Three years ago this past week, Hurricane Sandy brought New Jersey to its knees. Although the recovery is still ongoing, the citizens of the Garden State banded together to restore what had been lost or destroyed, and set out to simply help their neighbors. New Jersey’s own Flying Fish Brewing Company joined in on the efforts by donating a cool $75,000 to relief organizations, as well as some of the proceeds from sales of their brand new brew Forever Unloved (FU) Sandy.
From what I had originally heard at the time of its release, the beer was to enjoy a limited run as a one-off brew, but due to popular demand, new batches kept coming out and popping up in local bars and liquor stores. This wheat pale ale is interesting in that it was brewed with an experimental hop that was never before used in any beer. The hoppy presence is strong with this beer, but is complemented nicely by some tropical fruits such as mango and guava. FU Sandy is sweet and fruity to the smell, and more bitter to the taste.
As I drink it now, the beer is much better than I remembered. I recall this begrudging tribute beer as a floral, hoppy mess upon first tasting, which I was actually fine with since I like bitter ales. This time, however, as I paired it with coconut flounder and chipotle mayo for dinner, it offered much more balance. Forever Unloved Sandy harbors a decent 6.3% ABV, so drink it slowly, but you’ll want to in order to enjoy the complex flavors anyway. The mouthfeel and carbonation are both agreeable, making this a very well-rounded beer.
FU Sandy is unfortunately retired, but it served a noble purpose during its run. If you can somehow still find it, grab it, and if you still have some left, savor it, as I will be doing. I thank Flying Fish for their donation to the relief efforts after the storm, and for the creation of this tasty beer.
Sandy, you are forever unloved, indeed.