Skip to main content

Stock Clearance Drinking #2 - Hoppin' Frog Gangster Frog IPA

"The downfall of being a great beer lover and enthusiast is a tendency to hoard. Nobody I know is as guilty of this as I. As such, I’ve come to realise in recent months that I really need to start working through my already sizeable bottle stock before purchasing anything else this year, if for no other reason than to try the beers I’ve spent my money on whilst they’re still at their best. Added to this is the realisation over the last few months – based on certain depressive life situations – that life is too short not to drink the great beers I have available to me. I also need to find new encouragement and inspiration to write again. I have never wanted this to be a beer review blog (with the exception of Advent) but all the above factors have led me to begin a series of “Stock Clearance” posts where I drink beers within my hoard that really need drinking for reasons that will be explained."

"I shall further clarify that my beer hoard started to grow around the turn of the year between 2011 and 2012. To that point, most of my enjoyment of beer was spent within the confines of the pub or on a Saturday night in when the beer to be drunk in the evening was bought in the morning of the same day. The only beers that entered into “storage” were a bottle of Brewdog’s Abstrakt:02 (that I think was eventually drunk sometime in 2012) and a Fuller’s Vintage 2008, purchased in 2009 and that is still in my hoard to this day."

Beer number two, as I continue debilitating my stock, isn’t a particularly old war horse in the beer hoard. In relative terms to my online beer orders, it’s a newcomer. However, I can’t be sure how long it has been sat in Beers of Europe’s warehouse, as they seem to have struggled to sell beers from Hoppin’ Frog brewery, perhaps due to their fairly large pricing. I, myself, have only tried a couple of offerings from the brewery: B.O.R.I.S the Crusher, Hoppin’ to Heaven and their Amager collaboration, Frog Hops from Amager. I expect D.O.R.I.S. the Destroyer may appear in this Stock Clearance blog soon enough. There is no “bottled-on” date for reference on this bottle of Gangster Frog IPA but I couldn’t resist buying a beer that features a frog dressed in early 20th century gangster attire.

"If I act like an animal – ain’t nothing to it – gangster frog made me do it."

As such, this speciality American IPA was actually only purchased in November 2013. However, I had long intended to try and drink it as fresh as possible and that was 5 months ago now. I’d spoken to somebody who had bought the Hop Dam Triple IPA from the same website, only to find the hops had sadly died a death. So this acquisition was a risk but one I hope has paid off.  

Hoppin’ Frog Gangster Frog IPA 7.5%

Pouring a Pantone shade with frothy three finger head, this beer is dominated gratefully by that grapefruit bouquet we are all so familiar (perhaps Cascade?). Perhaps grapefruit is the obvious description but this is like freshly carved grapefruit attached to the end of your nose in comedic fashion. It’s lively, fresh, citrusy, punchy; like drinking the waters of a Bahamian beach (metaphorically speaking.) There’s a near perfect marriage of zesty bitterness and tongue melting smoothness that create an orange nectar that flows down your throat, creating smiles and delight. The body is full and textured but simple enough to not be over-thought; just enjoyed. The finish is ever lasting and leaves you in disappointment that your glass is empty. I wanted to wittingly write tasting notes with many James Cagney style references, but it just isn't
necessary. An exceptional beer and one of the best American IPAs I have in a long time - much better than the Hoppin' to Heaven - that leaves one obvious question:


What the hell is this beer like fresh? 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

My Life in Guinness - Drink What You Like

      I first obtained my booze “bragging rights” drinking 4 cans of the black stuff at a house party in my mid-teens. Teenage masculinity was judged on one’s ability to put away alcohol in the early noughties. It appears trite and toxic now but, as a 15-year-old, to hear my older brother’s friends say “Well played mate, I couldn’t down that stuff” was the kind of social praise we devoured.   It didn’t occur to me then that twenty years on the same drink would be causing an industry existential crisis. I wasn’t pondering the reasoning behind my drink choice 20 years ago. It was fairly simple: I drank Guinness because I liked the taste. I differed from my friends in that sense, who chose crates of Fosters and Bacardi Breezers for house parties as it was the done thing. At least two of those present at those gatherings would go on to use the common phrase “Let’s be honest – nobody really likes the taste of beer” in their adult life and expect universal agreement.   It

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the