Hoppin’Frog Brewing Company is a small brewery in Akron, OH that has been producing quality beer since 2006. Started by owner and brewmaster Fred Karm, Hoppin’ Frog’s beers have won multiple medals at the Great American Beer Festival, the International Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup; with Turbo Shandy winning a Gold and Bronze in 2011 and 2012 respectively at the International Beer Festival in Cleveland. Fred Karm brews some excellent beers, and my hope was that Turbo Shandy would be no exception.
Hoppin’ Frog’s Turbo Shandy caught my eye on a recent trip to Three Cellars. A shandy is typically a blend of beer and citrus flavored soda or carbonated lemonade, and there are many commercial shandys available that seek to replicate this popular summer-time beer cocktail. Many of the other options top out around 5% ABV, but Turbo Shandy ranks in at an impressive 7.0%. I was shocked to see a “high test” Shandy and knew that I had to try it.
On Beeradvocate, Turbo Shandy has a score of 79. Over at ratebeer it has a score of 36 overall and 66 for style. Once again, a horrible rating for a beer that received positive scores at BA over at ratebeer. I am not sure what’s with all the hate coming out of ratebeer, but let’s move forward to the review.
Born from European tradition, our shandy is a refreshing combination of lemon and light malt flavors. Unlike traditional shandy’s, Turbo Shandy revs it up a couple notches with a high test, full flavored approach as only Hoppin’ Frog can do!
7.0% a/v | 58 OG (14.3 °P) | 7.3 IBU
Turbo Shandy pours hazy gold, likely from wheat in the malt bill. It has an impressive, thick off-white head that has excellent retention. The aromas were wheaty and bready with tart and slightly sour lemon notes. None of this beer’s 7% ABV came forward in the aroma.
The flavor started smooth and wheaty with slight banana notes, a just the hint of clove followed by a moderate amount of citrus (lemon and lime) tartness in the finish. Turbo Shandy is medium bodied with a moderate to high level of carbonation.
This is an amazing shandy, it is a considerably heavier beer than many of the lower ABV commercial shandys that are available, but it is pleasantly smooth and refreshing. There was enough beer in the flavor to remind me that I was drinking a beer instead of a hard lemonade, and it was certainly more enjoyable than a bottle of hard lemonade. If you are looking for an extreme shandy to reward yourself with in the summer, look no further than Turbo Shandy, and certainly reach for it before reaching for a bottle of hard lemonade. This is by far the best shandy that I have ever had!
That’s all for today, check back on Wednesday for a review on Snarling Badger Berliner Weiss from Grand Teton Brewing.