Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Grand Opening of Hop Cat Ann Arbor Is A Huge Success

Written by  Aimee West
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Let me tell you I almost howled to the sky in true Beer Hound fashion when Paul said that we were going to the VIP opening night of Hop Cat Ann Arbor.
We had such a great time enjoying the space, getting to know some of the staff and enjoying not only great craft beer but fabulous food to go with it.

The night started with an appetizer of mussels with bacon and mushrooms and two nice dark porters from Founders. The smooth flavor of the porter really complemented the mussels, which were cooked to perfection.

Our server Katie was a fountain of information on all things Hop Cat Ann Arbor and a lot of fun. With her suggestion we tried the Turkey burger and this amazing pork sandwich called “I Am the Pork Sandwich Who Knocks (Tenderloin)”.

When we first saw this behemoth of a sandwich come out we were glad that we had shared it. It is a pork tenderloin that has been smashed into a patty, then breaded and cooked to deliciousness. Add on the Swiss cheese, blue cheese, BBQ slaw, lettuce, tomato and haystack onions and you can see why in the description this is refereed to as the “Breaking Bad” sandwich.

As we sat at a high­top table, we noticed the vintage inspired booths look not only really inviting but a little private area of fun. At the very back of the restaurant, there is a small seating area for small groups. Ann Arbor is such a creative city and that feeling is brought inside the building with two large wall murals on opposite sides of the horseshoe shaped bar. The table tops are filled with old images from “Rolling Stone” which helps cultivate the feeling of vintage inspired cool.

Even though the space was rather large and will hold a lot of people, there was still an enjoyable sense of intimacy and familiarity; like you could wave at someone at the end of the bar and they would wave back.

When you go, take the time to enjoy a walk around the space, to check out the artwork on the various walls. Normally I don't mention the restrooms but the walls, and especially the ceiling of the men's room just makes me want to call out “Beetle­juice, Beetle­Juice, Beetle­juice” to see if he will show up.

Hop Cat Ann Arbor has done their best filling every section of the restaurant with creative touches. These details will make you want to spend the day enjoying a craft beer with friends over fabulous food. With over 100 beers on tap you will find something that you love. Thirty taps at all times are filled with local craft beer and they are also bringing in some interesting beers from England and Belgium that are really hard to find here.

"It's sort of a recognition that Ann Arbor is an international city. It's a town where people come from a lot of different places," Marketing and Communications Director Chris Knape said. "That's one of things we've sort of challenged our program here with doing, is trying to recognize that and make this beer program unique."

They have certainly done that with Hop Cat Ann Arbor. I can't wait to show off the space to visiting friends and family.

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.