After Crushing it with B.O.R.I.S. , Hoppin' Frog Brewery has gone on to make some of the most delicious beer I've ever had. In 2015, Rate Beer named Hoppin’ Frog the best brewery in Ohio! Currently my favorite beer from Hoppin' Frog is their 2x Re-Pete. Make sure to get your ticket to the Akron Ale Fest in order to get to check out breweries like his first hand!
Who are you and what is your role at the brewery?
My name is Fred Karm, and as I like to say it's all my fault at Hoppin' Frog Brewery (lol) because I am the Founder and President, as well as Brewmaster.
What is the name of your brewery and how did it come about?
Our brewery's name came from my strong tendency to make beers with a lot of ingredients, and my nickname. I thought that it would be great to have a brewery name that would include one of the main brewing ingredients. And, at the time I had won 3 medals at the Great American Beer Festival with a hoppy ale. So I was thought to be a bit of a hop expert - that's where the word Hoppin' came from. It was a perfect complement to my nickname, which is Frog because my first name is Fred.
What is your favorite beer that's been released at your brewery?
Oh, this question gets asked a lot. I put so much time, effort, and love into my beer it's hard to pick a favorite. I'm sure you've heard this from other passionate brewers. It might be like having a lot of children, because we raise them from conception to the point of them being born and going out in the world and making a name for themselves. Each beer has its own things to love, its own qualities to appreciate. Each beer builds up its own reputation, just like children.
But just like children, if you had one that was more successful than the rest you'd have a certain affinity for that child. That being said, our flagship beer and most successful beer has always been B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout, since we opened in 2006. That says a lot about our brewery, we have an imperial stout as our flagship, so we are really known for brewing beers with a lot of flavor!
What is your favorite thing in your brewery?
My favorite thing right now in my brewery is our new hop mixing vessel. We designed this from the ground up, based on good "engi-beer-ing" practices. Its allowing us to get the best flavor and aroma from our hops.
What is your most recent milestone?
My most recent milestone is going to Europe in May. Hoppin' Frog participated in Mikkeller's beerfest called the Copenhagen Beer Celebration, did 3 Hoppin' Frog tap takeovers, and got a chance to brew with 3 breweries in Europe. Over the last several months we designed a collaboration brew with each brewery, and now we have made it with them. They are designed to be brewed at our brewery too, so those will be released soon!
What is your next major goal for the brewery?
Our next major goal is to brew some of the recipes that we've always wanted to brew that are above 12% abv. Ohio just removed their alcohol limit for beer, so we can now make some of these beers that we've always wanted to. We've got a long list.
Bear vs. Shark who would win and why?
Bear vs. Shark - dumb question. The Shark would win of course, because a shark is cooler.
Drink of choice? (this doesn't have to be one of your beers but it can be)
A VERY WELL MADE CRAFT BEER!