Beer lovers rejoice at Top Hops, a craft-brew shop and tasting bar on the Lower East Side. The establishment doubles as a store and bar hang out creating a warm and vibrant atmosphere that’s really all about the suds.
Ted Kenny, a former Anhuser-Bush sales executive, left corporate America to open the shop of his dreams. Over twenty rotating drafts flow in pint size glasses or large to-grow growlers. This is nothing compared to the endless rows of bottled beers organized by region and distinct flavor qualities.
For those looking to chat with Ted , enjoy some suds and complimentary hard pretzels, snag a seat at the long, curved bar that fills the front area of the shop. My friends and I sat down towards the back end of the bar, inquiring about different flavors and varieties. Most of the beers on tap where new to me, but ‘tis the season for pumpkin beer and I asked for the best version of this fall favorite. Ted quickly poured a small sample of the Pumking, which he described as pumpkin pie in a glass. Sold.
Anyone who likes pumpkin, but always feels reluctant about the beer version needs to try Pumking. It’s a little harder to find, but clearly the best in this category of seasonal favorites. Everyone else enjoyed their variety of beer, munching on pretzels and enjoying the extremely relaxed atmosphere. A great collection of classic rock plays in the background, making this place somewhere any beer drinker would love to regularly hang out.
Be sure to check their twitter feed @TopHopsTapList for the regularly changing list of beers on tap. Plus, if you’re having a fancy party, make sure you head towards the back and check out their fridges full of 600+ bottles and cans. But do yourself a favor and hang for at least one drink on tap. A conversation with Ted Kenny, plus the relaxed atmosphere is a reason to stay.
Top Hops Beer Shop – 94 Orchard Street – New York, NY