July 14, 2017
One of the first pleasures of the season, I am happy to relate, was the release of Hoppin’ Frog Brewery’s Grapefruit Turbo Shandy, which is the first product of theirs to be available in a 12 oz. can. As I have previously noted, I am a big fan of the regular (lemon) Turbo Shandy, and would drink it by the bucketload if I could afford it. I first tried the grapefruit version on the first day of its release, and although I have always preferred lemon, I must admit it was very delicious. Being highly familiar with grapefruit radlers—like those offered by the Austrian brewery, Stiegl—I found Fred Karm’s product superior in most every way.

Having been to the Stiegl brewery in Salzburg a year ago, I was happy to relate my judgement to Fred Karm, Hoppin’ Frog’s owner – who explained to me that it was one of the beers after which he had patterned his grapefruit masterpiece. We agreed that the primary reason for the superiority of his product is that it has a lot more “product” in it to begin with; as a result it has a significantly higher ABV than the Stiegl radler, which is only 2.5% compared to Hoppin’ Frog’s 7.0%.

The key to both Fred’s Shandies is the fact that he starts with a great ale—something that you’d be happy to drink “as-is”—and then adds a very rich, all-natural tasting fruit flavor. As Men’s Journal said in a review of America’s best Shandy & Radler beers – “Ohio's Hoppin' Frog makes no beer in half measures…”  Amen to that.

I took a 4-pack of the Graprefruit Turbo Shandy with me on a recent trip to Michigan and the folks I shared them with agreed that it was one of the “best summertime beers” ever. If you can get your hands on some – try it out.


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