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Judge’s Review: 90 Rating – Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

August, 2020
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Hoppin’ Frog Brewery is being evaluated as Fruit Beer (Category 29A) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. 

This beer poured pale yellow and hazy with a white foamy head that had average persistence.  

Aromas of pineapple, sweet vanilla notes, with a lactic, yogurt-like character awaken the senses. Pleasant, with moderately-high fruity esters. Blueberry smoothie, cake batter and maraschino cherry aromas in the background collaborate to make it a very interesting beer.

The flavors mirror the aroma and make this beer like nothing this judge has had before. Starting with a fruity smoothie, the pineapple flavor isn’t as expected. It has a lactic yogurt note unexpected in a beer, followed by a spicy/dry herbal note in the finish. Some other flavors that develop and not originally perceived in the aroma is sweetness like pineapple marmalade. No hops or no malt-driven flavors detected. Purely fruit-forward. This beer finishes semi-sweet, which makes it hard to put down, since the sweetness beckons another sip, and then another.

Medium-light bodied. Medium carbonation, with a pleasant fruit juice mouthfeel. No alcoholic warmth, but with a small degree of astringency. A perceived creaminess from the lactic/yogurt quality is present.

Overall, this is a pleasant beer for the summer months, one that will please both the smoothie and the beach lovers.  A beer made for the beach, and one that drinks more like a cocktail and less like a beer.  A subjective beer nonetheless and one that will question your preconceived notion of what beer can taste like. Enjoy it with light summer foods, or contrast it with a tart dessert.