Rogue Ales

Rogue LogoAddress: 2320 SE Marine Science Dr.
Newport, OR 97365

Phone: (541) 867-3660


Flagship Beers: Dead Guy Ale, Mocha Porter, Double Chocolate Stout, Cold Brew IPA, American Amber Ale, Honey Kolsch, Brutal IPA, Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Hop Series

Seasonal Beers: Pumpkin Patch Ale, Santa’s Private Reserve

Special Releases: Sriracha Stout, XS Imperial Stout

The Down Low: In operation since 1988 and still going strong in the craft brew industry, Rogue brewery knows beer like the back of your hand reaching for their latest offering in stores.  And in the case of Rogue, it doesn’t matter which store in the United States you’re in, because they can be found in all 50 states.  And that’s just the beginning…

rogue beersThey’re headquartered in Newport, OR, but they have 10 other locations that can be found throughout Oregon, Washington, and California.  Their motto has been “Dare * Risk * Dream” for some time now, and it’s emblazoned on all their products as a reminder to their patrons and customers that when it comes to being an innovator, they’re not afraid to try some crazy stuff.  For instance, who would’ve thought that a sriracha stout could be possible?  Being the bona fide spice fanatics that we are, it was a must-try from the moment we set eyes on the iconic red bottle with the green cap.  Or how about making a beer using yeast from the brewmaster’s beard?  It’s a crazy, gross, and unusual idea all wrapped up into one, but we didn’t pass up the opportunity to try that one either.  After all, everything is worth a try once.

DGA WhiskeySo how does a brewery keep up with a 50-state demand for distribution, not to mention 54 countries worldwide?  In the case of Rogue, it comes in the way of owning their own farms.  Growing their own ingredients for use in their beers expanded their horizons exponentially, and in addition to making beer, Rogue also operates a distillery as well.  Their most beloved flagship beer, Dead Guy Ale, has been turned into a whiskey, using the barrels from the beer production to house the whiskey that’s made.  It’s just another way that Rogue stays on top of their game, not only in the cutthroat craft industry, but in the Mecca of beer states that only Oregon folks can brag about.

Keep an eye out for Rogue beers near you the next time you’re out and about.  They’ve been around for 30 years, and with a goal of daring to risk and dream, they’re likely gonna be for another 30 more…

the Hopostles

Great Lakes Brewing Company

GLBC LogoAddress: 2516 Market Ave.
Cleveland, OH  44113

Phone: (216) 771-4404


Flagship Beers: Dortmunder Gold Lager, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Holy Moses White Ale, Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry IPA, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Seasonal Beers: Conway’s Irish Ale, Hop Madness DIPA, Chillwave DIPA, Rally Drum Red Ale, Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA, Oktoberfest, Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale, Ohio City Oatmeal Stout, Christmas Ale, Blackout Stout

Special Releases: Alberta Clipper Porter, Altbier, Ales for ALS, Imperial Smoked Porter, Hop by Numbers IPA, Lawn Seat Kolsch
The Down Low: If you’ve shown up at any backyard barbeque in the past 20 years or so, chances are somebody showed up with the Great Lakes sampler pack for everyone to share. It’s always a go-to option for a last minute beer stop, it satisfies beer drinkers of several different styles in one convenient box, and it makes you look like you’re the only one that cares about good beer in a sea of other macro beer choices that everyone else grabbed from their nearest gas station.


Great Lakes Brewing Company has been in business since 1988, and although we have sampled most of their beers more times in our beer drinking careers than we can count, we never hesitate to grab the next new one that they make.  Their styles have grown over the years to include just about everything out there, and even though they aren’t the absolute best examples of most of those styles, there’s something to be said for being able to make them all on a large scale.  Serving a good portion of the northeast region of the United States, as well as adapting to trends in the craft beer industry such as canning beers and barrel-aging everything, Great Lakes has ridden through waves of changes over the years and continued to keep their heads above the water.

Our favorite beers by these guys have always been the seasonal offerings.  Near the end of summer, Lake Erie Monster rises from the depths and finds its way on to beer shelves.  Nosferatu, the imperial red ale named after the famed vampire, is a must-have when the months turn cooler and Halloween starts showing up in retail stores everywhere.  And when the falling leaves give way to snowflakes, there’s nothing like warming up on a cold evening with a Blackout Stout or a Christmas Ale while patiently waiting for the warm weather to return.

