Beer Profiles: Hop Dam and Fresh Frog Raw

Profiled by Ken Carman for Professor Goodales

These two profiles will be a bit different. I brought Hop Dam to American Homebrewers regional here inb Nashville to get some comments from BJCP judges and competition organizers. So my comments will be brief so I can include them with mine in the short format I prefer to use for my profiles here at PGA. The other will be more like the usual profiles I do. Plus: thought it would be fun to compare them.

First: Hop Dam, Hoppin Frog’s Triple IPA; Akron, OH…

Comments from BJCP and other competition judges, competition organizers:
Bennett Cowan, Certified BJCP, said: “Extreme beer? Mission accomplished!”
Mike Semich: with a wince, “Wow. Impressive.” Then he winced.
Tony Giannsi: “Nice viscosity, supports the hops well, which ‘Hop Dam’ applies very well to.”

All thought it well crafted. The only negative I heard was Hop Tyrant, Tom Vista, said for his taste it was too big. “I prefer to drink a few.” And considering his name, yes, that’s still with a lot of hops.

Personally I found it a very well crafted, and complex, quaff. Complex with the hopping and the malt. Summit up front with a Cascade nose. Amarillo brings up the rear to the taste, less Cascade in that but it is in the mix. If you want to read more of my comments see my brewer profile on Fred Karm, Hoppin’s master brewer.

Now on to Fresh Frog…

I have had quite a few fresh hop beers. I am especially fond of Sierra Nevada’s version where they use fresh hops from New Zealand. They can be overly grassy, but that defect doesn’t bother me all that much: indeed done right it’s very pleasing to my palate.

This one started with slightly fresh grass nose upfront out of the bottle. The glass pored is more malty with a caramel malt sense, some grassy fresh but also multiple hop additions.

Light gold-ish yellow, about 3-4 SRM. Head lasts in a bigger glass for quite a while. Chill haze: may fridge is pretty bloody cold cause I love cold milk.

Hops dominate in the taste with fresh hop up front, other hops supporting the bitter but lessen the grass sense. Malt very much in the background: hops are center stage here… that’s the intent, I’m sure. Grapefruit-sense with a background of spice… not sure what kind. The carbonation almost seems yo curl around that hops, comforting them and pushing them into the mouth out of the glass.

At over 10% Hop Dam is a quite different quaff. At 7.8 Raw is almost a light quaff in comparison. An extreme lawnmower hop-focused Imperial? Anyone who drinks and mows is an idiot, and lawnmower Raw ain’t in the classic sense. But the comparison shows how radically different they are.

If you’re into extreme brewing these Frogs are for you.