Smashing Berry Ale - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

Not Rated.
Smashing Berry AleSmashing Berry Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

22 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.06
pDev: 27.12%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: klewis on 10-07-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 15
Reviews by HopDerek:
Photo of HopDerek
3.94/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pinkish champagne color with bubbly off-white/pink head that fades quickly, leaving only a thin ring. Smells of berries; blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, Frankenberry, as well as some honey and grain. Tastes of strawberry and blueberry up front residing into grainy malt and honey, almost like Frankenberry cereal. Blackberry and raspberry syrup come in at the finish. Light in body and low in carbonation but somewhat effervescent. Definitely a fruity beer with lots of sweetness, almost too much. Refreshing and low in alcohol making it easy to drink, but too much sweetness and being not very beer-like in taste would reduce how often I'd break one of these out.

More User Reviews:
Photo of pwoods
2.8/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this bottle. Quick notes.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a Pinot Noir color. Short head, no retention or lacing.

S: Smells like ginger ale, raspberies, and white grapes. Very soda like.

T/M: Light ginger ale with raspberries and white grapes. Almost like a wine cooler, lol. Body is light and crisp with lively carbonation.

D: Just not for me.

Photo of Kegatron
2.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light pink color with a 1/2 figer of fizzy pinkish white head. A fizzy retention around the edges that leaves very little lacing behind. The aroma is prominant, right after you open the bottle, with a lovely waft of fresh, sweet berry goodness floating through the air.

The taste is a lively mix of berries and malty sweetness with just the tiniest bit of fruit tartness behind it as well. Unfortunately, I found this to be a little too sweet in the backend. It wasn't quite cloying but it definitley got to the point of distracting from the berry flavors. The mouthfeel is light and easy but seems like it needs a touch more carbonation or presence of body to really make the flavors pop.

Hmmm. I really enjoyed the berry flavors in this but that overbearing sweetness really kept this from being super drinkable for me. As a matter of fact, I was getting a little sick of this after only 11 oz. I understand that Hoppin' Frog advises that this be kept refridgerated at all times but we were unfortunately not able to do that. Did that affect the flavor? I have no idea but I'd be willing to buy another bottle, properly transport it back this time, and revisit this once again as it is an intriguing fruit beer.

Photo of shroompod
3.5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark , little head , no lacing.

Aroma of berries. Kool-aid like tartness.

Tasting is a lot like the aroma. A pretty one-dimensional berry/kool-aid flavor without much else.

Mouthfeel is medium , good carbonation.

Overall a decent brew for someone who doesn't like beer.

Photo of smcolw
2.18/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not much of a head--dies to nearly a flat surface. That said, the lace is better than expected. Cloudy and straw-like in color.

Smells like Kool-Ade--lots of fake, sweet fruity flavors.

The flavor reminds me of children's aspirin; it's laking any natural aspects of fruit. I don't notice any hop flavors, so it's lacking balance. Weak body with high carbonation.

Sorry, but I don't like this one. It's too fake and too one-dimensional.

Photo of Spider889
1.45/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

We bought this a month ago from the brewery directly (actually my friend bought it for his non-beer-drinking wife). These are my notes:

"Tastes like cheap cough syrup and old stale Brett. Reminiscent of those old-grandma strawberry candies (with the red and green strawberry colored wrapper) except not sweet at all. A light ginger color."

I couldn't comprehend that they actually were selling this AT THE BREWERY.

Who knows how old this is... The "berry" flavor was clearly not from real fruit, had to be some sort of extract. Guess I can at least see why it was retired (wish I'd known before I let a friend spend good money on this though).

Fruit beers in general are hard to do well (real fruit flavor without coming off as fake or medicinal). Unfortunately this was one that never made good on its intentions. So happy the brewery axed this in place of several award winning beers later on.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.15/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Got this beer on-tap at the local brew-pub.

Has a good looking hazy translucent very light yellow with a hint of purple.

Smell was very nice, berries, spice, and malt.

Taste was very light and slightly fruity, not too fruity though. Nice easy carbonation.

You can drink 10 of these and not even know it, easy going down. Good brew.

Photo of beachbum1975
1.45/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Got this while driving from PA back through to Cincinnati at West Point Market in Akron, Ohio. Per the employee at the store, this ale is only distributed in the Akron area, but I'm not certain I believe that 100%.

Appearance: No freshness date seen. Poured from a bomber it my traditional pint glass. Pour a clear, bright pale yellow with the slightest tinge of purple, definitely a unique look. A brief, ultra-white fizzy head disappeared quickly leaving what looks like a flat 7up. No other carbonation lingered.

Smell: Smells like a super-sweetened raspberry, not natural. Further sniffing brings the slightest wheats or bready malts.