GLBC PubBe sure to check out the brew pub itself in the historic market district of downtown Cleveland if you get the chance.  With food options galore inside, as well as in the neighboring community, you’ll be hard-pressed to save room for the beer that drew you there in the first place.  It’s a great place to stop after a Cleveland Indians game, or before for that matter.  And the next time you show up for that barbeque, be sure to grab the sampler pack.  After all, everyone wants to feel like a hero once in a while…

the Hopostles

Deschutes Brewery

Deschutes LogoAddress: 901 SW Simpson Ave.
Bend, OR  97702

Phone: (541) 382-9242


Flagship Beers: Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA, Obsidian Stout, Fresh Squeezed IPA, Pinedrops IPA, Chasin’ Freshies IPA

Seasonal Releases: Hop Slice Summer Ale, Hopzeit Autumn IPA, Jubelale

Special Releases: Black Butte Birthday Reserve, Mirror Mirror, The Dissident, The Abyss

The Down Low: Statistically speaking, Portland, Oregon is the beer capital of the world.  Praised not only for the sheer number of breweries in operation but for the outstanding quality of them as well, Portland and its surrounding towns are considered a bucket list destination for beer lovers everywhere.  Nicknamed “Beervana,” it’s a culmination of hop production (2nd most in the US), dedicated brewers, and an obsession with craft beer that rises to the top of an ever-growing market that’s constantly trying to reinvent new ways to appeal to the masses.

DB pic
So how do you get attention in a location that’s so saturated with breweries?  Simply put, make consistently good beer, distribute it to more than half of the United States, and put out a few special releases that are unlike anything else out there.  That’s where Deschutes seems to do so well.

Located in Bend, OR (roughly 3 hours from Portland) and operating since 1988, Deschutes has been around the block a time or two.  Their flagship and seasonal brews are fine examples of what access to good hops can yield, and their special releases, typically noticeable by the wax seals, are worth paying the extra few bucks for.  In fact, in our minds, it’s the special releases that make this brewery stand out…

DB BBLet’s start with the Black Butte Birthday Reserve.  It’s a porter brewed with Dutch cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne.  Complex?  Yes.  A bit of heat at the back end?  Yup.  A porter so rich and complex you’d mistake it for an incredible stout?  Absolutely.  It’s also aged in bourbon and rum barrels, icing the cake that’s already a rich treat to begin with.  And what can we say about the Abyss?  Take the darkest, heaviest, most decadent stout that you’ve ever had and add the following ingredients:  blackstrap molasses, licorice, vanilla beans, and cherry bark.  Then, age it for 12 months in bourbon, oak, and wine barrels.  The final result is a beer so complex that the first sip leaves you speechless, the second causes contemplation, and the third a combination of bliss and unbelief that what you’re drinking hasn’t been brewed in an actual tar pit.  Abyss couldn’t be a more fitting name.  They’ve also made a standout Barleywine that can still be found on the shelves if you’re lucky (Mirror Mirror), and a yearly ale brewed with cherries and aged in French oak wine barrels called the Dissident.

With a second brew pub opening in none other than Portland itself in 2008 and a third on the way in Roanoke, VA, Deschutes continues to expand and make their presence known in a market that keeps growing by the year.  And if you can make great beer in Beervana, you gotta be doing something right…

the Hopostles

Stone Brewing Company

Stone BrewingAddress: 1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029

Phone: (760) 294-7899


Flagship Beers: Stone Pale Ale, Go To IPA, Ripper, Arrogant Bastard, Coffee Milk Stout, Delicious IPA, Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA

Seasonal Releases: Xocoveza, Anniversary Ale Series, RuinTen TIPA

Series Releases: Encore Series, Enjoy By

The Down Low: Founded in 1996 and now the ninth largest craft brewery in the United States, evidence of Stone Brewing Company in the beer world is everywhere.  They got their start in San Marcos, CA, but are headquartered now in Escondido.  And with other breweries scattered throughout California and as far away as Germany and Richmond, VA, Stone shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Stone BCThey’re a staple beer in what seems to be every craft beer store we’ve ever been in.  Known well for their logo, which features the devil holding a mug of beer, their bottles are found anywhere that craft beer is sold.  In fact, most of the time that we go looking for their beer, there seems to be a new one on the shelf.  Constantly experimenting with new styles and collaborations, they’re constantly innovating new ways to keep the craft beer drinkers interested.  Mocha IPA.  Oaked Arrogant Bastard.  Smoked Porters.  Coffee Stouts.  You name it, they’ve tried making it.  And while the majority of their beers would be considered good by most and average by the most picky, you’ve gotta hand it them for always trying something new.  In the craft brew industry, standing apart from the rest is critical–that’s something Stone has always done.

