Monday, December 9, 2013

Hopping into the Holiday Season with Hoppin’ Frog’s Christmas Ale

Happy holidays everyone! We hope you are all enjoying the winter season, wrapping up Hanukah or trimming the tree … oh and of course making those super fun resolution lists ☺

Beer411’s highly anticipated countdown – “The 12 Beers of Christmas” kicks off now! It’s our annual lineup of back-to-back posts to lead craft brew lovers through the month of December, helping you to navigate the seasonal beer aisle, broaden your selection of winter cheer and as always, guide you to drink good beer!

Our first pick: Hoppin’ Frog Christmas Ale
Why was it chosen? Because (a) I had never heard of Hoppin’ Frog brewery and (b) it has an adorable looking Kermit on the bottle wearing a Santa hat.

Hoppin’ Frog, Akron, Ohio
Winter Warmer

ABV: 8.6%
 | IBU: 12

About the brewery:
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery is a small, hands-on brewery in Akron, Ohio that has been in business for seven years. It’s the brainchild of owner and established brewmaster Fred Karm, who has designed and produced 21 award-winning beers. The brewery now distributes its suds in 18 states and 15 foreign countries.

Hoppin’ Frog describes this pint as:
The essence of Christmas is captured in this very bottle you are holding. Perfectly blended spices compliment Frosted Frog’s rich malt flavors, creating the ultimate Christmas experience. Celebrate the holidays as you savor this very special seasonal offering.

The Review:
The pour – is dark amber and hazy. You can’t see your hand on the other side of the glass. A short tan head forms on top.

The nose – remember those gingerbread houses you used to make as a kid? This is it. It’s like I stuck my head inside one - sweet, sharp cinnamon spices, vanilla, sugar, and burnt caramel … maybe a little pine?

The taste – medium mouth feel, a little sticky. The initial taste is sweet -- like a pumpkin ale --- with vanilla, molasses and caramel, then comes the winter spice, the clove, a little pepper and toasty malts. The finish has a powerful ginger/peppermint boozy punch (oh that’s where the 8.6% ABV is hiding). At first it was hard to put my finger on what it was.

This is a great sipping beer and true to its description, it is just like Christmas in a glass. I split this bomber with a friend and was glad I did. It would have been too much of a good thing.

Food Pairings:
Shockingly, I would stay away from chocolate – it really clashed with the chocolate chip cookies I was trying to enjoy with this beer. I would suggest pumpkin pie, butternut squash soup, ginger snap cookies or anything in this flavor range.

I hope to see more Hoppin’ Frog in my future. It was a great pick.
Cheers everyone! Alright Toenee, I kick it to you - what's on tap?

No comments: