When Hoppin’ Frog Brewery owner Fred Karm and his wife took a three-week vacation in the Netherlands and Denmark earlier this year, he made sure to slip in a little work. Well, more than a little work.
Karm used the trip to create three collaborative brews with three respected breweries and will release the beers as part of the Akron brewery’s new European Tour Series. He brewed the beers at the European breweries for their customers, and came back and brewed the recipe at his brewery for U.S. customers.
The first beer — a recipe devised with Brouwerij De Molen and called U.S. Meets Europe S.I.P.A. — will be available starting at 10 a.m. Sept. 7 at the brewery. The beer is a saison India pale ale, with over-the-top fruity and spicy flavors of the saison mixed with a ton of hops.
"It’s a hoppy, super saison," Karm said. "It’s a fun and inventive combination."
The beer, which is 10.9 percent alcohol, costs $11.99 per 22-ounce bottle.
The other beers in the series are: Natasha Rocks America, a chocolate rye imperial stout made with Fano Bryghus; and Frog Hops from Amager, a chocolate wheat imperial stout made with Amager Bryghus. Expect those to be released in the coming months.
In case you’re wondering, the beer names are different in Europe. The Brouwerij De Molen brew is Europe Meets U.S. The Fano beer is Natasha Rocks Denmark. And the Amager beer is Frog Hops to Amager.
"I never in a million years thought I’d do shit like that," Karm said about the collaborative beers.
Hoppin’ Frog — rated as the 20th best brewer in the world by Ratebeer.com — has been selling its beer in Europe since 2008 and has a following there.
"In places like Denmark and Sweden, we’re totally killing it," Karm said. "Those guys love our beer over there. It’s super exciting for me personally."