Stone TapsOur personal favorite from Stone has got to be the Enjoy By Series.  Using “devestatingly fresh” hops, this series grabbed our attention a few years ago.  The smell of hops attacks the olfactory senses as soon as the cap is popped, and the taste confirms what you’re hoping is going to match up.  The dates on the bottle are front and center, encouraging a date to “enjoy by.”  If you don’t, the fresh hop flavor drops off, becoming more malty and syrupy.  This series used to be found only in 22 oz. bombers, but like many other beers as of late that they produce, 12 oz. bottles are now an option as well.  In the last couple of years, cans are in full swing, coming in six and twelve packs depending on the style.

Breweries that do something well are here to stay.  That being said, you can expect to see Stone for many more years to come.  Just don’t expect to see the same old beers week after week, or anything that’s just run-of-the-mill for that matter…

the Hopostles

Ballast Point Brewing Company

Ballast Point BCAddress: 9045 Carroll Way
San Diego, CA 92121

Phone: (858) 790-6900


Flagship Beers: Manta Ray DIPA, Sculpin IPA, Mango Even Keel Session, California Kolsch, The Commodore Stout, Wahoo White, Piper Down Scottish Ale, Victory at Sea Porter

Seasonal Releases: Pumpkin Down Pumpkin Ale, Dead Ringer Oktoberfest

Special Releases: Red Velvet Nitro Stout, Calm Before the Storm Cream Ale,  Sea Monster Imperial Stout, Orange Vanilla Fathom IPL, Coconut Victory at Sea, Sour Wench Blackberry Ale

The Down Low: By definition, ballast is any heavy material brought on board a ship, either temporarily or permanently, to help the ship maintain its buoyancy on the open sea.  I wonder if beer qualifies?  If so, I’m sure captains of long ago would have been happy to tote along some brews by Ballast Point Brewery for the long journey, happily sipping their way towards the horizon ahead of them.  Hey, even if they would never return home, at least they wouldn’t die of thirst…

BP FrontBallast Point can be found in a smattering of locations in California, as well as one in Virginia, but their main hub is in San Diego.  They got their start in 1992, as two college roommates found a similar passion for brewing their own beer.  They soon added a third friend to the mix, and by 1996 Ballast Point was born.  Their logo features a sextant, which is a navigational tool used to determine a boat’s position on the horizon relative to the stars, and seems to carry a double meaning when it comes to what they hope to always be:  a craft brewery that’s always looking to seek out something new while remembering who they are and where they came from.  And as their logo reminds patrons, Ballast Point has remained “Dedicated to the Craft” ever since.

With a great lineup of beers that’s on the shelf year round and is distributed nationwide, Ballast Point has become a brewery that we expect to see on beer shelves in most of the places that we shop.  And though we’ve tried a great many of their brews, they’re always a solid go-to choice when nothing else seems to strike our fancy on a particular day.  They make IPL’s (India Pale Lagers), white ales, Scottish Ales, Pale Ales, and even a red velvet cake beer.  When it comes to innovation, there seems to be no limit with Ballast Point.

BP BarThe Sculpin series, in varying forms such as unfiltered, grapefruit, and even habanero, is a solid player in the IPA market. Their darker stouts, such as Sea Monster, are rich and robust, perfect for those nights when you’re craving a good nightcap.  But our favorite brew by them would probably have to be Victory at Sea, a coffee and vanilla porter that’s soft and creamy smooth.  It’s available in a peppermint and a coconut variety, too, both of which we highly recommend.  A friend of ours happened to score a barrel-aged variant of it on his visit to the brewery a while back, and needless to say, it was the highlight of our evening of sampling.

