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Posted on Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Monday's Mug: Hangin' Frank from Short's Brewing Co. a treat for hops lovers

By Patti Smith

When I first drank Hangin' Frank last summer, I presumed it was an IPA. To my surprise, Short's Brewing Co. calls it a strong pale ale. It's their beer, and they can call it crap on a tin can if they want — I'll still drink it.

The nose is citrusy hops, and the hop taste carries you through to the finish. The hops are simcoe, which gives this beer kind of a grapefruity taste that blends nicely with its toasty grain taste. I will warn you that if you are not a fan of hops, you will likely not care for this beer. I am a fan of hops; ergo, I love the stuff. Personally, I like pairing it with charred beef of the steak variety. Mmmm!

This beer was not without controversy though, and not for the hoppiness or the taste or anything else like that. The label on the bottle shows a man hanging. Some folks thought that his hand (the only skin visible) looked dark and thought this implied that it was a black man hanging and therefore implied lynching.

In fact, the story behind the name revolves around a man named Frank Fochtman who is rumored to have hung himself in the basement of the restaurant he owned, now called the City Park Grill (this beer was originally brewed for that place). Of course, the rumor now is that Frank haunts the basement. You see, his ghost is watching over the place, breaking some glass now and again.

Personally, I long for the day when we live in a country where people do not react to the label but rather react to people who think that there are such a thing as ghosts. But that's me.

At any rate, I hear that Short's is going to relabel the beer next year. Check out the label yourself... what do you think?

Patti Smith is a teacher who enjoys drinking and brewing beer. She hopes to make Monday's Mug a regular Monday feature. Meantime, you can read her blog at, friend her on Facebook or see her 'round the blogosphere as TeacherPatti.


Patti Smith

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

I should be more specific...I hope that one day people won't react to the label because racism is over and there is no worry about thoughts of lynching!