Acme Fresh Market is headed back to the drive-in.
The Akron-based grocery chain is again teaming up with Hoppin’ Frog Brewery to produce a summer shandy inspired by famous soda drinks at the local Swensons and Skyway drive-ins.
Last year, there was The California Turbo Shandy, a grape-infused shandy.
This year, it’s The Florida Turbo Shandy, an orange and ginger-infused shandy.
Both are hitting Acme stores and the brewery, 1680 E. Waterloo Road, next week. Individual 16-ounce cans will sell for $4.99. Acme is calling The California and The Florida its “Drive-in Series.”
“They are really refreshing and this is something unique at our market,” Acme executive Jon Albrecht said.
Sara Marino, who handles beer for the grocery, helped design The Florida alongside award-winning brewmaster Fred Karm.
Acme will host a shandy tasting with Karm from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Montrose store, 3979 Medina Road, Bath. People will be able to sample The California, The Florida and the original Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale. All three beers are 7 percent alcohol by volume.
“We’re excited to partner with Fred and Hoppin’ Frog,” Albrecht said. “Of all the breweries in Northeast Ohio, they are definitely one of the top in terms of quality and reputation. To partner with them and have our brand on the label with them, it’s a pretty cool thing.”
The love goes both ways. Karm is an Acme fan going back to when he would shop there as a kid with his family.
“I’m tickled because I really looked up to them,” he said. “And to be making a beer with them is very cool.”
As long as the beer sales continue to go well — The California was a hit last year — Albrecht envisions Acme and Hoppin’ Frog producing the shandies each summer.
This is actually the third consecutive year that Acme and Hoppin’ Frog have made a shandy. They released the limited-edition Five Freds’ Grapefruit Shandy to celebrate the grocery chain’s 125th anniversary in 2016. It was named after the four generations of Fred Albrechts who worked for Acme, and Karm.
Dueling beer fests
The Akron area has dueling first-time beer fests on Saturday, with both focusing on local craft breweries:
• The Kent Craft Beer Fest, organized by the Kent Jaycees, runs from 2 to 7 p.m. outdoors along Water Street in downtown Kent.
"Kent needs one of these festivals," Kent Jaycees board Chair Ryan Tipton said, noting the rising popularity of craft beer.
The event will showcase: Akronym, Bookhouse, Clubhouse, Elevator, Fat Head's, Headtrip, HiHO, Hop Tree, Lock 15, MadCap, Market Garden, Masthead, McArthur's, Missing Falls, Platform, R. Shea, Royal Docks, Saucy, Sibling Revelry, Terrestrial, Thirsty Dog and Two Monks.
In addition to the beer, the fest, sponsored by Ray's Place, will feature live music and food. Organizers have capped ticket sales at 2,000.
The Jaycees would like the event to become an annual affair. The group hopes the proceeds are used to create a foundation to support its philanthropic efforts in the community.
General admission and brewmaster tickets are $20 and $35, respectively, in advance or $25 and $45 the day of the event. For more details or tickets, go to: http://kentjaycees.com/kent-craft-beer-festival.
• The North Canton Craft Beer Festival, organized by the North Canton Chamber of Commerce, runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the MAPS Air Museum, 2260 International Parkway, Green.
The event, sponsored by the Akron-Canton Airport, has sold out of its 500 tickets.
"For a first time event, we are really excited," said Christina Weyrick, chair of the chamber board.
The festival will showcase: Birdfish, Canton, Lockport, Maize Valley, Magic City, Millersburg, Muskellunge, Noble Creature, Paradigm Shift, R. Shea, Royal Docks, Sandy Springs, Shale and Spider Monkey.
It also will include three collaboration beers: Ermahgurd, a pineapple New England-style IPA by Sandy Springs-Missing Mountain; CAKtus Agave double IPA by R. Shea-Royal Docks; and Andrew's Ice by Lockport-Millersburg.
For more details, check out: www.facebook.com/events/2009382082444737.
It’s time for the Ohio craft brewing industry to celebrate another milestone. The Buckeye State is now home to 300 craft breweries, according to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association.
“We’re thrilled that the state of Ohio has embraced craft beer this way,” association spokesman Justin Hemminger said.
The group is especially pleased that breweries are opening everywhere across the state. In big cities. In midsize communities. In rural areas. With at least another 65 breweries in planning in the state, the growth is expected to continue for years to come.
Ohio is far from alone. According to the Brewers Association, six states had more than 300 craft breweries last year, with California leading the way with 841.
Great Lakes news
Here's a pitcher full of news from Great Lakes Brewing Co.:
• Cloud Nothings and Arlie will headline the 18th annual Burning River Fest. The annual music and beer festival will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. June 21-22 at the former U.S. Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island in Cleveland. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Cuyahoga River fire.
Great Lakes said it will offer the following beers at the festival: Turntable Pils, Great Lakes IPA, Mexican Lager with Lime, and Burning River Fest exclusive Citrus Burning River Pale Ale. Rally Drum Red Ale will also be available in 16-ounce cans. In addition to the beer, there will be wine and food.
Tickets are $15 each day. For more information, including the full musical lineup, or tickets, go to: http://burningriverfest.org.
• Great Lakes was one of 25 companies recognized by Forbes magazine in its list of “Forbes Small Giants: The Best Small Companies of 2019.”
• The brewery received a diversity and inclusion grant from the Brewers Association to host a craft beer job fair on July 11. Great Lakes is still finalizing the details.
• Columbus Craft Beer Week kicks off Friday. For all the details, check out: www.columbusbeerweek.com.
• In case you missed it — how could you if you're a craft beer fan — Boston Beer Co. and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery announced a $300 million plan to merge the two breweries.
• Rhinegeist Cheetah from Cincinnati finished 11th in a Paste Magazine blind taste test of 102 craft lagers. Fremont Brewing Loreto Mexican Lager finished first. To read the full list, go to: www.pastemagazine.com.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com. Read his daily beer blog at www.ohio.com/beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.