During my adventures this semester I have encountered many different new and interesting beers from Ohio. For my last post I decided to get a little crazy and try some beers I would never have tried prior to this semester at school.
What are those beers? Well, the brews hail from Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron, Ohio. The brewery, founded in 2006 by Fred Karm, doesn’t have a restaurant or a bar/tasting room on site, but the beer is available for sale Monday through Saturday after lunch. It’s best to call for times to make sure Hoppin’ Frog is open. I’d hate for anyone to drive all the way out there to find it isn’t open for sales. You can buy the beers at retailers throughout Ohio and other states, too.
I traveled to Falls Bootlegger State Liquor on Graham Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls for these brews.
B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout – 9.4% ABV
Just the word “stout” scared me when I bought this beer. Stout reminds me of Guinness, a stout I love only when paired with a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s. (What can I say? It’s the Irish in me!) This beer poured like syrup and my nose was filled with the aromas of coffee and chocolate. The first sip was robust. Flavors of dark chocolate swirled around my mouth. But…I just didn’t like it. It’s going to sound harsh but it tasted like I was drinking mud and espresso.
I’m sure people who appreciate a stout would love this beer but it was just too much for me. The blog called Mug of Saint Arnold graded the beer as an A. This guy probably has a much more developed palate than I have. I’m not complaining though.
Bodacious Black and Tan – 7.6% ABV
I’ve always been a huge fan of those mixed beers; black and tan, black and gold, black and blue. The flavors always mix so well together and there’s some excitement to drinking two beers at the same time. Hoppin’ Frog took this love of mine and ruined it. The beer is made from 67 percent India Pale Ale and 33 percent stout. A traditional black and tan is made from Guinness and Bass, beautifully layered to please the eye and the palate. This beer looked just as dark as the stout, which made me curious.
This beer was just way too hoppy for my liking. It’s another one of those beers that I don’t like but everyone else does. The folks at Beer Advocate rated the beer with a B+ but the bitterness was overwhelming and made me nervous to try the next beer.
Wild Frog Wheat Ale – 6% ABV
Man, am I glad I decided to brave through to try this beer. The beer poured a light caramel color and aromas of fruit hit my nose immediately. That was weird to me because no fruit is used in the making of the beer. The bottle suggests complimenting the flavors with an orange slice, which I would have done had I had one.
It didn’t taste like any wheat beer I have ever tried before (and I’ve tried a lot in my research for this blog) but I liked that it was different from the rest. The ratings on Rate Beer gave the brew an 86 out of 100. It doesn’t surprise me that my feelings about the beer are different from most.
I wish Falls Bootlegger Liquore Store carried more of Hoppin’ Frog’s brews than the few I found but I’m glad I was exposed to this local treasure. After surfing the website of Hoppin’ Frog I really want to try the Smashin’ Berry Ale, Smashin’ Berry Dark Ale, Frosted Frog Christmas Ale and the Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale.
Have you ever tried Hoppin’ Frog brews? If so, what’s your favorite?