Hoppin' Frog Brewery is bringing back one of its beers that had disappeared from production. Gulden Fraug, a Belgian-style ale that clocks in at 10.5 percent alcohol by volume, will return on draft and in 22-ounce bottles on Tuesday. (May 20)
"It's a good beer for us," owner and brewer Fred Karm said. "We like to hang our hat on these stronger, harder to make beers with a lot of flavor. I think it's a good signature type beer for us."
Gulden Fraug was one of Hoppin' Frog's original four beers when the Akron brewery opened in 2006. But the beer was fermenting differently from batch to batch back then so it was shelved, Karm said.
"Now we're making DORIS all the time at 10.5 percent and we're hitting it on the money," he said. "So I thought let's bring Gulden Fraug back. I think we have the skill level now to make that super strong beer.
"We're also preparing for the [state] law to be changed and we're getting better at making higher alcohol beers, learning how to finesse the yeast just so and making a 10.5 percent alcohol beer is no problem at all for us now. To make it more accurately. I felt before it was, if anything, inconsistent. Now it will be consistent because we're much better at what we do with the higher alcohol beers. Higher alcohol beers are a bitch to get consistent, man."
Karm estimated that Gulden Fraug hasn't been made since 2007 or 2008.
Gulden Fraug will be available starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in The Tasting Room. A bottle will sell for $9.99. It won't be made year-round, but Karm said he expects the beer to be produced every year or every other year.
He spoke about the beer via telephone from Europe, where he was wrapping up a two-week trip that included stops in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. One of the stops involved a tap takeover at a small craft beer bar in Bern, Switzerland.
Karm loves the opportunity to talk with beer fans in Europe.
"When I started seling my beers over in Europe, that was my main goal. To come over and drink beer with these guys. It’s very rewarding," he said. "The friendship is the thing that I really hold closest. I can sell my beer wherever I want. I can’t keep up with orders. But to sell it in Switzerland and come drink with these guys? Oh my God."