If you get the chance to head out to California anytime soon, be sure to check them out in person for yourself.  But if that trip doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen, head to your nearest craft brew store.  They’re sure to have something by Ballast Point that will set your palate in the right direction.

the Hopostles

Southern Tier Brewing Company

stbcAddress: 2072 Stoneman Cir
Lakewood, NY

Phone: (716) 763-5479


Flagship Beers: 2xIPA, Tangier, Nu Skool IPA, 2xSMASH, Gemini, Lemon Drop Sun, Back Burner

Seasonal Releases: Pumking, Warlock, Harvest Ale, Krampus, 2xMAS, 3 Citrus Peel Out

Special Releases: Blackwater Series (Choklat Oranj, Choklat, Salted Caramel, Thick Mint, Crème Brulee), Barrel Works Series (Manhattan, Sapsquatch)

The Down Low: Nestled deep in the woods just outside of Lakewood, NY, a small brewery began producing beers back in 2002 with some equipment that they purchased from a previous brewery.  Production started out small, as most breweries do, but making quality beer rarely goes unnoticed.  Distribution grew rapidly for the next several years, and so in order to accommodate the growing fan-base, new facilities and brewery equipment followed suit.  15 years later, Southern Tier Brewing Company has become one of the major players in the craft beer market, distributing to over 30 states nationwide.  A new satellite facility has recently opened in Pittsburgh, PA, and other smaller locations feature beer gardens, additional brew houses, and full service kitchens.

stbc tap handlesSo what can all the success be attributed to?  Well, to put it simply, quality.  Southern Tier makes such a variety of different brews, and most of them are done really well.  Their IPA’s, such as 2xSMASH, Nu Skool, and Gemini, are packed with enough fresh hops to satisfy even the pickiest of hopheads (guilty as charged).  Their Blackwater Series features not only some of the most unique ingredients, but the flavors from each are literal liquid interpretations of what the name implies.  Ever wonder what a liquefied Hershey Bar tastes like?  Try Choklat.  Got a craving for something minty?  Grab a Thick Mint.  Sweet tooth nagging at you again?  Salted Caramel and Crème Brulee are guaranteed to leave you wondering if you just ate your dessert or drank it.

New on the market from Southern Tier is their Barrel Works Series, a higher ABV palate-crushing experiment that manages to push the flavor boundary to the next level.  Manhattan, inspired by the mixed drink of the same name, and Sapsquatch, a maple syrup barrel-aged monster, will leave you feeling both happy and wondering out loud, “Is there anything these guys don’t do well?”

warlockWe’ve saved the best for last.  In our humble opinion, the true crown jewel of Southern Tier resides in a seasonal beer that’s held a special place in our livers for several years now.  If you know us well, you know that fall is our favorite beer time of the year, and pumpkin beers seem to be something we just can’t get enough of.  And no matter how many new ones we try, we always go back to Southern Tier to remind ourselves where the benchmark for greatness is set:  Warlock.  There are few things we love more than a nice, heavy stout as the weather starts to take a dip, and coupling what seems to be the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor with it is difficult to find.  What started as a love for Pumking, another staple in the fall by Southern Tier, morphed into a love for his more evil counterpart, a beer that only a wizard, or in this case, Southern Tier, can create.

If you haven’t tried any Southern Tier beers before, you’ve got some catching up to do.  But don’t worry…there’s plenty out there for all of us.  Just don’t come asking us for any of ours—not because we don’t like sharing, but because after you try a few yourself, you’ll be buying plenty of your own…

The Hopostles

The Brew Kettle

Brew Kettle LogoAddress: 8377 Pearl Rd.
Strongsville, OH 44136

Phone: (440) 239-8788


Flagship Beers: White Rajah IPA, Black Rajah IPA, Old 21 IPA, Four C’s American Pale Ale, Kitka Chocolate Coconut Milk Stout, Big Woody Lager, Tunguska Stout, Awesome IPL, El Lupulo Libre DIPA

Special Releases: All For One Session IPA, Winter Warmer, Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier, Oktofest, Summer Rays Wit, Jackhammer Barleywine

The Down Low: Picture yourself standing in front of a large cauldron, stirring in crazy ingredients to concoct your potion:  legs from a frog, eye of a newt, horn of a goat, etc.  You cackle as you stir, knowing that your elixir will cause the recipients to be under your control.  Sound like a typical witch’s story?  Now, replace the cauldron with a pot.  Replace the crazy ingredients with barley, hops, and water.  Replace the control you’re trying to place others under with a smile instead.  And the cackling laughter?  Well, that may stay the same…welcome to Brew Kettle.

Brew Kettle taproom

Looking unassuming and ordinary on a stretch of road that features hundreds of other places to dine sits a craft brew venue that is unlike most others.  With locations in Strongsville and Amherst (and a new one coming soon in Hudson), they’re expanding to satisfy the masses.  Not only can you try some great draft brews that they create themselves as well as several guest taps that other breweries occupy, but you can also try some incredible food options as well.  Oh…and the best part?  You can also make and bottle your own beer.  Sound too cool to be true?  Well, it isn’t.  Grab a group of friends, choose a style of beer that appeals to your palate, and brew it up together.  A few weeks later, after the batch is ready, you show up again to bottle your beer.  Then, share it with all the suckers that turned you down on the opportunity to join.  Or don’t.

