If you’ve enjoyed Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.’s roasted malt in the Old Leghumper or the earthy Hoppus Maximus, you’ve tasted the work of Fred Karm, Thirsty Dog’s first brewmaster. But since leaving to start Hoppin’ Frog 15 years ago, Karm has proven he can do it on his own with triumphs like B.O.R.I.S.
The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout ($7.50 for 16 ounces), winner of the 2008 and 2011 gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Inspired by visits to European taprooms, Karm cultivates an experience that includes nightly events, live music, 24 beers on tap and hearty menu options such as the Karminator Kuban ($11), made from house-smoked pork and topped with mustard from the rich-and-malty Karminator Imperial Dopplebock.
More recent creations such as the lemon and malt combination Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale ($7.50 for 16 ounces) and the Infusion A: Peanut Butter Chocolate Coffee Porter ($7.50 for 16 ounces) prove Karm’s still got it after 25 years. Our Pick: B.O.R.I.S. ($7.50 for 16 ounces) is a must-have, especially if it’s the variety aged in bourbon barrels, which adds a complex mix of vanilla, whiskey and oak characters to an already intense deep-roasted stout. 1680 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, 330-352-4578, hoppinfrog.com