HopCat Grand Opening
The beer behemoth HopCat has opened in the Highlands, and I managed to get into the VIP “soft” opening. All I’ll say is this: That’s a lot of damn beer. Inside, the place feels exactly as it should, with just the right kind of shtick, from vinyl albums on the ceiling to velvet paintings to a wall adorned with 1980s album art.
In addition, there are three bars, including a massive bar in the middle of the first floor with beer taps as far as the eye can see. The feel of the place is somewhere between a New Orleans hotel and a riverboat, if that makes any sense. Lots of wood, brass and classic adornment make HopCat a fabulous place to have a beer with your friends. Or five beers, whatever.
While HopCat does have 132 taps bubbling over with craft brews and ciders, it was the Local 20 that took center stage at the VIP party – that being 20 local and regional beers that are the unchanging staples of the HopCat beer list. From Against the Grain’s imminently drinkable Sho’ Nuff to Monnik’s mysterious His Dark Materials, there’s a bit of everything. In fact, that’s kind of the point – if you walk into HopCat and aren’t sure what you want (an understandable problem), the bar and wait staff will do their best to help you find what quenches you on the Local 20 list. Serving up good beer while also promoting local breweries? Not a bad combo.
Yes, parking was a pain in the pants, and that has been the outcry for the non-believers since the HopCat concept was proposed. This is a warranted complaint, as my buddy and I had to park a good four blocks away. Of course, that area of town – HopCat is located at 1064 Bardstown Road, at the corner of Grinstead – is always crazy busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Just plan on walking four blocks instead of two, and you’ll be fine. (Better yet, take Uber. Because, as I said, there’s a lot of beer to be had at HopCat.)