Many of Brew Kettle’s flagship beers are bottled and available for purchase in local stores, sold both as 6 packs and/or as options in their Journey Tour box set.  For Cedar Point lovers, there’s even a “Thrill Pack” featuring six other beers not found in the Journey Tour.  And though Brew Kettle produces most of the major styles of beer, our favorites in the past have been the barrel-aged versions and the El Lupulo Libre DIPA.  Hop for hop, El Lupulo holds its own against some the most piney, grapefruit-laden DIPA’s you’ve tried.  Think Pliny the Elder, Hop Juju, and Permanent Funeral.  When fresh, it’s hard to tell them apart.

Brew Kettle foodThe food menu is impressive as well.  Everything you’d expect from a great pub is offered (nachos, wings, loaded fries, etc.), as well a ton of different sandwiches, steaks, wraps, burgers, and sides.  There’s a BBQ flair to it all, and anything that involves a smoked meat is a must if you get the chance to visit.  Even if you didn’t like beer (clearly I’m speaking to just the insane now), the food options alone are enough to write home about.  In short, it’s got something for everyone.

So the next time you’ve got a hankering for some great food, great beer, or even an opportunity to try your hand at being the brewmaster yourself, think about giving Brew Kettle a try.  At least it will give you a chance to perfect your cackle…

the Hopostles

Platform Beer Company

Cigar City Brewing

IMG_8523Address:  3924 W. Spruce St
Tampa, FL 33607

Phone:  (813) 348-6363


Flagship Beers:  Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Invasion Pale Ale, Florida Cracker White Ale, Tampa-Style Lager

Special Releases:  Marshal Zhukov Imperial Stout, Guayabera Pale Ale, White Oak Jai Alai, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale, Raspberry Halo Imperial Stout

Other Notable Beers:  Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Hunahpu’s Imperial StoutIMG_8525

The Down Low:  On a recent trip to Florida, there were countless things to plan for.  My brother’s wedding on the beach.  A trip to Disney World with my wife and kids.  Plane tickets. Lodging in 2 different cities.  The rental car.  Blah, blah, blah.  Sure, I was expecting this trip to be a blast from the moment I heard of my brother’s plan to have a destination wedding on Siesta Key Beach.  Sure, my kids were thrilled to be able to go to Disney World for the first (and if my wallet has anything to say about it, last) time.  Sure, we were looking forward to dipping our toes into what we had been repeatedly told was the #1 beach in the U.S., soaking up the sun and enjoying a rare out of state vacation away from it all.  But being a beer guy, as soon as I heard my brother say “Florida,” my mind quickly focused on one all important detail:  Where are we going in relation to Cigar City Brewery?

Though we had tasted a few of the more regular Cigar City beers that had drifted into Ohio via friends and family that had brought it back, it was stepping foot in the actual tasting room that I really looked forward to.  And so, with the wedding behind us (which was beautiful, by the way) and the trip to Disney World over (unforgettably awesome, in case you’re wondering), our trip was to conclude with a visit to the brewery and production facility in Tampa.  Despite all of our driving in Florida up to this point, my wife wanted to make the trip truly complete by making this one final stop for me.

As seems to be the pattern the more I visit breweries I hold in high regard, the location for Cigar City was down an unassuming road, leading to what looked more like a small industrial parkway than anything else.  A couple picnic tables outside under an awning and a small sign by the road was all that indicated I was at the right place.  Without GPS, you could drive right by and not know that you had missed it.  Walking in, there was a nice wooden bar immediately on the left, and some merchandise for sale next to it.  Following that, in a room further back, was another, somewhat larger bar accompanied by several tables.  After a quick view of the tap lists, I was delighted to see that the bars were different, overlapping only a little when it came to some of their flagship beers.  Food trucks are there to serve the patrons each day, but I was just there for the beer.

