Beer, Beer, & Better Beer | HopCat

Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

Light beer drinkers are welcome at HopCat, too
Joe Sonheim, BarFly Ventures Director of Marketing | July 15, 2019
Light Beer

Beer MeThe next time you stop into HopCat, you may notice that we’ve expanded our beer selection to include a few light beers. The reason we have introduced these brews (about 3% of our total beer list) is because of consumer demand. More than drinking the beers that we love, we want to make sure any guest coming in our doors can find the beer that THEY love.

We don’t expect everyone to love craft beers at first taste. When I first started drinking beer I believed PBR was the “proof God loves us and wants us to be happy” and Founders Porters tasted like week old licorice (I’ve grown, Founders. I love you!!) However, the more I spent time in Michigan breweries like Vivant, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, White Flame, Green Bush, and many more, I quickly converted to the creative craft community.

We believe there are many people out there like early 20s Joe that pledge allegiance to Miller Lite simply because they’ve never tried Huma Lupa Licious. That’s why you’ll NEVER have one of our amazing HopCat team members judge anyone for their beer purchase but, if you’re interested, they would be happy to make a great recommendation based off your personal taste. Big fan of Bud? You might enjoy Waypost Brewing Co’s “Table Beer” Blonde. Parched for PBR? Try a sample of Perrin’s “Gold.”

If you’d like to chat more about craft beer, hit me up at jsonheim@barflyventures.com. Or, better yet, we can grab a pint. If it’s a short conversation, I’ll have an Apex Predator Saison. If we’re hanging out for a while, I’ll have a couple of PBRs.

Read more Comments
Lager Love & Hazy Everything: Our Craft Beer Predictions For 2019
By Adam Roberts, HopCat Regional Beverage Program Manager | January 21, 2019

craft beer in 2019

Every January, beer media publications are full of predictions about what will unfold in the ever-changing world of craft beer during the coming year. Adam Roberts — HopCat’s Regional Beverage Program Manager and a Certified Cicerone — looks into his hazy crystal ball and offers some insight into the beer-style trends that are likely to shape the industry in 2019:

While I’m extremely hopeful that the next big beer trend will be something exciting like a Peanut Butter Brut IPA w/ Sea Salt & Glitter, realistically these predictions might be a little less thrilling. Here’s what I think we’ll see in the always evolving beer world in 2019.

LAGERS

I feel that light, crisp, and refreshing beers have been on the uptick the past few years. The beer schnob (yes, schnob) in all of us has come full-circle and can appreciate just how amazing a well-done Pilsner can be, especially when that’s what the day calls for. I see this continuing into 2019. As long as we don’t overdo it, and revert back to the days of one style fits all, I am fine with this continuing trend.

WHEAT BEERS (aka the original hazy beers)

Not so much a trend as an overlooked fan favorite, I think that wheat beers are right up there with lagers in terms of popularity. Even in the off-season when the breweries bring out their darker, stronger seasonal offerings, I find myself drinking wheat beers. I feel that few breweries notice this, but Michigan-based Bell’s brewing co. makes a winter seasonal, Winter White, and that’s what I’m drinking right now. Take note, breweries. The original “hazy beers” are here to stay!

IPAs

I don’t see standard American IPAs going anywhere anytime soon, despite some predictions to the contrary. They continue to top the most popular beer lists in the many markets. Will they ever stop? This isn’t a trend, this is a fact. People love their favorite IPAs. The trend that continues is the variation to the style we are seeing:

New England-Style IPAs – New England IPAs have experienced an unforeseen boom over the last few years with just about every brewery jumping on the bandwagon, and for good reason. They aren’t quite done yet. The thirst is still there. I think we’ll continue to see new brands pop up in this category through 2019.

Milkshake IPAs - Take a New-England Style IPA, add some lactose (milk sugar) and your favorite fruit. Boom. What you have is a delicious variation on the New-England style. I think you’ll see a few more of these coming out.

