It’s 7 p.m. on Halloween and improv troupe Jest Serendipity is working up a serious sweat to get the crowd going. Usually it might not be so hard, but this is the last night of the Freakin’ Frog, the city’s first craft beer bar, and most of those in the packed crowd are concentrating on making their way through the bar’s justly hyped taps.
As bartender Adam, dressed like a Mormon missionary, pours from the Frog’s final lineup—Wyder’s Pear Cider, Deschutes’ Black Butte XXIV, Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout, Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Sierra Nevada Porter and Old Town S.T.E.A.M.—owner Adam Carmer walks the room, shaking hands and slapping backs. He seems to know everyone by name and rarely stops smiling the entire night.
That’s because Carmer fully intends to bring his bar back—it’s just a question of where and when. He’d like to return to the Maryland Parkway center where the Frog sits now and which is currently being renovated, “but if [finishing this center] ends up taking years, we’re not waiting.” His vision for the new Frog? “It will be shaped differently. The kitchen will be bigger. We’ll have a patio. And a dancefloor.”
Not that losing his original space isn’t bittersweet. After all, Carmer started in 2002 at 1,100 square feet, eventually expanding to 4,500, adding the Whisky Attic in 2005 and becoming the largest beer bar/whiskey bar in the country. At its peak, the Frog had 1,782 unique beers. To all his loyal customers, Carmer has a clear message: “We’re going to come back much bigger and stronger after the hiatus.”
The Whisky Attic has already reopened at 4780 W. Harmon Ave. with a few tweaks: It’s reservation only, and Carmer describes it more as a “school” than a bar. “We’re using it to teach people about the business of beverage.” To make a reservation, visit whiskyattic.com.