Call it a four-peat. Hoppin' Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale won the blind Christmas beer tasting at Vintage Estate Wine & Beer in Boardman for the fourth consecutive year.
Fat Head's Holly Jolly and Southern Tier 2Xmas finished second and third, respectively.
The event, held Sunday, featured 58 people tasting 13 Christmas beers without knowing which brands they were sampling. Participants were given 4-ounce samples of each. They rated the beers for aroma, flavor, appearance, palate and overall impression. The highest score won. It's not scientific, of course. People just picked their favorite.
It is one of the most unusual tastings around. No labels. No preconceived notions. Just tasting beer and picking your favorite.
In addition to Hoppin' Frog, Fat Head's and Southern Tier, the participants sampled (in order of finish): Dark Horse 4 Elf Winter Ale, Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas, Anchor Christmas, Abita Christmas, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Breckenridge Christmas Ale, Revolution Fistmas Ale, Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale, Bell's Christmas Ale and Victory Winter Warmer.
“This day, much like the day of the Blind Pumpkin Ale Taste, is why we love the craft beer world -- craft beer enthusiasts have a great time, interacting with each other without any distractions, and grow their appreciation for something we love," owners Phill and Sandy Reda said in a prepared statement.