Brut IPAs – While not quite as popular as the New-England explosion, I’d wager that we’ll continue to see growth in this sub-category. Brut IPAs utilize an enzyme to convert sugar into much more digestible forms for the yeast, resulting in a bone-dry finish. The secret here (shhhh) is to add a little orange juice and make yourself the best-tasting beermosa you’ve ever had. Brut IPAs are so champagne-esque that the combo works almost too perfectly. Try it and enjoy the trending. Yum.

Hazy everything - With the boom of the New-England IPA style came the trend to haze up everything. Pale Ales, Double IPAs, even lagers. Wait for it. The hazy oatmeal stout is sure to be next.

FLAGSHIP BRANDS

Just like I noted on Lagers, the beer schnob in us all has also come full-circle, and can appreciate just how amazing a well-done core brand can be. Instead of searching for the newest thing, the experienced beer geek has found their favorite, and will drink it over and over again, because it’s good. I expect to see a resurgence in the importance of highlighting flagship brands again. Just look up #FlagshipFebruary.

BIGGEST TREND

Quality craft beers and amazing variety will continue to trend high. Lucky us! Drink up.

 

Read more Comments
Why Oktoberfest starts in September, and other important facts
Troy Reimink, BarFly/HopCat webmaster | September 19, 2018

hoptoberfest stein

Here at HopCat, we’re gearing up for Hoptoberfest, which is our version of the traditional Oktoberfest celebration that happens in late September through early October in Germany. Unless you’re on a plane to Munich right now, you should consider joining us as we raise a Hofbrauhaus stein on Sunday, Sept. 23rd, to the world’s best-known and biggest beer festival.

Knowledge makes every experience better. Wherever you’re planning to spend Oktoberfest, fortify your brain with some of  these Very Important Facts:

Yes, Oktoberfest starts in September.

Right, but why? Because it’s better drinking weather, basically. The festival began in 1810 and originally lasted from Oct. 12th-17th. As it became a fixture of Bavarian culture over the years, it expanded in length by starting earlier and earlier, so the revelers were able to continue enjoying themselves on September nights. The official version now lasts from Sept. 22nd-Oct.

It started as a dry wedding.

Wait, what? Lame, but true. The festival originated in at the celebration of  Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The public was allowed to watch a celebratory horse race, which is exciting, but they were not served any beer, which is less exciting. The dry festival continued for a few years until 1819 when the horse races were finally replaced by beer suppliers.

Now that there’s beer, people drink a lot of it.

The quantity of beer consumed during a typical Oktoberfest is about 7.7 million liters – more than 2 million gallons.

Americans and Germans drink different beers at Oktoberfest.

There are two types of beer people associate with Oktoberfest: the Marzen and the festbier. The copper-colored Marzen lager was the official beer of Oktoberfest from the 1870s until 1990, when it was replaced by the lighter, golden festbier. The six Munich breweries that are official producers of Oktoberfestbiers continue to brew the original Marzen, but mostly export it to the United States, so depending on your preferences, we may have gotten the good end of the deal. (Note: Most HopCats will be serving both versions at our Hoptoberfest celebrations.)

The Guinness record book has a field day.

Oktoberfest, as you might imagine, is home to some pretty phenomenal world records. There’s the most beer steins carried at once (29). And world’s largest lederhosen (18x15-ft.) And obviously the world’s largest pretzel (1,728 lbs.)

Paris Hilton is not welcome at Oktoberfest.

The heiress and reality TV star was banned from Oktoberfest in 2007 when she showed up in Munich wearing a dirndl to promote her new brand of canned wine. She hadn’t cleared the appearance with organizers, who banished her permanently. Harsh, but fair.

She might not be welcome at Oktoberfest, but you definitely are. Find your nearest HopCat’s Facebook for more info on Hoptoberfest. Prost!

Read more Comments

Pages