By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery continues to earn national honors.

The 3-year-old Akron brewery has been named the 24th best brewer in the world for 2010 by RateBeer.com, a Web site that allows regular beer drinkers to offer their opinions on tens of thousands of beers.

”I’m just blown away,” Hoppin’ Frog owner and brewer Fred Karm said. ”I just think of myself as making beer for my friends and family. It’s unfathomable.”

Three Ohio brewers made the top 100 list. Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland is 35th. Barley’s Brewing Co. in Columbus is 74th.

RateBeer President Joe Tucker said the site considers overall ratings, quality and the ability to produce different styles well when selecting the top brewers.

RateBeer considers its annual competition the largest in the world, with more than 2.47 million reviews of 110,000 beers from more than 9,680 breweries.

Two Hoppin’ Frog beers are listed by RateBeer among the top 100 beers in the world this year.

Barrel-Aged B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher, an imperial stout aged in Heaven Hill Whiskey barrels, placed 35th. And the regular B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher ranked 66th.

In 2008, Karm won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher.

RateBeer is devoted to so-called beer geeks and not those who prefer Budweiser, Miller or Coors. Seventeen of the top 20 beers are imperial stouts.

”People have been looking for bigger and bolder beers,” Tucker said in explaining the preference.

The top-rated beer is Westvleteren 12, a Belgian Trappist ale made by monks at the Trappist Westvleteren Brewery.

The top-rated brewer is the 3 Floyds Brewing Co. in Munster, Ind. Its beers include Alpha King, Behemoth and Dark Lord.

Hoppin’ Frog, which specializes in high-alcohol, boldly flavored beers, is now available in 13 states. Karm said the brewery will likely expand for a second time to keep up with demand.

The brewery, located along East Waterloo Road across from the Akron Airdock, sells its beer in signature 22-ounce brown bottles with a logo of a green and white frog hoisting a beer mug.

To view the complete RateBeer lists, go online to: http://www.ratebeer.com/RateBeerBest/default_2010.asp.

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