IMG_85272 flights later, I had sampled several Cigar City brews that either don’t get canned/bottled, or don’t get distributed up north far enough for us to get a chance to try them.  The Margarita Gose and Wandering Pelican Black Lager stood out for me, but what I truly appreciated were the heavier stouts, rich in body and smooth in texture.  The Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale was a nice surprise, crumbling onto my taste buds and making me reconsider my opinion of a beer style that I don’t typically enjoy much.  The Marshal Zhukov Penultimate Push was loaded with flavor, dark and roasty with a balanced malt backbone and heavy hint of cocoa.  My one major disappointment?  Not having Zack there with me.  Apparently, having his twin daughters get their tonsils out was recklessly planned the same way that his own wedding day was (OSU-Michigan…really?).  Anyway, the bar had a few leftover bottles of Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout from Hunahpu Day for sale, but you had to consume it on sight and with one other person.  Oh well…I guess it’ll just have to stay on my wish list a little longer.

With a shirt for Zack and me in hand, I was on my way to the airport with memories of a great vacation in my mind for years to come.  And for a bucket list that seems to grow more by the year, it was nice to finally cross something off for a change…

the Hopostles

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

1680 E Waterloo Rd.

                Akron, OH 44306

Phone:  (234) 525-3764


Flagship Beers:  B.O.R.I.S. the Oatmeal Crusher, Outta Kilter Scotch-Style Red Ale, Gangster Frog IPA, Silk Porter, Infusion A Coffee Porter

Seasonal Beers:  Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale, Frosted Frog Christmas Ale, Turbo Shandy, Oktoberfest Froggy Style Lager, Killa Vanilla Extraordinary IPA

Other Notable Beers:  D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer Double Oatmeal Imperial Stout, Rocky Mountain B.O.R.I.S. and D.O.R.I.S, T.O.R.I.S. the Tyrant Triple Oatmeal Imperial Stout, Teeny Tiny Test Batch IPA

The Down Low:  There’s nothing particularly great about a frog.  Think about it…they’re slimy, they’ve got eyes that seem too big for their head, they spend most of their lives in the mud, and their legs can usually be found on the buffet menu of some of the sketchier Chinese restaurants in town.  And yet, there’s something about seeing that weird creature on a bomber of beer that gets us excited every time we’re out shopping for something new.  Because what’s inside that bottle is anything but something you don’t want to touch…

hoppin-frog-borisIt all starts with B.O.R.I.S. the Oatmeal Crusher, an Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout that serves as the backbone for a brewery that pumps out perhaps more great stouts than any other that we’ve ever seen.  They have variations that are whiskey barrel aged, coffee bean-infused, and brewed with darker and richer malts.  If you’re willing to drop a little more dough, they even have one that’s been aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels (just don’t let them see your jaw hit the floor when you see the $55 price tag).  The B.O.R.I.S. gave way to the D.O.R.I.S., a Double Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout, and then following the passage of the higher ABV law in Ohio last year, the Triple Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout known as T.O.R.I.S.  Think you’ve had a heavy stout before?  Think again.  Pour yourself a glass of this stuff and get your bread knife ready, cause you’re about to have a second helping of dinner.

Hoppin’ Frog has only been around since 2006, and yet their presence in the craft beer industry is widespread enough to have landed them in 15 foreign countries and 19 states.  They’ve got awards aplenty, racking them up by means of 22 different brews that cover all the beer bases.  Founder Fred Karm never seems to run out of new ideas when it comes to making another awesome beer that immediately stacks up next to the best stouts on the shelf, simultaneously convincing you that $15 for 22 ounces is a bargain indeed.

The food menu in the tasting room isn’t large, but it is tasty.  Appetizers, sausage and cheese plates, and specialties like pork belly pair perfectly with their array of beers, and let’s face it…you aren’t going for the food anyway.  If you are, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


Tuesday evenings at the tasting room are special nights, offering patrons a chance to try their favorite Hoppin’ Frog beers infused with everything from Skittles to Reese’s Puffs to bacon to Twinkies, and everything else in between.  Many weekends at the brewery are opportunities to purchase their new releases in bottles, or to at least try them on draft if bottles aren’t available.  That is, if you can find the place…just punch in the address in your GPS and smile at where it takes you.  And the best part is that there’s always something new to try, no matter how many times you return.  Their beer menu for vintage beer purchases seems to have no boundaries, and you never know what you’ll be leaving with (i.e. an 8 year old bottle of cellar aged B.O.R.I.S.??  We’re guilty of that purchase ourselves).

Take our word for it.  Hoppin’ Frog beer is truly something to behold, and even something better to consume.  It’s one of our 5 favorite breweries of all time, and with an accolade list as long as the beer menu itself, we’re clearly not the only ones that hold them in such high regard.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll never look at a frog the same way again…


the Hopostles