Hoppin’ Frog Taproom is back!

By Emily Anderson

After closing for COVID-19 over a year ago, Hoppin’ Frog’s beloved taproom is back and better than ever. 

While the Hoppin’ Frog brewery continued making beers during the last year, the only visitors to the facility were those dedicated fans picking beer up curbside. 

At the grand reopening, which coincided with the mask mandate being officially lifted in Ohio, the taproom was filled with smiling faces enjoying delicious oatmeal stout and fruity shandy.

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Hoppin’ Frog’s owner Fred Karm was right in the middle of all the action — shaking hands and spinning records at his new DJ booth in the corner of the taproom. I asked him how it felt to be back and he said, “It feels amazing. Long time coming. Now that we’re back open I couldn’t be happier.”

Before reopening to the public, the beloved taproom got some “revamping,” as Karm puts it. They redid the floors, upgraded some appliances and added outdoor seating. “You know, now’s the time to invest,” he told me. 

The most noticeable change for me was the food menu. It’s all-new and has a handful of options for any type of diet. I especially appreciated the chicken from Premium Pastures and vegan sausage from Picked Proteins. They’re also making beer milkshakes with Strickland’s ice cream, which is Akron foodie heaven. 

The Hoppin’ Frog staff had a few training sessions to acclimate to new ordering systems and learn the menu, but they seemed to be feeling right at home on opening day. Karm somehow managed to bring back nearly his entire staff. Many of them have worked for Hoppin’ Frog for years. 

According to Karm, he was “blown away that all the staff but one came back. I thought it would be the opposite,” he tells me. “I thought one or maybe two would come back. Everyone’s working and showing up, so we have a staff. That’s the thing I was most concerned about. So for them to all show up, we knew we could do it.”

Hoppin’ Frog is one of Akron’s longest-standing and most respected breweries. They proudly wear gold and ribbons from all around the world, including four medals this year at the Australian International Beer Awards. 

The taproom is celebrating its 8th anniversary this month. Last year they didn’t get to throw their annual party, so I have a feeling they’ll be making up for that this time around. 

Go check out Hoppin’ Frog’s taproom Tuesday-Thursday from 3-10 pm, or Friday and Saturday from 11 am-10 pm. 

Emily Anderson has to read the beer menu for at least 10 minutes before she picks one.

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