Taste: Flat! This is beer? Wow, to me it tasted like a flat cream soda with no bite whatsoever. Vanilla, crèaminess and the slightest artificial candied raspberry flavor detected. What was this, a flat raspberry Zima?

Mouthfeel: Flat and wet, no dryness detected. No carbonation. Blah...

Drinkability: Sorry, no thanks. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it for the sake of getting another fruit/vegetable beer review under my belt, but I won't be getting this one again.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice hazy golden pale yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, with minimal sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with a very nice touch of raspberries/blueberries. The taste is malty, sweet, nice notes of raspberries/blueberries. Medium body. Drinkable, I like this one, very tasty, easy to drink.

Photo of nrbw23
2/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I've had this one a couple times at tastings and had no idea that this one is now retired.

A- Pours a clear, bright pale yellow with the slightest tinge of a reddish color with a super thin white head. Head has pretty much no retention and lacing.

S- I only think I'm picking up is raspberries and maybe a tiny bit of bready malts.

T- Raspberry flavor and that's about it. This one is pretty much a wine cooler not a beer.

M- Light in body and hardly any carbonation.

D- There is no way I could drink an entire bottle of this. Still not digging the fruity beers. Probably a good reason why this one is now retired.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.5/5  rDev -18.3%

Appearance - The beer was a tinted yellow color with a slight white head.

Smell - Berries jump to the front of the aroma, with some bready notes toward the back.

Taste - My cough is cured! I really do not detect much about this that actually taste like beer. It seems to be more of a malt beverage with a children's cough syrup aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - The sticky mouthfeel actually reinforced the notion that this might actually be cough syrup.

Overall - I have had many great beers from Hoppin's Frog. This beer needs to stay retired.

Photo of klewis
4.27/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 69 Taps, Akron, OH - 10/6/07

A: Pours a slightly hazy straw color with a small head. Little lacing.

S: A sweet and fruity raspberry aroma. Light, but pleasant.

T: A fruity mixed berry taste is pefectly blended with a dry pilsener malt flavor providing a wonderfully balanced taste that is not too fruity.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Besides being extremely easy to drink, this brew is a great example of how to use fruit in beer. The fruit does not overwhelm the flavor profile, but rather adds to the character of the malt. This should be enjoyed by anyone willing to give fruit beers a chance. Well done Fred!!

Photo of jjayjaye
3/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Devil made me try this one. Pours a very thin, barely pink tinted with little head or lacing. This is one of those soda-like beverages. Must be consumed very cold on a very hot day. Smells like a berry CoolAid Jello thingy. Little carbonation and very light in the mouth. Fruity berry flavor. Frankly i would've rather had a beer.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draught at 69 Taps in Akron. This beer is a mostly clear light reddish-brown color with a medium-thin off-white head that dissipates steadily. Stringy lacing. Sweet berry and malt aroma. Medium-bodied with a tart fruit character balanced by sweet malt and grain flavors. The finish is raspberries and malt and lingers awhile. Overall a pretty good Fruit beer.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.52/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Lightly milky amber with no hint of red or pink. The bright white cap is small, falls fairly rapidly, and leaves the glass untouched. Shouldn't an ale that uses 'an abundance of natural fruit flavor'... oh, I get it now. No fruit has been harmed in the brewing of this beer. Not a good look considering the name... or in general.

The aroma earns point for being impressively berry-like. It smells most like strawberry, but raspberry is possible too. Who knows, maybe even boysenberry or gooseberry. The only problem is, it's obvious that extract has been used. Considering the artificial nature of the nose, the above score is exceedingly generous.

What an odd beer. Smashin' Berry Ale isn't what was expected at all. It tastes like a big bowl of Franken Berry cereal soaking in Nestle Strawberry Quik and cream ale. Another analogy would be one of those strawberry crunch ice cream bars that I used to eat as a kid. Unfortunately, this is one of the most artificial tasting fruit ales that I've ever had.

Still, I've tasted worse. Not much worse, but worse. The obvious fix would be to jettison the natural (ahem) extract and use real fruit. That might be expensive, but it would be worth it. Speaking of expensive, why on earth is this bomber $7.49? Bombers of Mean Manalishi and B.O.R.I.S. aren't much more than that.

The mouthfeel isn't bad. It's far from light and fizzy, as a lot of lower ABV fruit beers tend to be. That said, it's a little off-putting to have a beer that tastes like this be this full and creamy. Melted ice cream bars, I'm telling you.

Fred Karm is an outstanding craft brewer and should not have to abide criticism from the likes of me. However, I gotta call 'em like I see 'em. Smashin' Berry Ale needs a complete overhaul, starting with the next batch. Who knows, maybe it's one of the brewery's biggest sellers. It isn't for me, though.

Smashing Berry Ale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.