what can visitors expect when it finally opens?

The beer garden is fully licensed and we’re are about 75% complete with the construction. We hope to have it finished for the Somerdale Tour de Fish bike race on July 20.

Do your duties as President of Flying Fish ever conflict with your equally important title of Head Janitor?

Not really – the duties of both are pretty much doing what no one else wants to!

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